California is arguably the most technological state in the United States, and in the world. Most technology companies are based there, from Apple to Google or Tesla, and many others. Everything new is outdated in a year, and that unstoppable evolution is reflected in advertising. With one exception. On Highway 101 in San Francisco lucky drivers may occasionally see the 1993 Toyota Supra billboard, which has been there for 27 years.
The signs on this California highway are changed every 3-4 months. Why has the Toyota Supra been there since 1993? And why can it only be seen for about six hours a year?
As our colleague Vicente Cano tells us in Top Gear, in an information published in The Drive, this 27-year-old Toyota Supra poster appeared on social networks in January, and has been seen again in May, photographed by drivers. Why is it so striking?
Although it looks worn, it is an optical effect due to the reflection of the sun. It is preserved in perfect condition.
If you pay attention, in all the photos you can see operators working on and around the sign. This reveals the enigma of why it can only be seen 6 hours a year: vinyls with the new posters are placed on top. When you put on a new one, the old vinyls are removed, revealing the old 1993 Toyota Supra. This process takes two hours, and since the signs are changed 3 times a year, the old Toyota can only be seen for about 6 hours a year, from the highway.
It is striking because nobody knows when they will change it, and uploading the photo of the original poster from 27 years ago has become a tradition on social networks like RADwood.
But there is still a question to answer: Why are other vinyls removed, but the 1993 Toyota Supra is not?
The Drive has contacted the advertising company that manages the San Francisco posters, and explained the reason: 30 years ago, adhesive vinyl was not used to put the advertising. Literally, the posters were painted on the billboard.
The Toyota Supra was the last one that the company painted, in 1993, before switching to vinyl, and as a tribute they decided to keep it. In these 27 years dozens of new posters have been sticking and peeling, but the painting resists perfectly.