Here's how Ashton Kutcher really won the Twitter war with CNN: digital billboards.
Lamar Advertising, the third-largest billboard company in the U.S., got all Twitterpated yesterday when it rolled out "Follow Ashton Kutcher" across its national network of 1,133 digital billboards with hours' notice.
The digital ads, rolled out as a pro bono offering from Lamar, were up nationwide by late afternoon and will likely remain live until this afternoon, after Oprah Winfrey plugs her new Twitter account on her eponymous talk show. "They were interested in helping out the cause, knowing that whoever won was going to donate a significant amount to malaria relief in Africa," said Jeff Golimowski, a spokesman for the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.
Mr. Golimowski said this was one of the fastest national responses the outdoor industry has made with a public service message, following industry-wide initiatives for amber alerts and the election of Barack Obama. No word yet on whether the Fail Whale popped up on the billboards of any rural markets with high volumes of Twitter traffic.
And for those keeping score, Ashton Kutcher had 1,035,751 and CNN had 1,016,319.