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DOOH Billboard Network Starts Running The Onion’s Satirical News Headlines

LA-based digital OOH network operator WOW Media has started running snarky, satirical headlines from The Onion on big digital boards around the sprawling city.

“We’re always looking for a new way to get our content in front of our clients and partners in the entertainment industry. I can hardly think of a better place to reach world-class programming and development executives than when they’re stuck in LA’s world-class traffic,” muses Joe Fullman, VP Marketing for The Onion.

WOW Media’s outdoor network includes nine big billboards situated on key surface streets en route to LAX and The Forum, plus two new two-sided 20’ x 60’ digital billboards along Interstate 405, the nation’s busiest freeway.

“We are all huge fans of The Onion and the way they so cleverly and ironically filter current events,” says Scott Krantz, Founder and CEO of WOW Media. “We’re very excited for this unique partnership with The Onion and to help them reach their audience in brand new ways, and to expand the type of content we showcase on our network.”

Content will run regularly each hour on a “space-available basis.”

The Onion has some funny stuff, but not at all sure about this. Subscription news feeds work best when the content is tailored to the medium, and curated as it is by companies like Screenfeed.

A look at the RSS feed – the likely source for content if automation is involved – shows a widely varied length of headlines, and a mix of headlines that are pure satire and others that are true, and not funny. Some of the stuff is also inappropriate and over the line, like:

World Populace Actually Fine With Rich People Dying On Mount Everest

This followed by:

Theresa May Resigns As U.K. Prime Minister

Which really happened five days ago …

Then:

World Health Organization Director-General Classifies Gaming Disorder As Disease After Son Spends Beautiful Day Inside Playing ‘Overwatch’

Too many words to read and absorb, and not exactly dashboard-slapping funny.

And then there’s:

Nancy Pelosi Slams Edited Footage With Claim That When She’s Drunk You’ll Fucking Know It

Which is inappropriate and if it was on billboards, would generate complaints.

And so on …

Anyway, hat tip for trying something different, but for this to work, either Wow or Onion staff will need to be hands-on, sorting through the feed for material that’s genuinely funny, the right length, and somehow doesn’t offend at least some motorists. Not a gig I’d want.

Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than 12 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Dave Haynes

@sixteennine

13-year-old blog & podcast about digital signage & related tech, written by consultant, analyst & BS filter Dave Haynes. DNA test - 90% Celt/10% Viking. 😏😜🍺
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