It may be the most strange and unique jeweler’s billboard ever: It doesn’t display a product, promote a sale, or feature a sales pitch of any kind—it just has one man declaring his love for his wife.
The roadside ad—which will greet commuters on Florida’s North Fort Lauderdale Interstate I-95 for the next two weeks—simply reads “Brad loves Melissa,” with love written in a heart, next to the name and logo of its sponsor, J.R. Dunn Jewelers of Lighthouse Point, Fla.
The striking advertisement sprung from a local man’s regular romantic ritual: Every Valentine’s Day for 25 years, he has proclaimed his love for his wife in a public display. One year, he pasted “Brad loves Melissa” on a hot-air balloon; another time he had it written on a series of park benches. Some of his past efforts can be seen here.
This year, he came up with the idea of having it displayed on the J.R. Dunn billboard.
“He said he drives by our billboard every day,” says Julie Izanec, the store’s fashion buyer and marketing manager. “He thought: I am going to see if J.R. Dunn can help me out with this.”
The store loved the idea. “We were just taken aback by it,” Izanec says. “It’s just so creative, it is such an awesome thing for him, and it’s a great way to show his love for his wife.”
The company even declined Brad’s offer to underwrite the cost. “He was willing to, but we said you are a good customer and this is a great opportunity,” says Izanec. “We were just so proud to help him.”
The ad includes no explanation and no text other than “Brad loves Melissa.” “It’s just a simple message,” says Izanec. “He wanted it simple, clean, and legible when you drive past it on I-95.”
Still, the store hopes it will be an attention getter.
“People are used to seeing Breitling or Rolex or some kind of product up there,” Izanec notes. “I think it will create a buzz. People driving by will think: Who are Brad and Melissa? And where is the Rolex watch?”
She also notes that “helping someone show their love on Valentine’s Day” is what a jeweler is all about.
As for Brad—who, despite his knack for flamboyant romantic gestures, does not want to give his last name, or have his picture taken—he says the response to the billboard has been “overwhelming.”
“Friends, associates, and family have been calling nonstop since yesterday when the sign went up,” he tells JCK. “I have been celebrating Valentine’s Day with my wife for 25 years with different ‘Brad loves Melissa’ displays, but the billboard with J.R. Dunn has been the best to date. Most of the calls include, ‘Wow, you’re crazy’ and ‘How cool is J.R. Dunn Jewelers to do this with you.’ ”
“It was incredible to work with [the store],” he continues. “They truly understood that Valentine’s Day is a fun holiday to tell that special someone that you love them.”