Is this the most famous and iconic OOH activation of all time?

By our News Team | 2023

It was conceived as a promotion for a property development and should have stood for just 18 months. This year, the Hollywood sign turns 100.

It may just be the most famous and successful out-of-home media activation of all time! And this year it celebrates 100 years of continuous visibility and iconic status.

It’s the world-renowned ‘Hollywood’ sign that sits in the hills above the self-proclaimed movie capital of the world. In 2023, it celebrates its centenary through a variety of events, including fund-raisers to keep the sign well-maintained and to establish a visitors’ centre and other amenities for the thousands of tourists it attracts each year.

Photo credit: Thomas Wolf via Wikimedia Commons

But is it really an OOH activation in the true sense? Back in 1923 it certainly was! The sign was originally constructed as an advertisement for a local real estate development called Hollywoodland.

Like the Eiffel Tower, the sign was originally supposed to be temporary, built to last 18 months as a flashy advertisement to attract mainly property buyers from other US states who were coming to California looking for more space and a warmer, seaside climate.

You could argue that it is still a true OOH activation, given that it promotes the city of Los Angeles and its surrounds, tinseltown, and the movie industry as a whole to local and foreign tourists. Indeed, it is one of the country’s signature tourism promotion images.

Original signage was even more noticeable

Back in the day, the sign – which originally read ‘Hollywoodland’ but was later amended – was even more noticeable than it is now. When it was first erected, it came with electric lighting that blinked over what was then a relatively small community.

“The path from gaudy advertisement to grand dame wasn’t easy. Over the decades, the Hollywood sign had to survive tragedy, abandonment, bad press, and outright calls for destruction,” notes the London-based The Guardian newspaper in a centenary tribute.

“As with many of its industry colleagues, the process of becoming a star required a partial name change, and, in its later years, regular facelifts in the form of coats of ‘extra white’ paint – plus experts monitoring it for the effects of erosion.

Maintenance is ongoing, and the sign recently received a major upgrade in time for the celebrations.

“People from all over the world have been captivated by the recent transformation of the Hollywood sign, and now with fresh paint and the upcoming 100th anniversary, we are thrilled to move ahead on plans to create a one-of-a-kind Visitor Centre,” said Jeff Zarrinnam, Chair of the Hollywood Sign Trust. 

“Over the years, visitors and locals have expressed great interest in a ‘close-up’ experience where they can learn more about the roots of the Hollywood sign, its legendary stories, and the epic hopes and dreams the sign continues to inspire.”

Dr Kin Kariisa

Group CEO - Next Media

Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

  • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
  • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
  • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
  • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.