Fans of John Mayer recognize that as the lyrics from his 2003 hit single. As the lyrics came to mind, I couldn’t help but giggle to myself—sitting there in my parked car, looking straight up and seeing this overwhelmingly large reproduction of myself. In the words of my friend James Macchiano, “You can check ‘being on a billboard’ off the list of things you need to do.
I can honestly say that appearing on a billboard was never on ‘the list,’ but I’m getting used to the new reality. The billboard is part of a multimedia strategy to promote the upcoming Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival, which returns to campus Saturday, May 2, after its successful debut last year.
The festival’s promotional budget is relatively modest, and advertising on a well-positioned billboard can be VERY expensive. A year ago, the cost would have been out of reach. Of course, I don’t need to tell what’s been happening with the economy lately, but it’s made such opportunities a bit more affordable.
You know what else makes it more affordable? Free “talent,” and that’s where Jane and I come in. Jane is the 6-year-old daughter of my coworker Ellen Shady, and Jane is every bit as cute and sparkling as she appears on the billboard. That probably has many of you wondering how the heck I made the cut (God knows I haven’t sparkled in years!). Well, you’ll have to ask Colleen McGuinness-Clarke, director of RIT Publications. She’s the one who put me up to it, and I can’t say ‘no’ to Colleen.
Credit the concept for the billboard to my University News colleague John Follaco, who spotted a photo from last year’s festival that showed a father-daughter team operating a remote-controlled blimp. There was probably a dozen other creative members of the RIT community who had a hand in making this all possible, and I commend everyone for the tremendous effort. It really looks great!
As for me, I’ve really had more fun with this than I had anticipated. Family and friends are getting a kick out of seeing it, many who have reached back to comment about it on my Facebook page. And since I have no expectations of changing careers to become an injury attorney or the Geico mascot, my days of looking down at you from alongside the I-490/I-590 interchange are soon to end. But at least I’ll never need to put that experience on my list.