The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The billboard issue

Much has been made in the Journal's Two Sentences feature and in the letters to the editor about billboards in general and in some instances, about billboards I designed for The Buffalo Chip.

FIRST: If there are too many billboards in Rapid City, the city and state should do something about it. They aren't doing much about it and billboard advertising works...specifically for rally-related advertising where tourism guests cannot (or will not) access other advertising media. Outdoor media are among the most effective when trying to reach the hundreds of thousands of bikers who are riding through town or down Interstate 90.

SECOND: Much seems to have been made because I used a bikini-clad lady to draw attention to the billboards. I've been doing that for 19 years, and this is the first year anyone objected. In one case, someone actually suggested that one of the billboards featured a "bare-chested"..."teen" model holding a beer.

As anyone can see, the model is not bare-chested. Neither is she a teen. She is in fact a 37-year-old, health care professional who is a happily married Rapid City mother of two lovely kids.

Beer commercials have for many years featured nice-looking women in bikinis, perhaps the most memorable being Old Milwaukee's Swedish Bikini Team shown near the top of this post.

Of course, I'm sure the Journal poster thought he saw a bare chested girl on our billboard. He obviously has a dirty mind. The fact remains, there are few things more refreshing on a scorching summer day than a cold beer and a hot woman.

I make no apologies for using the image of a wholesome young woman in a bikini advertising a biker event where there are many many customers in similar bikinis. Are we all really that confused about sexuality?


larry kurtz said...

Allahu akbar, Mike; you have a keen eye for beauty. What about photoshopping Snooki Noem's face on a piece of art?


Bill Fleming said...

Are bare chested women "dirty" Michael? (Just noticing you said the guy had a "dirty mind" for imagining that he saw one. You were just kidding, right? Right?)

Ken G said...

I wonder if the same folks are complaining about the Old Spice fella. I see my Mrs. bought me bottle of Old Spice bath wash the other day. Perhaps some of the ladies in town were treated to a ZZ Top concert thanks to your ads Michael :)

Donna said...

If we had a billboard of that Old Spice guy I'd be taking the long way home every day ! Your billboards are just fine, Michael. You have always maintained a level of good taste in them. And you have had some drop dead beautiful girls to work with ! Apprently there isn't anything else to complain about right now. Though I do hear that down in the German tent there are people writhing on the floor to do the crocodile dance- whatever is this world coming to ??

Wayne Gilbert said...

There was a country western song that they used to play on KBFS radio in Belle Fourche when I was growing up there--"Oh I love the girl wearing nothing but a smile
and a towel in the picture on the billboard in the field near the big old highway."

taco said...

These prudes should go to Europe - public television has nudity on it EVERY night. When the nudity/lesbian scenes were on, I, of course, quickly adverted my eyes and used it as a choice excuse to study my bible which teaches that public nudity is strictly forbidden.

Bob Newland said...

To answer your ultimate question, Mike, I AM confused. But that's not news.

One implication of your post is that the Buffalo Chip's image is meant to be at least as wholesome as that of the beer companies. Well, that hasn't been too tough to achieve.

The guy who imagined he saw a nipple on a BufChip billboard DID have a dirty mind. Not because he thought he saw a nipple, but because he thought he saw a nipple and thought that was a bad thing.

Bill Fleming said...

Yes, I see what you mean, Bob. For example, among the series of suggestive pictures Mike posted, I'm imagining that I see two little nipples on the very first picture in the Lorelei beer poster, and they look absolutely filthy to me. What a disgusting reprobate I am.

I can't believe Mike actually put that picture up there. It is so intensely suggestive, it actually seems to be causing me to visually hallucinate.

I guess maybe that's why he calls this an "adult" site, though, huh?

hopeful said...

Can you post some more of those posters? And please make them bigger, my eyes are not what they use to be. If there really are nipples showing, I want to see them.

Michael Sanborn said...

On the whole, gentlemen, I'd like to go on record as confirming that I like nipples.

Bob and Bill are right, the man who thought he saw a bare-chested woman had a dirty mind because he thought bare chests are a bad thing.

Bill Fleming said...

I like some nipples better than others. Mine, for example don't do much for me. They kinda just sit there.