What’s Your Favorite Billboard?

Okay, so you may not have a favorite billboard. Until a few weeks ago, neither did I.

I was driving from St. Louis to Virginia, and I was going through a patch of West Virginia (apparently all of my travel stories involve West Virginia) where there’s a big cave system.

I can’t remember the name of the cave, but the billboard advertising it stood out because it featured a giant image of a bat and the cheery message, “Bats love caves too!”

Right…because there are SO many people who are on the fence about going into a cave, and the one thing that will make up their minds is the presence of bats.

Now, I don’t know much about marketing, so tell me if I’m wrong: If you want to attract people to unique location, do really you want to remind them of one of the biggest reasons why they don’t normally go to that location?

It’s akin to the following:

  • “Sharks love the ocean too!” (the beach)
  • “Ticks love grass too!” (Little House on the Prairie tours)
  • “Leeches love the swamp too!” (Louisiana bayou)

Anyway, I delighted in the Bats Love Caves Too billboard. It makes me happy, and I look forward to seeing it the next time I drive through West Virginia. I wish I had a photo, but I couldn’t find one on Google Images.

Do you have a favorite billboard?

5 thoughts on “What’s Your Favorite Billboard?”

  1. Speaking as the Administrative Vice President of the National Speleological Society (www.caves.org), this post makes me happy. For the record there are thousands of caves in West Virginia, and it is the primary area where I do my exploration. Those of us who go into caves typically like having the bats. Considering that bats are suffering from White Nose Syndrome and have been decimated over the past decade, we try to protect them whenever and however we can. Without bats we would lack a lot of pollination and we would be overwhelmed by mosquitoes and other pests. Sorry to be on a soapbox, but this post allowed me the opportunity!

    • Thanks for your insightful comment, Katherine! I hope the bats of the world don’t take offense to my post–I have nothing against them, but it’s my perception that they may scare more people away from caves instead of drawing them in. 🙂 I went to Lurray Caverns as a kid and thought it was beautiful and otherworldly.

      • True, many are scared of bats when they really shouldn’t be. Luray is truly spectacular. Believe it or not, there are many, many caves just as beautiful or more beautiful that are not open to tours or the general public. We cavers are lucky to see breathtaking sights witnessed by few.

  2. I don’t have a favorite billboard, but the one you mentioned about bats liking caves too might actually get me to stop and explore the caves if I were driving through and had time to spare. During my trip this spring to Australia, we spent a day at the Tolga Bat Hospital (something I rolled my eyes at when the plan was announced), but after spending a day learning about the bats they treat there and seeing the baby orphan bats in “bat burritos” being treated by the volunteers, I learned bats are pretty cool and not nearly as creepy as I thought.


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