A Tale of Billboard Brilliance

Brain, Meet Heart
Brain, Meet Heart

I love it when marketing inspiration comes from unexpected sources. Billboards aren't typically a place I look for wisdom or insight. Occasionally, I'll be struck by a clever turn-of-phrase, but for the most part, I consider "outdoor advertising" to be a nuisance that junks up the landscape.

Darn it if I wasn't sideswiped by a real gem along Highway 70, though. While driving this thoroughfare from downtown St. Louis to my suburban home, three simple words jumped out and grabbed me by the throat.


I wrenched my neck to see what enterprise stood behind these words. At first, I figured it must be some local hospital, advertising its "world-class, patient-centered heart center.”

Not so fast.

On closer inspection, I discovered the source was Southern Illinois University.

Yes, this institute of higher learning avoided the temptation of touting its accreditation, rankings or faculty credentials.

Instead, the university focused on something that probably resonates much more with budding young collegians (let alone this fortysomething cynic): its humanity.

With one punchy phrase, SIU communicates volumes about the college experience it promises its students.

Southern Illinois University: Where learning (BRAIN) converges with everything else you care about (HEART).  A.K.A…Love...Friendship...Support...Fun...Encouragement...Laughter...etc., etc.



And on the other end of the Billboard inspiration spectrum, we have the folks from UglyHouses.com