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Published on October 7th, 2019 | by Nicole Randall

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The Virality of Positive OOH

Nicole Randall

Nicole Randall OAAA Communications Senior Director


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“People gravitate to a positive message.”

That’s what Josh Wilson, owner of Living Water Irrigation in Tulsa, OK, told OAAA over the phone last week. Wilson’s digital billboard messages professing this love for his wife went viral last week.

When Wilson told his business coach Clay Clark he wasn’t getting the response he had hoped for from his initial billboard ads, Clark suggested, “Since you’re always talking about how much you love your wife, why don’t you just say something to her on the billboards?”

“Turn it into a positive,” he said, according to The Washington Post.

Wilson said a few weeks later the local FOX affiliate called to do a story on the billboards. Since then photos of his billboards, which include his company logo, have gone viral, with news reports and social media posts from around the world.

“We’ve gotten a bunch of attention,” he told OAAA. “The brand recognition is astronomical.”

Wilson believes this attention will turn into new business for him. He’s added the international news coverage to the business website.

While Wilson’s wife was delighted by her husband’s messages of love, she now believes it’s time to replace “I Love You More!” with something else. Josh agreed.

“We’re going to put up a photo of our five dogs,” Wilson told the Post. “We both think it’s perfect. I love them madly, too.”

Billboard Spreads Hope

In Kansas City, MO, Nicole Leth rented a billboard in honor of her father, who died by suicide when she was a teenager.

She told The Today Show, “I realized over the years I could never save someone’s life for them, but I could create an encouraging and affirmative space to empower them to save their own life.”

She started by posting affirmations on stickers and leaving them in public places. In August she decided to amplify the messages with a billboard.

“I wanted to take the affirmations and make them louder,” she said.

“The reaction has been unbelievable and heartfelt and overwhelmingly positive,” Leth told TODAY. “I have been receiving lots of emails from people who said it mattered, or they saw it and had a terrible day and didn’t think they could survive, and without knowing the story of the billboard, they said it let them live one more day.”

To commemorate National Suicide Prevention Month (September), Lamar Advertising Company reached out to Leth, offering her the opportunity to design an OOH campaign. Throughout September six messages of hope and affirmation rotated on 309 digital billboards across 48 US markets.

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