| Thursday April 24th 2014

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“Single?” Lawn Signs Conquer the American Landscape


This is a good, and really thoroughly researched, expose on the company behind those annoying lawn signs… I always see those signs around the city but I thought it was just some small scale operation.

Single? yard signOver the past two years, I have developed a growing fascination with lawn signs.  Not the ones advertising politicians or plumbers, but the ones advertising websites.  Dating websites.

These signs are so prevalent in my area that I decided to launch a private investigation into who was behind them and just how far they stretched.  What I found started in my small home town and led me all the way to the secret guerrilla marketing infrastructure of a multimillion-dollar company…

Background:
In the fall of 2007, I was about a year into an Analyst gig at a large web-focused private equity firm.  My job description was simple: do whatever it takes to find interesting companies who are making lots of money on the internet.

During this time, every radio commercial, billboard, and t-shirt bearing a domain name held a special meaning: it represented an opportunity to find the next big deal.  As you can imagine, the same names kept popping up again and again.  I was looking for new deals everywhere.

One weekend, I trekked down to South Jersey to visit my parents in my hometown of Glassboro.  The town sits about 30 minutes southeast of Philadelphia and has a population of less than 20,000.  As I drove past my old high school, my deal-hunting subconscious noticed something bizarre.  Stuck in the grass by the curb was a white lawn sign about a foot tall with a very simple message in black Times New Roman: “Single? www.GlassboroSingles.ORG”

Read more…

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