They are everywhere...and they are watching us? What do these billboards that are very reminiscent of "The Great Gatsby" mean?

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Where Are They?

The first time I had ever seen one was after my boyfriend asked some friends if they had seen them too. The next day I saw one tucked into the trees on 127. As I head South on that very highway every day, I see it in my rearview mirror and it looks like the trees are watching me...and it gives me the heebie jeebies.

Then, I saw one in Jackson over on Wildwood Ave. right above Petersen Jewelers.

Maitlynn Mossolle / TSM Lansing

As I was heading home from snapping that very picture, there was ANOTHER pair of creepy, billboard eyes watching me drive down Michigan Ave. over by Tripps Auto Shop & Collision.

Maitlynn Mossolle / TSM Lansing

I took my pictures and posted them on my personal social media trying to get other people's opinions and that is when I found out these eyes saw further than just the Jackson area.

In April, Mark Frankhouse reported seeing them all over in Kalamazoo as well as gathered some theories as to what they could be.

Theories About The Billboard

In his reporting, Frankhouse noted there is an entire Reddit thread dedicated to talking about the billboards.

"I read somewhere that it’s a ploy to get people to drive safer. The idea behind it being of a person is being watching the tend to be more honest and careful," my friend Jordan commented. "So the idea is have a literally giant pair of eyes watching you drive to provide a psychological trigger to drive safer..."

My boyfriend thought it was meant to be another kind of "social experiment" or statement on exposing advertising companies like the "Shards O' Glass Freeze Pops" campaign (CLICK HERE to read about that one).

Frankhouse reported he found and heard the same theory from his friends as a few people on my friends list which is looking like it may be the most plausible one...that it's the billboard company (Adams) using it to their advantage!

Yes, It's A Bunch of Billboards For Billboards

My mother's cousin, Catherine, used to work for Adams Outdoor Advertising and commented " It is Adams way of proving people "look' at billboards. Its a marketing play by the billboard company."

Now, we have confirmation from Adams themselves...CLICK HERE and scroll for a giant eye to pop up on your screen and simply say "You are the content."

Creepy? Yes. Effective? Also yes.

Apparently, Adams says they have been "experiencing a kind of rebirth."

"With small screens taking over our lives," they say. "There’s nothing cooler than looking up at a towering ad and seeing something that blows our minds."

They are using the simplicity of these billboards to create and show the "stopping power" of advertising outdoors (like with billboards) and to show it increases online engagement for clients who choose to advertise this way.

Basically, they say this leads to being better able to understand and validate how outdoor advertising can be directly rated and actually improve online engagement!

Of course, it is still pretty creepy but it got all of us curious and talking about it so I'd say they definitely did their job! Good one, Adams, good one!

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