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Oct. 21, 2021

Episode 081 - The Trojan Billboard w/ Garrett Crenshaw & David Oakley

Episode 081 - The Trojan Billboard w/ Garrett Crenshaw & David Oakley

Out of Home at its finest in this episode!  Insider, Garrett Crenshaw, President at Crenshaw Visions, and David Oakley, Chief Creative Officer at BooneOakley, chat about their provoking pro-vaccine digital billboard that has gone viral and taken the internet by storm. 

In collaboration with StarMed Healthcare, BooneOakley and Crenshaw Visions created a mobile digital billboard aiming to make vaccine information more readily available. The advertisement, disguised as an anti-vax message from a faux funeral home, leads to a website promoting vaccination and providing further information through a link to the StarMed Healthcare site.


  • Boone & Oakley utilized an unconventional approach when developing the “Don’t Get Vaccinated” mobile LED truck. Their goal was to stun viewers and encourage vaccination.
  • Location is essential to a successful out-of-home campaign. Pinpoint the best location by finding the most saturated area of your target audience.
  • “If we got one person vaccinated it was worth my time.” ~David Oakley 
  • In the first week the campaign launched, StarMed Healthcare received a 28% increase in vaccinations.
  • The market for mobile out-of-home is quickly increasing. Mobile billboards present your brand and physically get in front of your target audience.


Special thanks to OneScreen.so for making this show possible. Check out OneScreen.ai and learn How to Beat Facebook with Billboards at www.onescreen.ai

Looking for your next job in OOH? Start here: www.oohired.com


Welcome back to another episode of out of home insider, have you heard the one about the vaccine billboard truck, whether you have, or you haven't today's episode is all about how to use a simple idea, clever copywriting, an out of home to create an all pun intended viral campaign. Join creative director of Boone, Oakley David Boone and Crenshaw vision's founder, Garrett Crenshaw.

As we unpack the story of the don't get vaccinated Wilmore funeral home mobile billboard truck campaign that has taken the internet by storm. And if you're looking for a creative way to use mobile billboard trucks and your next campaign, visit one screen at AI and schedule it. You'll learn all about how to use mobile billboard trucks for your next campaign, from their capabilities to pricing, to availability and best practices.

Visit one screen.ai and schedule a demo today. Or if you're a media owner, what is it? One screen.ai and click get listed to be featured in the first ever free public access directory for all things. Without further ado. Let's go welcome everybody to the out-of-home insider show, a podcast like no other hosted by the one and only Tim Rowe.

You ready to have some knowledge dropped on. You went to be entertained because nothing is more valuable than food for your brain. So sit back, relax. We're about to dive in as the best industry podcast is the bathroom.

Some folks are just sitting around on their couch. Wondering, gosh, I wonder if Tim's going to go live without a homeless center today? Uh, well, if you were, we are, because we've got a heck of a story here. Garish Gare Crenshaw. Welcome back, David Oakley. Welcome for the first time to the podcast, you guys have beta made quite a little stir down there and the Carolina.

Kara what's going on. I w I would say we have a, yeah, it's been good, man. It's just, just, it's been a, been a wildfire, as we say, but to, uh, give the props to David on the creativity and, and he he's, as I've done some research, he's been in the game for a little bit. So he's, he's, he's deserved, it deserved the props and, uh, and the campaign that he's launched and I'm just glad to be a part of it.

And, um, He's just saying I'm an old guy. No, no. I'm just giving you, giving you your flowers. They would say, oh, it seems like just getting started. I remember I was sitting up, I dunno, late at night. What time was it? Care? Like 1130 at night. And I saw a picture on Twitter that said, don't get vaccinated. I'm like looking at the truck.

I'm like, gosh, it looks a lot like one of Garrett's trucks. Cause you've got such a unique look. I don't, I haven't seen anyone else. Anyone else with trucks that looked like yours? Not zoomed in. Crenshaw visions. I'm like, I know that guy. I know that guy, this seems like something that's going to go viral.

So if you haven't seen it or if you're, if you're, if you're tuning in on audio, um, this is all about the don't get vaccinated. Mobile led truck. Garrett Crenshaw David Oakley, the two masterminds brought this together. Um, David, you haven't been here before. Garrett has, uh, why, why don't you introduce yourself to the audience?

Okay. Um, I'm David Oakley, Korea director of boon, Oakley. Uh, we're an ad agency. In Charlotte. Uh, we, we specialize in doing things that, uh, get noticed, talked about and shared. That's what we're really about. Um, uh, and, and this one certainly. That happened. And, you know, we, we took on this project as a passion project at the agency.

Um, and we wanted to work with, um, star med who, uh, has vaccinated more people in Mecca, BARR county than anybody, any of the other healthcare systems. And I got my vaccine, there are several other people did, but they, they have a great social media presence and we wanted to work with them. And we actually, um, we're thinking about it one morning, we had an ID.

About how we could, you know, say, get vaccinated in a different way. And that's kinda how it started. And anyway, uh, yeah, it, it, it's a brilliant idea. So, you know, naturally we've got to go no more. It's the simplest copy, which is typically the trademark of a great campaign just as don't get vaccinated will more funeral home.

You've got the shirt on. I got to get my hands on one of those more funeral home. Is it a real funeral home? Like what's the tie in that? Well, it's not a real funeral home. And the idea came about, um, I was, we were talking with another, um, person who works here, Mary Gross, a writer. And, you know, we were trying to think about like, who benefits, you know, from people not being vaccinated or who benefits.

I mean, it's kind of morbid, but who benefits when people pass away? And it's like, the business of funeral homes do well. And we're like, oh, well maybe, you know, you know, the funeral home should say. We don't want your business get vaccinated. And you know, that was the first thought and that's kind of the idea behind it, but we decided to flip it and have the funeral home, just come out and blatantly say, don't get vaccinated.

Because number one, just those three words are so polarizing and so shocking. And there are a lot of people who, and understandably, there are both sides to this that don't want to get vaccinated. And I'm surprised there hasn't been more of a campaign on that side, but so when people first see this message.

They do think it's a, it's a campaign saying being serious about don't get vaccinated and then, and people react with like, what is that? And then they look down and see that it's sponsored by a funeral home, which is like, what in the world is that now is that real is, oh my God, a funeral home is actually trying to profit off of this, you know?

And then, you know, I think the, the, the thing that makes this really good and it, to me is. The combination of, of using outdoor, which is, as I said before, my favorite medium, but this, the, the web address on this linking to, um, the Wilmore funeral home homepage, uh, w is what sends it over the edge. Because when you go to the homepage, it says there's a button that says, get vaccinated now.

Or we'll see you soon. And then it's like, what is this? And then, then you click to it and it takes you to star mat, which so you can make an appointment immediately. That's I mean, it's a pretty simple idea. Um, all based on a great outdoor execution and a mobile execution. Did you know that it was going to go on a truck when you came up with the idea w how you knew where you're going to take it out, out of home, how did you decide on a mobile led truck?

Well, it's funny because, um, we actually thought like, oh wow, could we do this on a, um, is this something that you could use as a banner ad, some kind of ad online? And we're like, no. And we actually looked into doing it as a more traditional billboard. And we looked into that a little bit here in Charlotte and we kept thinking about it and we're like, you know, Know, if it's on a highway it's great and outdoors.

Great. As I said, I love outdoor. We felt like, um, a mobile billboard would let us, um, move it around and go right to where our audience was. And we kept thinking, where would there be a great audience? And we're like, well, what about. You know, book tailgating before a Carolina Panthers football game. And there was just, you know, thousands and thousands of people on the street, like hanging out.

And this is the perfect place, the perfect medium to drive around and just be in front of a lot of different people. So then you call Garrett. Did you have, have you guys worked together before? Is this the first time, the first time y'all work together? So, so, so Gary, your phone rings, which has been doing a lot of recently, we'll talk about some of the media buzz y'all y'all have created, but your phone rings and David's got this wild idea.

What, you know, as a media owner, these are decisions that you're faced with all the time of, is this a message that I run? Is it not right? I have a obligation to. The people's spaces, Rick Robinson so beautifully puts it, you know, how do you, how do you respond? Well, you know, uh, uh, took the call from David and he said, Hey, this is, uh, you know, kind of gave me his background and whatnot.

And he said, I wanna, he kind of gave me the idea of the ad and, um, he's going to send it to me afterwards. And I said, well, you know, like any other app. I want to take a look at it before, you know, long as it doesn't go against my morals or my ethics or my religious beliefs or, or what have you, um, you know, we should be good to go.

So he said, well, it is a little, I think the word he uses racy, or I can't remember the exact word he used, but, um, I got the ad and he kind of explained to me the underlying message of it. And I understood what he was, what he was, what he was wanting to accomplish. So I was good to go with it. And, um, and then when the campaign started, it was, it was lit literally within, probably an hour and a half.

And my, the guy, my wow. So you drive out there Sunday, it was this. Yeah, Sunday game in my head out there in the morning of the game I had, I had one of my, uh, driver drops. So I wasn't, I was actually out of town. Um, but he didn't make that mistake. It gets on it's on Twitter now. And, uh,  someone posted it and he said, We're getting some Oregon, some lows, you know, good and bad, you know, cause peoples had that time to take it in.

And, and like you said, it was getting to people's faces right in the tailgating areas and, and, uh, it, it just kept going and it was, it was unbelievable. But as far as you know, the conversation with David. To me, I understand, uh, understood the underlying message of what he was trying to get across and, you know, in our business and my business, you know, I'm just here to provide a service for our clients.

You know, I'm not here to choose a side or tell someone to do a certain thing or not. You know? Uh, my, my first job is to, is to deliver on my business and my service. And that's what I tried to. Take pride on and my business being as transparent as possible to, to anybody to say, Hey, we can, or we can't do this.

And, um, so we, you know, like I said before, and, uh, and, and a couple other interviews or, or people that has asked me, we were for freedom of speech and I think. David used that very, very heavy and, and, uh, and get it and got it to exactly the results that he was was looking for. Actually, he probably didn't think it was going to be this, this wildfire, but Hey, it's been a, it's been a good, it's been a good run and it's gotten a ton of media attention.

I did a Google search before. I think it gives it still got it up here. Um, just vaccine billboard truck. You've you're like the first few pages, at least there's 47,000 results. I don't know if they're all yours, cause I'm sure that those, uh, those are all of the varying keywords in there, but, uh, this has gone.

Um, beyond viral. I mean, this has gone absolutely haptic. Yeah. I mean, it was, it was, it was unreal. And like the first interview we did with WBTV and Charlotte, he was asking me how many phone calls at that time. It was probably a couple of hundred, but throughout the whole week, um, I'm not, I'm not sure exactly how many I want to talk to my Verizon.

And see how many calls I got. It was north of five, 600 during the, I mean, it was a hundred, a hundred a day. It was media requests, inquiries. I'm sure. Correct, Greg. And there was a, in like a David said, you know, Having the, you know, my voicemail was, was full at at the time. And I didn't realize that. And he's like that might've caused more stir in attention.

All these media Allis, they're trying to figure out who is behind this, behind this, this, uh, this campaign. And, um, but once I got the, the, um, the voicemails cleared up, they, they started rolling in for sure, for sure. I'm everywhere. I mean, it was, it was from the west coast, east coast. I mean, south. I mean, it was.

It was, it was every state possible, just trying to get on to get information and understand what, what, what this is about. And this is honestly powerful to have a hot take like this, obviously when you're talking to something that is powerful as, as you know, COVID and things like that, that, you know, it was just become so political and all this it's just a very hot topic right now and it causes a stir.

So we, we definitely. Continued to call continued and, and, uh, the stir of the audience and, and, and people wanted to understand what was behind it. So I'm here trying to explain, explain exactly what it, what it was, and it's a pro vaccination campaign. So that's what I lead with. So, you know, we're, we're proud to be a part of it.

And, and, and honestly are, you know, humbled by the, the, the moment of getting the attention that we, that we've got. I can agree with you more Derek I'm, I'm completely humbled by it. And like, holy moly, we had no idea that this would take off. Like it did all I was hoping for. It honestly was just like the message to get out there.

Some people to talk about it. And maybe we can get like maybe one person vaccinated because to me, if we got one person vaccinated, it was worth my time. It was worth the money we spent on it. It was all worth it. Um, and it's been much more than that to go back to what Garrett was saying. Like the first day, like, you know, on Sunday, you know, when it's left, you know, our parking lot at like 8 45 or whatever, Sunday morning before the game started going around.

Uh, I think it was probably around 10 o'clock. Uh, I got a. A text from one of the marketing directors over at storm at, or the head of social media at storm at Adam Hummel. And he's like, Holy moly, Rex Chapman just retweeted it. And he sent it to me and it said, Wilmore funeral home for the win. And I'm like, oh my God is, I mean, he's got a couple million followers.

Uh, this was going to blow up and I thought that that was it. He would get sent around on Twitter. I thought that that would kind of be it. And, you know, I went on and like tailgated and went through the Panthers game. It was kind of looking at my phone during the afternoon. Like you were at the game. I went to the games, I went to the game and, um, you know, I'm a big Panthers fan.

And anyway, uh, so what I, what Garrett was getting at is it's one of the unintended consequences of how this. It was kind of a gift is how it worked was one. He's got that big ass phone number on his truck. And I think that that is genius for that, for that to always be on it should always have a way to contact you.

But the fact that his voicemail quickly filled up and no one could get in touch with him added to the mystery of it. It's like, who is this from? What is this all about that? You know, they, they, they had gone to the website. Um, people, reporters, people who were curious about it, and then it linked them, the star.

So they contacted star med about it. And star med was like, well, you know, we're, you know, not sure about it, you know, we're not, they were trying to play it off. Like they didn't really know about it either. Uh, they knew about it. Let's just say that, but they were like cautious about it because you're putting a pretty provocative message out there.

And I completely understand, you know, their approach to it was really smart for their company as well. But what I loved that they did was that they had their own. Head of their physicians. They're number one, their top position. Um, send a quote out, basically saying that any message that is pro vaccination, I am a hundred percent behind and if it gets one person vaccinated, uh, it's a success.

So I support it. So that was him personally saying that. So that was a good thing, but it kept going and no one still knew what it was and Garrett's phone was getting blown up and I didn't, I woke up Monday morning. And it kinda hit me. Like, man, I can't, I feel so bad for Garrett. Cause he's probably like losing business because people can't get through to him.

Cause it's fun is all. Um, all busy and, um, uh, I, I called him Monday morning and I say, Garrett, um, you know, I I'm wondering if like some of those people that are calling might be reporters, so you kind of look at them if you hear from any reporters or anything, just, um, send them, send them my way, just tell them to call me, you know?

So he gave him my, I think the first one. That you gave the number two was I think, WBTV in Charlotte maybe, or it might've been Newsweek. This is, this is a fun, this is a funny, this is a kind of a funny story too, right? Quick as quick story. But you know, these calls kept coming in and, and I was like, I'm just, I'm just declining on because I need, I need to, you know, I'm just trying to, I'm still running a business to say, Hey, there they'll leave.

They'll leave a voicemail. It was an oddly, I answered probably that first Monday or, or I can't remember the day after it was, I probably answered maybe four or five or three or four of them. And one of them was WBTV and they just got through, it was just happened. There was just a happenstance that I did.

I answered that and yeah, but I answered there and then we did the interview on Monday and then once that had happened, it was on all Alison in that. And then I think that's when it went national after about Wednesday or Tuesday or Wednesday is when it is started picking. Uh, bigger, bigger news outlets, but just happened to answer WBTV call and out of three or four calls out of probably 120 that day.

And every, every billboard owner in America wishes that they had that same problem right now.

It's not all been business. There's been a lot of people just trying to understand the information, which I think was David. You know, campaign was a, what is the actual messages here? And that's, and that's so that's what we, I was, we were doing for the first couple of days, but, um, yeah, it was in business.

You always have to have, you always have to have your phone on. So, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm not, you know, I'm not for getting that many phone calls, it's just a part of business and that's what we do. You gotta take, you got to take care. So any, any idea, obviously, just, you know, we could look at this one and see to the pants, feel, say, Hey, this was a success.

It was absolutely a monster. Any idea on like how many impressions on mine, it generated across all the outlets or all of the media coverage. We're like just what's what's the feedback been like from star Matt David posts? I just got in right here. Let me look, look at the actual figure was given to me today, uh, that the total number of impressions is a shitload.

That's an exact unit of measure? Um, no. Um, the thing that's to me makes me really happy is that, um, storm it, and the first, what day is today? Wednesday in the first week or the first four days after compare it to the four days before they had a 22%, um, re rise in vaccinations that they. And over the first week, I just talked with them.

They were here about an hour ago, delivering these shirts, how they've been now for the first. Nine days after it, there they were up 28%, which is a lot of vaccinations. That's huge. So I feel like it was very successful from, from that point of view. And that, that really makes me happy. It makes me even more happy than all of the impressions, but I really believe that all the impressions led to that translate to I started, I started thinking about that too.

Cause you know that after the day and the days went on and I'm like, We should get some analytics behind this. And I started thinking about it and I'm like, after the first day, I'm like, there's, you know, you have a social media account, you know, a couple social media council on Twitter, this, you know, half a million to a million, you know, obviously there's organic impressions.

Then you have. News outlets on OTT, and then you have websites and things that not, not including the impressions that it got from the truck when it was there, the stadium with tens of thousands, you know, by the end of the week, I would say at least, you know, 10 million plus is, is, is way as what I would guess with all the outlets.

Uh, it was, it was astounding. I was just pulling up some, uh, Google trends stuff to see if there's anything crazy here. I dunno. We'll have to do a deeper analysis someday. This has been just an absolutely wild story. David, anything, uh, anything coming out next? What's the next big campaign out of, uh, out of Boone Oakley.

Where do you go? You all got to do, I have to kind of keep it under wraps until we bring it out, but I will tell you that. You know, a lot of our campaigns involve outdoor and I can't wait to work with Garrett again, he's got a great business going. He came highly recommended to me, and I think he needs to do more stuff up in Charlotte because I think it's a, it's a market that's ripe for more mobile outdoor.

And, um, I think that he will get a lot of, um, you'll get some new business out of this. Hopefully I'm thinking. I think so. Correct. I think, um, I'm, I'm excited to continue to work for them, work with you, David and, and, and the creativity of it and, and just continue to grow our business. And hopefully we can still get, we can get some national brands to see that, Hey, this mobile advertising is.

Is here and it's here to stay and, and I'm glad to be, you know, hopefully as, as, like you said in Charlotte, it's not as prominent, but you know, Crenshaw visions is here to help you. And then any way that we can, um, to deliver a message and I would recommend the use and David as a creativity messages. So if you need to creative director, I would definitely use Boone Oakley because obviously they, they shot, they shot the world and I support this message.

Yeah, it's been great. Having a new boss, Garrett, where do folks find you? I know we've got that. We've got the number on the, on the side here.  now they've got your number now, do you have a website? Do you even have  Crenshaw visions.com and it's at Crenshaw visions on all social media. All social media platforms and, or I'm so blessed to be a part of this and, and humbled, like we said before, and just can't wait for the future, uh, for the next year and to see how, see how much impact we can make.

Awesome. Great job, David, how do folks find Buena? Well, uh, if you'll move your head a little bit, they could see it behind you. It looks like there's a fire across the street, by the way. I don't, I have no idea. I just assumed there was a dumpster on fire across the street. Well, I don't know what it was, but I think that, um, the fact that, that photograph, we shot it.

And that was a quick decision on Sunday morning. That was right after the truck left the boon Oakley parking lot. And what's driving down the street and we called it right in front of the sign, which actually, honestly, I've got to figure out what that fire is. I've got to look at that. It looks like there's smoke in there.

It's very strange. He does. I don't think there was, I mean, oh, maybe people were grilling tailgating right there. Uh, I don't know. Or maybe that was just the start of it going viral. It could have been in

the beginning, maybe. That's awesome. All right. Well, it's been a lot of fun. We're going to cut the live stream here. So if you have tuned into this, thank you so much. Thanks for hanging out in the middle of the day as always make sure to subscribe, like follow, do all of those things and we'll see y'all next time.

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