Complex three-dimensional billboard tells a holiday tale
A hapless homeowner hanging Christmas
lights tumbles headlong down a ladder, twined
in a tangle of bulbs. But he won’t fall far
because he’s bolted to the steel infrastructure
of a billboard.
And he’s not a man, but a mannequin.
The three-dimensional sign at Moana and
Highway 395 advertising a
service of Reno Lawn and
Landscaping was devised
by Ding Communications of
Reno and hung by Clear
“We did a nationwide
search to find the mannequin.
We put out a casting
call from coast to coast,”
says Greg Fine, principal
and creative director at
“But when he arrived, he
came in parts; we had to bolt him together
The next step for Ding was to get their
man on the ladder and to ensure he wouldn’t
blow off in a high wind.
“Clear Channel put their best engineering
group on it,” says Fine.
Pete Mack, operations manager at Clear
Channel says the board, which measures 14
feet by 48 feet with an extended top and a 65-
square-foot roof extension, is the first of its
type in the Reno area.
The Christmas lights, powered by the
board’s illumination source, are just the same
as strings used to decorate homes for the holidays.
While attaching the extensions to the top
of the board is fairly common, says Mack, the
crew had to bolt the sculptural elements to the
steel members of the billboard itself.
A job that normally takes a crew of three
half an hour took a day and a half.
The man-falling-off-a-ladder scenario
nails the reason homeowners hire out the job
of stringing Christmas lights, says Fine.
And despite a downturn in the economy,
Lebo Newman, chief executive officer of
Signature Landscaping, says,”We’ve seen good
returns on renewals. It’s more of a safety
Signature Landscapes LLC, a commercial
grounds keeping company that serves the residential
market as Reno Lawn and
Landscaping, bought a Christmas Decor franchise
“We were looking for something for our
guys to do in the winter,” says Newman. Each
year it completes about 450 holiday lighting
jobs. In past years, direct mail and radio spots
advertised the service. But as the direct mail
load increases, he says,”We thought we’d try
However, due to the economic downturn,
the company this year lowered its minimum
package price. Jobs start at $400 and range to
$8,000 for the largest client. The average holiday
decorating job costs $1,200, says Newman.
Three years ago Christmas Decor expanded
the service to commercial buildings such as
offices and model homes, and that, says
Newman, has proven to yield the largest
“The thing that I like most about entrepreneurship is I can work toward something that I’m passionate about and be at the forefront of the change that I want to see happen,” said Priyanka Senthil, a senior at Davidson Academy in Reno and co-founder of startup company AUesome.