Roadside Sign Spinning Outsourced To Pulchritudinous Robot

Rob noticed something uncanny about this sign spinner advertising for a local jewelry store. He was drawn in by her defined features and lifeless gaze, and the expert way in which she moved the sign in the exact same motion every time. Upon closer inspection, he realized that she was no ordinary sign spinner, but an android!

mankinsign.jpgSee, the reason why sign spinners exist is because 1) billboard ads are expensive and 2) towns don’t let you just stake or put up signs wherever you want.

But if you have a person holding the sign, than it’s okay. You just need to find some schmuck to hold the sign. In this case, the jewelry store is okay having a fixed location sign because it’s standing on their parking lot. They’ve just decided to tweak the trend by having robo-girl hold the sign. Not having to pay a wage is another upside.

Dem robots took our jobs! Here’s a video of her in action:

You have to admit, she’s pretty good. Someone should put her in a local production of Les contes d’Hoffmann.

Jewelry Sale in the Uncanny Valley [Cockeyed]

Advertising’s Next Big Idea: Sign Spinners!


Edit Your Comment

  1. MercuryPDX says:

    See, the reason why sign spinners exist is because 1) billboard ads are expensive and 2) towns don’t let you just stake or put up signs wherever you want.

    [Blinding lightbulb goes off]

    NOW I get it…

    • Alvis says:

      “towns don’t let you just stake or put up signs wherever you want.”

      All the crappy corrugated plastic signs stabled to utility poles and stuck on the side tell me that where a town lets you place signs has little to do with where they end up.

      • Buckus says:

        Yes, but those handpainted signs are hard to track who put them up. The ones pointing out the McDonald’s on the corner? Pretty easy to track down who’s behind those signs…

      • nbs2 says:

        But how else can I find out how to get a $500,000 mortgage at 1.9% , which I can pay off while earning $21k/month working from home?

    • squirrel says:

      I thought the argument was that a person holding/flipping a sign is protected as a free speech issue. In this case it’s nothing but a fancy illegally posted sign.

      Does the business owner also drive int he carpool lane with the mannequin on the passenger seat?

  2. DerangedHermit says:

    Is Sacramento in the Uncanny Valley?

  3. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    That’s just sad. If they had shelled out for the better model, it would have spun is a more random way, and the girl’s face wouldn’t be so cold with the dead eyes.

    • KyleOrton says:

      If i remember correctly from involuntary project runway viewing, all models have cold dead eyes.

      • Mighty914 says:

        I notice you were sure to sneak that “involuntary” in there. Whatever you have to tell yourself, Orton…

        • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

          It probably means “if I don’t sit here and watch it with the wife, she’ll develop an ’emotional friend’ and I’ll have to sleep on the couch.”

          So, strictly speaking, not involuntary, but, you know, pick your battles.

  4. The cake is a lie! says:

    That is actually brilliant. It is a dangerous job standing on a street corner and the pay is lousy. Of course, the cost of a little device like that is probably equivalent to a couple days of a real person doing it and it is likely to get vandalized or stolen every couple weeks, but hey… it is innovative at least!

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      Not so brilliant. A good salesman could make people pay to lose weight by waving signs for exercise and then charge the companies for the privilege of having their sign used. Win-win.

      • The cake is a lie! says:

        I think you underestimate the intelligence of people interested in losing weight. Besides, if waving a sign around was really that effective at losing weight, then I’m sure Nintendo would have a game for it on the Wii already.

        • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

          I’ll just mention the BILLIONS of dollars spent annually on ineffective things like dietary supplements. You don’t need all the people wanting to lose weight, just the more gullible ones, “Normally these jobs pay minimum wage and we subtract that from the program membership. That’s how we can offer you such a low membership cost. We have prizes for most zealous and most weight lost, not to mention that if the customer quotes your signs number, you get a spiff.”

          • BlkSwanPres says:

            They buy the diet supplements because they think they can loose weight without exercise, that entirely different from exercising during the normal hours of a work day and paying someone to do it.

  5. Me - now with more humidity says:

    And you can just bet the damned robot was made in China… or India… and works non-union!


  6. allknowingtomato says:

    If we pay people to hold signs because “towns don’t let you just stake or put up signs wherever you want,” then wouldn’t this also be not allowed? A human-shaped mechanically waving sign post is still a sign post. It will take the city longer to notice because it looks like a human waving a sign, but I am pretty sure that whatever city ordinances prohibit placed signs without attendants also prohibit this.

    • SJActress says:


      “In this case, the jewelry store is okay having a fixed location sign because it’s standing on their parking lot.”

      • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

        Being on the property is not an excuse. All fixed signs are on private property. This one actually juts out wildly, endangering the public. One company around here had painted over the name of the previous owner on the propane tank in the back lot of their facility and got fined $2000 for it.

        • allknowingtomato says:

          Thank you!

          Sheesh, you people are a little RTFA-happy around here. perhaps you should not assume the dumbest of people and ask if there is some way YOU might be misinterpreting what you read.

          A human has free speech and assembly rights. A mannequin does not. it’s not just the public/private property issue, it’s whether the city has zoned for an uncluttered outdoor space such that signage is not allowed. You can’t get rid of a person holding a sign with euclidian zoning and city ordinances regulating signage.

    • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

      ” In this case, the jewelry store is okay having a fixed location sign because it’s standing on their parking lot.”

    • hymie! says:

      A human-shaped mechanically waving sign post is still a sign post.

      A human standing on a street corner holding a sign is free speech and free assembly.

      • allknowingtomato says:

        I agree. I meant that the mannequin is just a human shaped sign, and thus should not work around the ordinance the way the free-speechifyin’ actual human holding a sign would.

        • hymie! says:

          Sorry. I misunderstood your comment. I thought you were saying that “paying people to hold signs would be disallowed under the same laws that disallow posting a sign wherever you want.”

    • EJ25T says:

      Exactly what I was about to say. A mannequin is not a human. It’s simply functioning as a sign post in this case. Also, that sign seems to be jutting out a bit into the public sidewalk.

      And it’s not a robot, it’s a mannequin standing behind a 25 cent mechanical pony ride.

    • The cake is a lie! says:

      The ‘robot’ is on their property, so technically it gets around the ordinances which keep people from posting signs everywhere. However, there are still limits to what you can do. There is an apartment complex near the freeway here that had huge billboards on the roofs which were visible above the sound wall. The city made them take the signs down because there was something about having distracting signs around that particular corner or something like that. Anyway, the point is that they can still get nailed for inappropriate signage or for it being a nuisance or something like that.

      oh, and RTFA. ;)

      • allknowingtomato says:

        i did RTFA actually. My point was that this won’t take jobs away from sign spinners, because this sign cannot go any place where the city prohibits placing signs. I suppose it takes jobs away from people who are paid to stand on business property holding a sign. Then again, it would be stupid to employ such people in the first place as the whole point of sign spinners is to get around the “no sign here” ordinance.

        Unless you think sign holders makes your business look classy. I personally think it makes your business look like it’s going out of business.

        • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

          For classy advertising I prefer perpetually-inflating arm waving-nylon tube guys.

          • MongoAngryMongoSmash says:

            Then Al Harrington has got a deal for you… I heard there was some kind of shipping error.

  7. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    This Pulchritudinous Robot is simply dreadful, Will Smith!

  8. AngryK9 says:

    Data’s great great great great great grandmother…

  9. theycallmeGinger says:

    Aaaaand I just learned a new vocabulary word. Thanks, Chris!

    The More You Know…

  10. Winfield says:


  11. Cameraman says:

    The furniture store near here hires (presumably) illegal immigrants to hold his signs, but with a twist: they wear costumes, too. Some of the guys really get into it, waving and posing and acting in character.

    Yes, I know it’s a horrific assault on human dignity, but believe me when I say you haven’t lived until you’ve seen Mexican Superman striking a pose, hands on hips, while Big Bird waves and a swarthy Ben Franklin holds up a Going Out of Business!!! sign. We used to drive by deliberately and giggle.

  12. Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

    They have it jabbing into the sidewalk. Time to walk near it and let it jab you, file lawsuit, get paid FTW.

    Android Attacks Elderly Woman – Her story of being attacked told from the back of an ambulance, “Its eyes were as cold as the devil’s”

  13. UltimateOutsider says:

    *pedant mode engaged* I do believe that’s more of a gynoid than an android, unless she’s got a surprise under that dress.

    Not that most androids are packing, mind you.

    Uh, not that I’ve checked…

  14. UnicornMaster says:

    It’s less robot and more of a machine with a mannequin attached to it.

  15. Southern says:

    Houston is like this – you’re not allowed to put down signs on the public roadways or medians that advertise for you (like all those “Home for sale” signs that used to clutter up the road), so now you have to hire someone to stand there and hold the sign.

    Since this is in their own parking lot tho, it should be perfectly fine. At least it would be in Houston.

  16. PricklyPete says:

    The biggest problem with Fembots is that their faces have a tendency to fall off at the most inopportune time…at least they did back in the 70’s on the Six Million Dollar Man.

  17. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Some of those sign spinners are talented! But the problem is then I can’t read the sign!

  18. FooSchnickens - Full of SCAR says:

    That’s nothing. In Japan they have similar mechaniquins for construction sites that politely wave you over to avoid the construction area. First time I saw one it freaked me out because it was surprisingly realistic and had the whole jumpsuit with reflective safety sash, helmet, and light-up wand and was moving almost too human-like. It wasn’t until I was right up on it that I realized that it was fake.

  19. Talisker says:

    It’s so sad to see an android have to take a job like this. I guess they, too, can be addicted to meth and can’t hold down a regular job.

  20. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    It doesn’t get around any ordinances.
    It doesn’t replace the need for humans with mannequins.
    It looks like a real shady place to buy jewelry.

  21. Aathos says:

    Pulchritude is such an ugly word for beauty.

  22. toastydoc says:

    Cash for Gold store had one on the street corner here, but it kept on getting vandalized as the highschool got out. Its scary as a robot, but scarier as a faceless robot

  23. gman863 says:

    If I were the store owner my next trick would be to track down Conan’s old “Pimpbot 3000”.


  24. WickedCrispy says:

    lol that’s Sharif’s on Howe ave!