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Billboard Advertising for NTOS in Sept. 2007

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I am planning on taking out a billboard advertisement to help us promote the North Texas Objectivist Society ("NTOS").

This is the text I am suggesting:

WHO IS JOHN GALT?

North Texas Objectivist Society .Com

This is what these billboards look like: http://www.dallasdaily.net/body_whatis.html

This is where they are located: http://www.dallasdaily.net/body_city_map.html

I am suggesting locations #1 and or #2.

Location #1 is just south of Belt Line Road on Stemmons Freeway (I-35) in Carrollton reaching 202,000 cars per day, which is viewed by southbound commuters traveling from Carrollton, Coppell and Lewisville to Downtown Dallas.

Location #2 is on Central Expwy just north of LBJ Frwy reaching 251,000 cars per day, which is viewed by Richardson, Plano, Allen and McKinney commuters traveling toward North Dallas and Downtown Dallas.

The cost is around $300/day with a minimum of 3 days, for a minimum cost of about $1,000. More days are cheaper per day. There are additional locations. The days can be split between locations.

I'm thinking two days at each location would be minimal, for a total cost of about $1,250. That would give time for a double take of each sign, and if we did two locations, we could reach nearly 500,000 daily commuters!

Our schedule is to put this up in early September, 2007, one month before Dr. Ridpath is scheduled to speak to our society.

Would anyone be able and willing to chip in for this advertising? Any contribution, no matter how small, would be appreciated. (Of course, I am not asking for contributions from those outside our area, but I thought this plan might be of some general interest.)

Suggested Contribution: $25.

So far, we have pledges and contributions totaling nearly $1,000. We can make this happen.

NOTE:

Please "RSVP" to make pledges/contributions here, including payments via PayPal

http://aynrand.meetup.com/71/calendar/5935887/?from=list

A FURTHER NOTE: Contributions are NOT tax deductible!

Edited by Old Toad
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  • 2 months later...

I am pleased to report that we raised $2,100 and that I have contracted for our billboards, which should reach 1/2 - 3/4 million cars daily!

Text:

WHO IS JOHN GALT?

OBJECTIVIST SOCIETY .COM

Locations:

I-35 S.B. @Beltline (200,000 cars/day) (for 2 days);

Central S.B. @ LBJ (250,000 cars/day) for 2 days);

Dallas N. Tollway @ Maple (130,000 cars/day) (for 3 days).

Dates:

Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2007

Thursday, Sept. 20, 2007

Friday, Sept. 21, 2007 (Extra day on Dallas N. Tollway)

We plan to take some pictures of the billboards while they are up and will post them here.

I have no idea what kind of response we will receive, but we are optimistic about reaching people who have already read "Atlas Shrugged" and might be interested in visiting an Objectivist discussion and social group.

Edited by Old Toad
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  • 4 weeks later...

I hope it succeeds. Let us know.

I am afraid two days might not be long enough for that; I seem to recall hearing somewhere that an advertisement had to be seen three times before it has an effect. (If that is the case, perhaps seven days at one location rather than two-three days at one location would have worked better.)

On the other hand, maybe some people will see more than one of the billboards (I am ignorant of Dallas geography so I don't know how likely this is).

Best of luck!

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softwareNerd,

I will give some feedback in a few days.

Meanwhile, I am immediately seeing some searches via my Google advertising on the keywords "John Galt" and now getting a high click-through rate on those. These track searches that go directly to our Meetup.com website rather than being redirected through ObjectivistSociety.Com. I expect these Google searches are mostly by people who are just curious about the line "Who is John Galt?" Other relevant Google keyword searches are also being made, but are more scattered as to the keywords.

(FYI, as we are a local group, I limit our Google advertising on keyword searches to computers connected through ISP addresses in the Dallas - Ft. Worth local area, so you would probably not be able to see my Google advertising elsewhere.)

We can independently track clicks through the domain ObjectivistSociety.Com, which may indicate the most direct response to the billboards. But I think most response may still go through a search engine like Google because those who are interested will probably not be sure about remembering the name correctly. Unfortunately, I cannot track hits to our "Welcome" page on Meetup's website because for some reason it does not allow me to put any kind of counter on that page, but will on others. I am sure there are better tracking systems we could set up, but I am also sure will will be able to get some sense of the success of these billboards.

Steve,

I decided to spread the billboards around rather than go for longer hang time at one location. Two will be up for two days, and one of them will be up for three days. I think having the opportunity to be seen by 1/2 - 3/4 million for shorter time outweighs the benefit of being seen by at most 250,000 people for only a few extra days hang time. But I am not an advertising expert. Let's at least hope people who have read Atlas Shrugged and may be interested in Objectivism are paying attention those days!

In response to your question, I expect few people will drive past more than one of the billboards on any given day because of how far apart they are from one another and because they are on divergent freeway spokes relative to the hub of downtown Dallas.

Also, I don't expect that the results will all come in immediately. A person may see the billboard and be intrigued, but not check into it for a while. I have some trend info for how many people sign up for NTOS, and I would be glad to see an up-tick over the next few weeks.

Perhaps even more important than direct response, though, is that putting up these billboards inspires us. I am certainly glad to see them!

Edited by Old Toad
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So far, we have picked up at least two members in direct response to the billboards, and probably 3 - 4 members (though I am not sure about the source on two of them). Here are two direct and positive responses:

"Hello! I was tickled to death to see a billboard with "Who is John Galt?" on SB 35 @ Belt Line. I yearn to be around people who have similar views as my own!" -- Chris R.

"Just saw your billboard at the tollway heading out of downtown. Great reminder of what is out there to be had!" -- Randall R.

I don't have great data sources or tracking, but locally (where I advertise on Google) I have seen about 4 times the rate of Google searches on the keywords "Who is John Galt" and "John Galt," too, but those are probably mostly of people just curious about the billboards who have not read Atlas Shrugged.

So we have learned at least this: Such a billboard up for just two or three days can yield one interested person to sign up as a member who has not otherwise ever heard of us.

Additional discussion by a few of our NTOS members on our local message board can be viewed at http://aynrand.meetup.com/71/messages/boar...489978#11544434

Edited by Old Toad
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We gained another interesting member from the billboard campaign, and I take the liberty of cross-posting her introduction to us here:

Dagny wrote:

Good evening.....

First of all, yes, Dagny is my real name :P My parents named me after Dagny Taggart :)

Soooooo you can only imagine my shock and amazement to see the billboard with "Who is John Galt" staring at me as I drove down Soutbound 75 a couple of weeks ago.

I was hoping to make the 10/13 meeting, but we have a company retreat scheduled for that weekend and I have been summoned to take pictures by my daughter as that is her homecoming weekend. Hopefully, I will be able to make future events...

I look forward to meeting other people who follow Ayn Rand's work. It will be nice to be around people that I do not have to explain "Where did your name come from?"..... If only I had a dollar for every time that question was asked....

;)

http://aynrand.meetup.com/71/messages/boar...set=10#11704463

It looks like we have another three-generation family in NTOS!

Edited by Old Toad
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