Racy Billboard Brings Big Ratings for Bull


With the land of billboard advertising getting more and more cluttered, the only way for any campaign to get noticed it has to seriously break through the clutter. CBS managed to do just that with their new racy billboards located in New York and Los Angeles. CBS Marketing Group was trying to tap into the Fifty Shades of Grey audience by offering them a provocative and unexpected preview for their new television series, Bull, which stars the former NCIS star, Michael Weatherly. The timing for this ad was notably executed right around the premiere of the new, Fifty Shades Darker, film. These billboards, while being considered provocative, help solve CBS’s problem with releasing another television program in the highly saturated crime-drama genre.

This ad makes sense for the show because Michael Weatherly, the star of this series, just recently left another crime-drama program, NCIS. Weatherly was loved by much of the female audiences for his good looks and charm, as well as the male audience because of his witty banter and extensive movie references. This ad is also in line with the release of the next installment of the Fifty Shades of Grey series.

The value this billboard creates is purely entertainment, from the message’s content to the actual program it is advertising, people are meant to be entertained. The benefits for using billboards are that they are highly mobile. Billboards are able to catch people’s attention as they drive home from work. With CBS choosing to use a racy slogan, also helps cut through the clutter, becoming memorable and creating conversation. Overall, CBS should be able to measure the success of this campaign based on an increase or decrease in viewership of their new program.