If you've driven by one of the electronic billboards, or if you've glanced at the sketch we posted, you've no doubt wondered: What the hell is slothpunchclub.com? Then, once you get over your trepidation and decide there's no way that Clear Channel Outdoor would ever direct you to a bizarre fetish porn site, you type in the URL and get your answer:
I don't know. I've got just as many questions as you do. Who's punching whom? Is it sloth on sloth? Sloth on alpaca? Or are the sloths only spectators, forcing others to punch for their amusement? Is this bareknuckle-anything-goes, or are there rules and refs? What are the requirements for membership in this club? What fighting styles are allowed? Is this even a fighting thing, or are the sloths maybe just really into fruit drinks? Could this whole thing maybe be the first stage in ushering in the blood-dimmed tide of the long-feared sloth apocalypse?
All valid questions, none of which provide any clue to why the slothpunchclub.com advertisement exists. For that, you read a bit further and discover that it's the brainchild of Matt Bull, the Dallas ad guy who did that incredible Chicken Scratch billboard that blew up on Reddit. That spot caught the eye of an executive with Clear Channel Outdoor who, thrilled that outdoor advertising was getting positive attention, offered him a month of free digital billboard space in Dallas to do with as he pleased.
The idea was that Bull would use it to promote his newly established solo business, but that seemed like it would be a poor followup to the Chicken Scratch piece. So, he decided to register slothpunchclub.com and hold a contest.
[S]lothpunchclub.com is your domain to do with as you please. Anything at all. It could be a online graphic novel, a flash game hub, a text-based MUD, a collection of skewed illustrated poems disguised as a children's picture books, a poorly written blog about second-tier sororities, an elaborate mythos for sloth-based fantasy neckbeards. Those are some free starter ideas. It would even make an excellent base for spreading malicious trojans. Not my business, frankly.
Just send me a brief email with your plans/concept (under 100 words and i'll be more likely to read it), and my favorite pitch gets the domain. I'll announce the winner here in a month, unless you'd prefer it kept secret. Just ask. I'm flexible.
Bull actually registered about five domains. One, mysteriousurl.com, was up for a week as kind of a teaser. Others -- webuyyourleftovers.com, thetruthaboutsandwiches.com -- just didn't excite him as much as pugilistic sloths.
The billboard has been up about a week now and has yielded about a dozen pitches per day, plus another flood of phone calls and emails. "I was shocked that the Chicken Scratch board made national news, and I'm shocked that this has gotten the attention it has." Clearly, the man has a genius for marketing.