Detailed on ABC News earlier this week, a 38-year-old Ohio native named Brandon Stuard purchased space on two electronic billboards within Toledo in order to help his spouse find a new job. Holly Stuard, his 36-year-old wife, was let go from the University of Toledo’s Master of Business Administration program after a series of budget cuts eliminated her job last year. After spending many months attempting to land a new job the traditional way, her husband decided to surprise her with the two electronic billboards. When the digital billboard displays the bright pink advertisement, anyone driving by will see “Please Hire My Wife” in giant letters along with a picture of Holly Stuard and a contact email address. In addition, the billboard lists the fact that she has both business and academic experience along with a MBA.
When asked about viewing the billboards for the first time, Holly Stuard stated “I was definitely shocked. He (Brandon Stuard) made plans that we’d go out to dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants on the other side of town so that we’d pass the billboard on our way. Our older son saw it before I did and said, ‘Momma that picture looks like you‘.”
Regarding the period of unemployment, Holly Stuard said “It’s been such a long time-frame and there’s so many ups and downs with a job search, and I think he’s felt a little helpless. He felt this was a way he could actually do something because it’s been a difficult process.”
According to the Toledo Free Press, advertising on the digital billboard was relatively inexpensive since the display is shared between multiple advertisers each day. Tolson Media and Lamar Advertising, the owner of the digital space, charges between $60 to $100 per day to display the advertisement. In addition, the management team offered Brandon Stuard a better price and longer time frame due to the purpose of the advertisement. Stuard was able to purchase a digital billboard in downtown Toledo and a digital billboard near a local shopping mall for several days at a price of $700.
While the digital billboards haven’t attracted any job offers as of yet, the Stuards have received a vast amount of emails within the couple good luck as well as emails sharing similar stories about unemployment.
The billboard has also been shared repeatedly by family and friends on social networks like Facebook in addition to attracting the local news media. While the two billboards were a significant expense for the Sylvan-based family, Holly Stuard indicated that seeing the two billboards has revived her excitement about looking for a new job.
During April 2012, a 22-year-old Minnesota man named Bennett Olsen did something similar by purchasing space on a digital billboard with the phrase “Hire Me!” in giant lettering along with his face and the URL to his personal site. Within a matter of weeks, Olsen landed a sales job at a nearby company after going on several interviews. Olsen spent $300 for the ad placement to run on the digital billboard in downtown Minneapolis. Over a 24-hour period, the ad would rotate constantly and appear for a full eight seconds each time.