Blog | February 2, 2021

The GameStop investment saga meets outdoor advertising

If you haven’t seen the news, an online community of retail investors from Reddit is in an investment war with hedge funds over GameStop stock (NYSE: GME). As this movement has grown, the community has gotten more creative in calling for its members to hold the stock, and not to sell until the stock value of the company has grown to previously unthinkable heights.

Recently, that creativity has left the online space and entered the real world, with members buying up billboards and other outdoor advertising to broadcast the message, the meme, louder than ever before: Hold your stocks 💎👐; GME to the moon 🚀.

This online movement entering mainstream spaces has made for big news, but it’s really just the latest example of a longstanding trend. As brands and movements grow, they turn to OOH advertising to make more noise than they could ever achieve with online ads alone. Buying out-of-home advertising is, to many, surprisingly affordable, and easier than ever thanks to programmatic buying platforms. An OOH ad can be created, purchased, and displayed in a matter of hours. Pretty much anyone can do it, and as we’ve seen from this movement, it makes an impact.

Whether the larger movement is right or wrong, we think the enthusiasm for promoting the movement on billboards is exciting to see. That’s why we rounded up some of the ads delivered as a part of this decentralized, voluntary campaign. They’re interesting examples of the new, more open era of OOH we now find ourselves in.

GME go BRRR – Times Square, New York City

Times Square is one of the more famous environments for OOH advertising, so it was only a matter of time before this movement’s turn to OOH made its way to this locale.

For the meme illiterate, “GME go BRRR” effectively means the stock is printing money.

We’re not leaving – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

For a while, there seemed to be an understanding that the wild activity around GameStop would cease on January 29, as the investment hive mind seemed convinced that the value would peak on that date. It didn’t, leading many in the movement to call for everyone to sit tight until the stock rose in value.

This billboard ad displayed in OKC is very much in keeping with that message.

$GME to the moon – Malta, Tennessee, Florida, Oregon, New Zealand

One of the more powerful elements of this retail investment movement is that it has gone international. People on every continent (with the possible exception of Antarctica) are getting in on the action, buying up stocks to be a part of the movement.

Case in point: These ads, all variations on the same theme, in Malta, Tennessee, Oregon (x2), and New Zealand.

Posted to Reddit by u/msander

Tenez la ligne (Hold the line) – Montreal, Canada

Another example of an international campaign supporting the online cause, this ad began playing in Montreal on Monday, purchased programmatically and displayed on bus shelters around the city.

Buy GameStop – Miami Beach/The skies

Sure, it’s not out-of-home the way we usually think of it, but there have been some interesting airborne ads these past few days hawking GME and encouraging folks to buy and hold. As decentralized multichannel ad campaigns go, this one has been pretty good about diversifying its efforts at getting the word out.

We like the stock – Baltimore, Md. + Wichita, Kansas

Another meme phrase from the online movement, “We Like the Stock” became the tagline for these ads outside of Baltimore and Wichita this week.

Bonus: AMC & Dogecoin

GameStop isn’t the only meme investment out there. Blackberry, Blockbuster, and Nokia are all in the mix as well, though AMC and the Dogecoin cryptocurrency seem to have the most enthusiasm from online retail investors. Since the latter two both got billboards of their own this week, we thought we’d include them here on the list as well.