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Monday, November 2, 2015

Spotlight on the searchlight

Spotlights, or 'searchlights' as Google informs me is the more common terminology, have baffled me my whole life. You'll be driving around at night and there one is—a giant beam, gyrating across the night sky.

Where is it coming from? Probably a car dealership.

Is it effective? When people see one, do they stop everything, pull off the nearest exit and weave through the city streets until they find the source? Upon arriving at the car dealership, do they shuffle like zombies to the front entrance chanting 'must buy car, must buy car' and knock on the door of the dark office until the secretary arrives in the morning?

Thomas Edison with his searchlight cart.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

As the co-founder of a marketing agency, I naturally wonder about return on investment. Do searchlights bring in enough custom to cover the rental and electricity costs? Do dealerships measure this in anyway? Do they ask customers to fill in a brief survey on how they heard about the dealership: word of mouth, Google, newspaper ad, leaflet or searchlight?

Do you need a permit to operate a searchlight? That, I think I can answer. Please refer to Section B, Paragraph B of your Seattle Sign Regulation Handbook.

B. In addition to the signs described in subsection A of this section above, commercial or noncommercial messages may be displayed for a total of four (4) fourteen (14) consecutive day periods a calendar year; these additional four (4) periods are the maximum, whether the message is the same message or a different message. These messages may be displayed on banners, streamers, strings of pennants, fabric signs, festoons of lights, flags, wind-animated objects, rigid signs, balloons, searchlights, portable signs attached to vehicles, or devices of a carnival nature, and shall be allowed as temporary signs in all zones. 

Looks like you're free to use one, as long as it's only for 14 days at a time, a maximum of four times a year.

Lots to think about.

Sweet dreams,

P.S. Low fat yogurt can burn in Hell.

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