Chicago playoff billboards generate traffic on Edens

May 08, 2013|By Mick Swasko, @swasko | RedEye

An electronic billboard along the Edens Expressway has been generating a lot of traffic during the Hawks and Bulls’ playoff runs.

Whether you’ve driven past them, or seen one of the thousands of shares on Facebook and Twitter, the four-person creative team at Command Transportation--a freight shipping broker based in Skokie--has never gotten this much attention for their creations.

“It’s absolutely unreal,” said Command Public Relations Director Dana Lenckus. “It’s taken off more than any other signs have.”

This week, in the midst of a surprising playoff win for the Bulls over the Heat, the company posted a picture of Joakim Noah holding a fire extinguisher to LeBron James. Previously, they’ve cheered the Hawks with a "Jeopardy"-style parody of the Minnesota Wild and even taken a pot shot at Nate Robinson’s height. All of the signs are tweeted through the company's dedicated handle for the sign, @commandsign.

“It’s just a different angle than saying ‘Go Blackhawks, go Bears,’” she said. “It’s our own spin on it.”

Lenckus said the sign has been around for about two years, and has always included pop-culture and current events references. But it hasn’t been until the playoff run that it’s gotten national attention, getting picked up by Sports Illustrated’s Extra Mustard blog and passed around thousands of times on social media.

“It’s a way to alleviate the stress and the frustrations most people have (in Chicago traffic),” she said, adding she swears drivers have been taking different routes home just to check out what the sign says. “I’m dreading my commute home tonight.” 

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