Silicon Valley is so flush with cash, tech companies are assaulting motorists' eyes with billboards of emaciated engineers for the fuck of it. Bloomberg reports that highway billboards have returned as a coveted status symbol for tech's directionless marketing departments:
Billboard sales around the region are undergoing a renaissance, as the old-school advertising format benefits from the technology froth, with companies jockeying for their piece of skyline fame and attention. Demand for a billboard along the traffic-snarled 101 freeway between San Francisco and San Jose, California, which billboard sellers refer to as the "gold coast," is so high that some companies are on a six-month waiting list. [...]
Trading pixels for 50-foot signs along the highway is reminiscent of the late 1990s dot-com boom, when startups flush with cash used billboards to gain notice from peers and prove their legitimacy. That atmosphere is back, with companies such as Uber Technologies Inc., Airbnb Inc. and others all valued at $10 billion or more and spurring new billboard spending.
That six-month waiting list for billboards is driving record profits for billboard owners. One company with approximately 40 billboards says they're expecting to earn $6 million from tech companies alone this year.
Companies like Dice are squandering upwards to $40,000 per month for just one advertisement. Their latest campaign turns coders into sex symbols. "We wanted to make people smile when they were stuck in traffic," a Dice's VP of marketing told Bloomberg.
"The people you see, they aren't models, they're real engineers."