This week I drove the 750 miles down Interstate 95 from the New York City area into South Carolina. I like driving and don’t make 11 hour drives with any regularity. Since it’s long the scenery is not always riveting I seem to notice roadside advertising – and that’s the point right? OOH (out-of-home) continues to be an active marketing channel to help build brands.
As we drove beyond Washington DC deep into Virginia I noticed there were almost no signs for Starbucks. This was even more so the case in North Carolina. Prior to that it seemed every rest area had a Starbucks sign. In fact I was surprised to notice that it seems to me that there are not as many billboards as there used to be. This is not a bad thing in any way but for me was unexpected. Dunkin’ Donuts was only slightly more in evidence. That same thing could not be said for McDonald’s and Wendy’s (strangely I did not notice as many Burger King signs).
I did not see many electronic billboards on this drive overall but nearly none in after I passed Richmond. The section of the road from Richmond into South Carolina had extremely light traffic on this occasion during a midweek afternoon. What began to dawn on me was how similar things looked over an 11 hour drive except for the trees and vegetation. Connecticut looks something like North Carolina, at least along the side of the road. Ok maybe you cannot get to Waffle House in Connecticut so the brands may change but the song remains the same. I think I might have heard that somewhere before.
Is the United States is becoming so homogenous that it’s becoming kind of boring?