Artist’s billboards advertise… nothing but joy
Local artist Leonard Zimmerman (aka Porkchop), is causing a bit of stir this holiday season. Billboards all over town are making people smile. But that’s the point. He wants to spread happiness.
“I work in advertising, so we make band posters and gig posters and posters for this and that and advertisements for everything and I was just thinking, why not advertise something really simple,” Zimmerman explains. “Something that you don’t have to pay for — with what I do, what is the simplest message I can put out there? And I thought about getting a random smile from a complete stranger — and I knew how that could totally improve my day, and so — ‘be happy,’ or just simpler than that, just ‘happy’.”
The campaign began over the summer with occasional posters that simply said “happy,” being posted downtown.
“Earlier this summer,” he says, “I randomly just put up a ‘happy’ yellow poster — The general ‘happy’ is yellow — yellow with black. And I just started putting them up every once in a while in different places. Then as the holidays rolled in that’s when I started thinking of how to make this bigger. I made the holiday one, the red one with the Santa hat.”
So, the idea was to randomly spread happiness. But as he mentions, he wanted to make it bigger. This is where the billboards come in.
“Thanksgiving weekend,” he recalls, “I was like, ‘I wonder what would it take to move this up to the next level,’ so I sent an email to Stuart Rayburn, at Billboard Guru. That weekend I got a reply from him. He cut me a huge deal.”
“My idea was to put up one billboard,” says Zimmerman. “And then I met with him. He actually worked out a really good deal where I could afford three out of my pocket. I had already paid rent, I could do that. So he signed me up for three.”
“He told me it was the ‘Happy’ campaign, and I was interested,” explains Stuart Rayburn, “so I asked him what it looked like and gave him some prices and he sent me over the artwork. I told him I would put them up for free, if he or someone else could cover the production costs, I could donate space.”
Three, soon became six.
“This is where it gets really cool,” gushes Zimmerman. “I was talking to Shishir [Chokshi], at Tire City and telling him about it, and he and Raoul [Pacheco] and some other people got together the money for three more. They’re going to be all over town.”
“We were just all going to chip in $20 or so,” says Shishir Chokshi. “I mean, people are dropping that in the bar across the street on two drinks, so I thought we can probably figure it out one way or another. Ultimately, it was just something cool to do during the holidays.”
“It’s fun and it’s positive and it’s definitely a good thing for Augusta,” adds Rayburn. “It’s like a Christmas card for the city.”
If you haven’t seen the billboards, or if you want a little happiness of your own, there are posters and buttons strategically placed downtown that are up for grabs. Zimmerman encourages everyone to take what they need. Don’t want to bother with the fuss of going all the way downtown? Zimmerman has you covered there as well. Just visit his website, makemyporkchop.com, and click on the “Get Happy” link. From there you can download your very own PDF. You Might Also Like: