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Muck Foving billboard
On the drive from Ballard to downtown Seattle on 15th Avenue West, drivers might notice a billboard for the moving service Dolly. (Kurt Schlosser / GeekWire)

Well, hello, Dolly. The Seattle-based startup that connects people who have trucks to people who need to move something big has a new billboard in town that moved us enough to click.

At the corner of 15th Avenue West and West Armory Way in Seattle’s Interbay neighborhood, a towering billboard above a Whole Foods store simply reads “Muck Foving .com.” We don’t think you even need to recall a recent, horrible experience carrying a couch down a flight of stairs to come up with how the letters can be rearranged on that phrase.

The web address serves as a landing page for the app that launched in February 2014. Dolly started in Chicago and relocated to Seattle in September of that same year.

While Dolly is currently in five cities — Seattle, Chicago, San Diego, Salt Lake City and Denver, with plans to expand soon — there are only three “Muck Foving” billboards — one in Seattle and two in Chicago.

Mike Howell, CEO at Dolly, told GeekWire Tuesday that the idea was entirely home grown.

“The concept came out of an internal brainstorm where we challenged ourselves to come up with fun, creative and shareable marketing ideas,” Howell said. “The billboard has only been up for a week and a half and we already consider it a success. It’s been really fun reading and hearing about people’s reactions. Activity on site and within social has been strong and continues to build as word of mouth grows.”

The site features a YouTube video which explains how Dolly works.

Howell said the advertising campaign is all about sparking curiosity for the brand (check) and demonstrating Dolly’s funny and frank attitude (check). For a service that makes no bones about how much moving can suck, Howell said the company was keen on showing that Dolly brings help and humor to situations that are often “irritating, painful and inconvenient.”

Dolly app
(Via Dolly)

“We picked the billboard approach for a few reasons: they are big, out in the wild and in your face,” Howell said. “You see the ad on your commute or on your way to the grocery store and you can’t simply scroll past it like you can in your online newsfeed. Plus, they’re a great medium for campaigns like “Muck Foving” that entail a magical moment of discovery.”

Dolly has competition in the Uber-like moving space in the likes of Seattle-based Ghostruck and Wagon, not to mention the many companies that employ professionals to pick up your dresser or mattress. Howell said Dolly’s advertising approach simply helps extend what he calls its lead position in the peer-to-peer moving and delivery marketplace.

“We solve such a mainstream consumer problem — transporting bulky, heavy, awkward items — so we’re constantly on the lookout for new ways to tell our story and broadcast our message,” Howell said. “Getting in front of people with a memorable discovery experience is really impactful and helps us start building a relationship with our customers before they may need us.”

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