Did You See Our Billboard on Curb Your Enthusiasm?

April 11, 2024

Billboards are more than just an advertising medium; they can also serve as a storytelling device. Just ask streaming service Max, whose beloved Curb Your Enthusiasm featured a subplot involving an OUTFRONT PRIME canvas in one of its final episodes (S12 E6, “The Gettysburg Address”).

The episode saw Susie Greene (Susie Essman) using one of our Los Angeles billboards to promote her “Catch as Caftan” business. “You’ve gotta spend money to make money,” Susie tells Larry David as she proudly shows him the billboard. Later in the episode, Larry drives past the bulletin to discover that graffiti artists have made a couple of obscene additions. He howls with laughter as he drives off. Sounds about par for the Curb course, right?

Curb Your Enthusiasm billboard for Susie Greene's Catch as Caftan, before vandalism
But here’s where things take a twist. When the episode aired, fans discovered that Max had actually posted the ad IRL on the same billboard! You can probably guess what happened next.

The next morning, drivers on Santa Monica Boulevard would see the real-life billboard vandalized in the same fashion as the fictional version. A local activist art collective called INDECLINE took credit.

A post shared by INDECLINE OFFICIAL (@thisisindecline)

Instantly the life-imitates-art moment went viral. Our billboard was the talk of the town. Showrunner Jeff Schaffer was delighted. “I don’t know how many graffiti artists are fans of the show, but I’m praying for a few dicks,” he had previously told The Hollywood Reporter. “If we’re lucky enough to get a few on that poster, I think the sales are going to go through the roof.”

out of home billboard advertising los angeles curb your enthusiasm 
Sales? Oh yeah, that part – visiting the website shown on the billboard redirects Curb fans to the HBO Store, where fans could buy one of Susie’s signature garments for real! Dollar for dollar, no ad medium drives online purchases as effectively as out of home advertising (SOURCE: Comscore), so it was no surprise that inventory quickly sold out.

Also not surprising: the social out of home response, which continued for days as Max subscribers caught up on the episode. The potential reach of the billboard was 42.6 million on social (SOURCE: Sprout) plus 289M+ UMVs worth of mainstream media attention in outlets such as AV Club, Deadline, Slate, The Hollywood Reporter, TMZ, and Ad Age (SOURCE: Cision). Essman also gleefully discussed the billboard during an interview on Sherri, daytime television’s second-ranked talk show in the key women 25-54 demo.

Then on April 12 - more than a month after the episode aired - the billboard was the topic of conversation when Essman was a guest on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. The episode was late night's highest-rated of the day, viewed by 1.46MM people (SOURCE: Nielsen).

All in all, we’d call that impact pretty, pretty, pretty good. (Cue the theme music.)

Author: Jay Fenster, Marketing Manager @ OUTFRONT
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