Billboards & Burma Shave


Ah, the open road! Breathtaking views, epic destinations, and no shortage of unique attractions along the way. As American roadways increased, so did the number of billboards, business opportunities, and….sales of shaving cream?

What the heck Is Burma Shave!

The history of Burma Shave signs on American roadways is a story of the evolution of advertising and the changing American landscape.

In 1925, William Painter, founder of Burma-Vita Company, was looking for a new way to advertise his product. Painter had been making shaving cream since 1894 and wanted to find a way to reach more customers. He came up with the idea of using roadside signs. The Burma-Shave signs were a series of very short, humorous poems that were written on small, rectangular signs and placed about 100 yards apart along the highway. The final sign was always, simply "Burma Shave"

The campaign was an instant hit, gaining recognition and popularity into the 30s, 40s, and 50s, at which time it cemented it’s place in history as a full blown American phenomenon. Although the original signs are extremely rare today, the name and style live on. "Burma,” as it is sometime called, can be seen along private roads, festival entrances, and the occasional dusty highway, entertaining and informing everyone who passes by.

Billboards on the Information Superhighway

Billboards, like Burma Shave are successful because they take the marketing message to where the customers are. In the 50s, customers were on the Interstate. Today, they’re online. But just like the billboards along Route 66, online billboards only work if they’re on the right roads. Leading people to a destination they have the time, ability, and desire to reach.

Take a minute. Think of all of the interesting destinations you’ve passed along the Interstate because they were too far out of your way. Think about the more convenient ones right along the highway. Perhaps you made it to more of those. Perhaps not, because there still wasn’t enough time.

How many would you have gone to if time and distance weren’t an issue? Which ones would you visit now?

The thing about your Architectural Salvage store, is that it’s a destination. Absolutely. That isn’t a question. But what is, is how are you advertising for it, and how far out of my way do I have to go to get there? To see what you have to offer, and to take a piece of it home?

If your online presence is just a billboard, the answer is still in miles. If it’s a fully functional online store, the answer shifts instantly & conveniently into minutes. Allowing travelers from all over this beautiful country of ours the opportunity to visit, to shop, to have any number of special items delivered to their door, without ever having to get off the highway.

To all of those business owners who have "gone online” before. Who were sold a beautiful billboard, on a highway too far from home, we would like to invite you back. To join us once more, as the American landscape evolves again.  Let’s work together to create an online destination your customers can visit 24/7 without any stops or detours.   

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