Clarksdale, MS

Frank Robinson’s classic “Coca-Cola” script is still working. It’s been decades since this was painted and it’s still making me want a Coke. To give you an idea of how old this ad is, look at the subscript. The whole thing reads “Coca-Cola Bottled”, meaning this ad went up at a time when consumers needed to be informed that they could buy soft drinks in bottles and not just from their local drugstore soda fountains. This ad is ancient.

Today’s billboards aren’t intended to stay up for more than a couple months, which is good because I don’t think most of them could withstand the rapidly changing styles of the next few years, let alone decades. Go outside and count the number of billboards you think will appeal to your grandkids when they’re faded to illegibility and cobwebbed in vines like this one. Your hipster grandkid will like them ironically, but that rascal is a disgrace to your family and deserves NO money in his birthday card. None.

The fact that the people of Clarksdale have never banded together to paint over this Coke ad, or the green one below it, is a testament to the designers who made them.