Now that Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is quickly approaching, I feel that it is only appropriate to reflect and/or complain about all of the driving I have done and will continue to do in the coming weeks.
Going to school at UNC is the greatest except for the fact that I am from southwest Florida, and when I say southwest, I mean SOUTHwest. I am talking about 14+ hours of my life spent in a car (each way) in order to see my lovely family and friends, which can be mentally and physically exhausting.
Through my multiple trips down the east coast to see my fam, I have discovered some of the most interesting, troubling, and downright random billboards. I am not talking just strange products or names, I am talking just wacky random nonsense that is advertised in abundance throughout the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida.
So, if you are headed down south for the winter like this Florida gal, here are some of these glorious advertisements you can look forward to seeing over and over again!
1. Yams, yams, YAMSSSS
As I hinted at above, South Carolina is crazy about their yams, and other canned foods in general. Dotted all down the highway are billboards like these raving about the delicacies that are canned yams and butter beans. Now I don't know about you, but I have never eaten a canned yam and this billboard just isn't selling me on eating one any time soon.
2. Oh the Gator Heads.....
This is probably one of the lower points in my life as a Floridian. These billboards are scattered around the entrance of Florida, and let me tell you, they aren't kidding about the free orange juice, but make sure to get there before 5pm.
What strikes me about this sign is the casual nature of advertising gator heads. Yes, gator heads are exactly what you are thinking, preserved heads of dead alligators. I understand it is our state animal and they are cool, but do we really need to go on selling these pseudo fossils??
3. A Helping of Pecans
When I saw this billboard, I missed the tiny "lb" below the price of pecan meal. Therefore, when I read this billboard, I legitimately thought they were advertising an entire meal of pecans, which to be honest, would not be that far of a stretch for southerners. With the amount of pecan advertisements that run up and down the coast, I'm surprised we aren't all enjoying helpings upon helpings of the dually pronounced nut.
4. Hampton Inn Breakfast: A Must Have (???)
Alright these ones really get me. There are a variety of these Hampton Inn billboards along the interstate, and they all include some kind of "enticing" combination of wifi and breakfast. I've seen some with waffles, some with just syrup, and now this play on words. Honestly, these billboards would totally do the trick if we weren't all avid Expedia users...
Alright, I am going to throw out a disclaimer and say that I am in no way trying to offend any Christians by including this billboard, it was honestly just one of the more shocking ones I encountered.
That being said, there are plenty of Christianity related billboards on my path down south, I mean it is the Bible Belt after all, but y'all, this one takes the cake. I mean I really can't decide whether to focus on the photoshop or the man portraying Jesus, or the fact that "Jesus" is put in italics as if it were a signature...
Either way, for those of you wondering, no, I have not visited the website, nor do I intend to. If any of you are brave enough please leave a comment below because I would love to live vicariously through your bravery.
6. Did You Know North Carolina Exports Furniture??
Alright, so if you didn't know, the tar heel state specializes in a few different products for export, and furniture is one of them. You may be asking why the heck this billboard is included in this list, but you have to trust me when I say that every other billboard on the highway in NC looks just like this one. Places like IKEA and Rooms To Go are not advertised, simply stand alone furniture stores trying to make a go of it in the booming North Carolina industry.
Poll: how many people visit these stand alone furniture stores annually? What are their profit margins?
7. Everyone's Favorite: South of the Border
I could not write an article about billboards in the south without including the one, the only, South of the Border.
I have had the privilege of stopping at South of the Border a number of times in my life, and I am proud to say that I have been up to the top of the sombrero water tower TWICE.
That being said, if you are traveling on I-95 in the Carolinas, you will not be able to ignore billboards just like these plastered all over the interstate. There is a wide variety of these Pedro sponsored ads, but this one has to be my favorite.
If you have not been to South of the Border, you must go for it is an experience I hold very near and dear to my heart. Now, I never said it was a necessarily positive experience, but it is certainly unforgettable either way.
Well, there you have it, folks. The next time you are migrating south for the winter, keep an eye out for some of these marketing gems.