Tweet to her heart
Advertising giant, local jeweler share the public’s messages on billboards

By Emily Topczewski - Special to The Freeman

Feb. 13, 2015

A Valentine's Day tweet is displayed on a billboard next to Interstate 94 just west of the
Highway JJ bridge.

Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

PEWAUKEE - Love is in the air in Waukesha County, or at least it’s on select digital billboards.

Robert Haack Diamonds is partnering with Clear Channel Outdoors this weekend to spread the love and play cupid for sweethearts in Waukesha and Milwaukee counties.

“What we’re trying to do,” David Ford, president and general manager of Clear Channel Outdoor Milwaukee, said, “we partnered with Robert Haack, asking people to go to twitter and send a message to their sweetheart for Valentine’s Day. Basically, any tweet sent comes through to the branch, and we hook it up with 20 local boards.”

Posts on Twitter (“tweets”) with the hashtag #MKEValentine will be displayed on digital billboards throughout the metro-Milwaukee area, including one in Pewaukee.

Ford said they tried this interactive concept out last Valentine’s Day for the first time.

“We’re venturing into a lot of new products and things that are taking us into the future of advertising,” he said. “With a large presence of digital billboards, we can do lots of things: live news updates, things that are very immediate, very contemporary.”

Introducing social media into the mix was a no-brainer. Ford says it helps both Clear Channel and its advertisers look relevant and current.

“Dozens of tweets go up during rush hour in the morning and as you hit lunch hours and the afternoon drive,” he said. “It’s the cycle you’d expect with traffic patterns.”

Over the past year of running similar campaigns, like the one currently going with Robert Haack, Ford says he’s seen hundreds of tweets go up - and he’ll even be sending his own message this time around.

Bret Eulberg, the owner of Robert Haack Diamonds, first tried this interactive advertising concept out for Veterans Day last November.

“Clear Channel knows I want to do something different, something that’s never been done before,” he said.

With the good feedback from that initial campaign, Eulberg ran a similar campaign over Christmas - and now this one for Valentine’s Day.

“We’re not out to make a killing on the billboard,” he said. “We got the word out, it’s about ‘Hey listen, instead of getting her flowers that will die, or chocolates that could have her eating them and then thinking oh I look fat now, how about something that will last forever?’ Jewelry is not going to get old, it’s going to last forever.”

He emphasizes that you don’t have to spend a lot of money on jewelry either (pieces can be found for as little as $30), but it’s a way - like seeing the message on the billboard - that these memories will last forever.

People who’ve shared their love via social media will get a tweet back from Clear Channel Outdoor (at the handle @CCOMilwaukee) with a promotional message from Robert Haack Diamonds and an attached image of their individual tweet.

Users who take part in the promotion will discover 25 to 50 percent off sales at Robert Haack Diamonds through Valentine’s Day this Saturday. The diamond and jewelry dealer opened its doors in 1947.

While Eulberg hasn’t seen anyone in the stores mention the billboards yet, he’s confident the campaign will grow legs.

“You gotta remember, guys don’t get anything until the day of,” he said.

The #MKEValentine promotion runs through Saturday.