Aug 19, 2022 - News

Searching for the strangest billboards in Detroit

A Motor City Casino billboard.
This PG-13 Motor City Casino ad on 6 Mile is probably Detroit's weirdest billboard right now. Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios

The Motor City has been home to some unusual billboards over the years.

Driving the news: After Sam pointed out an odd Motor City Casino ad, we knew there were more and decided to round them up.

  • We drove around Detroit and collected photos of some that caught our eye, or just made us go ... huh?

Flashback: Billboards, the intersection of art and advertising, have been around in the U.S. since the 1860s.

Did you know: Ad signs supported by poles aren't allowed in downtown Detroit, low-density residential districts or recreation areas. They need to secure a waiver from the city, and big ones are only allowed by freeways.

  • Plus, they must be 500 feet from hospitals and schools, and 200 feet from the Detroit River.

Some others we found:

A billboard says "Union electricians power Detroit" then "Why not the Godfrey?"
Photo: Annalise Frank/Axios

An electrical workers' union paid for this striking advertisement next to the Godfrey Hotel development on Michigan Avenue in Corktown, admonishing it for using nonunion labor.

A billboard shows a hooded figure with a symbol overlaid and "We are Society C" cannabis
Photo: Annalise Frank/Axios

There are lots of odd and pun-heavy cannabis billboards around metro Detroit, but this one is the first that makes us feel like we may actually be joining a cult.

  • It evokes "Illuminati of weed" from its perch on Eight Mile Road east of Van Dyke.
The old Tiger Stadium sign, rusted, yellow and green.
Photo: Samuel Robinson/Axios

This Tiger Stadium parking sign is one of the last remaining visible reminders of the classic ballpark's former Corktown location.

  • Detroiters might remember when "Go Tigers" was painted on the blue wooden square.

📫 What unique billboards did we miss? Reply and we'll feature the strangest in a future newsletter.


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