There are now at least two stark, absurdist billboards related to the band Weezer in Utah, and we only know for sure how — and why — one of them exists.
Both are located in Murray along State Street. And both feature blank white canvases, adorned with a simple, Weezer-related message written in a black, comic sans font.
The first is owned by Utah-based social media content creator Cory Hunter Winn and his company.
The other, which seems to have appeared sometime this week, is more of a mystery.
Winn bought the first billboard — which simply reads, “WEEZER” — in June, he said Friday.
Winn, who co-owns the clothing store Lucca International, posted a TikTok video to the @luccainternational account on June 3, showing him and another person dancing in front of the billboard. He wrote in the caption: “Bought this billboard today. I’d say it was an excellent use of company money.”
Since then, he’s posted several more videos featuring the billboard, located above a Fat Boy Phillies sandwich shop on State Street in Murray, and refers to himself as owner of “the best billboard in the US (unbiased)” on Instagram.
In one video, he calls his purchase “the peoples’ billboard.” Winn’s clothing website was also stocked with T-shirts and hoodies featuring a picture of the billboard. It had gotten some notoriety online, he said, but nothing major until this week.
Winn decided to buy the billboard because he and his business partners are all big fans of Weezer. The clothing store frequently sells shirts featuring the band’s name, including one with cartoons of the band members lined up à la the art for their self-titled 1994 album, with the caption “I <3 One Direction.”
“They’re a great band, “ Winn said of Weezer. “They’re the all-time greatest, as far as I’m concerned.”
The billboard is funny, he said — something his company did just because they wanted to. He thinks it’s something the band members might have done if they were in his position, too.
Winn may be right, because big news broke Thursday: About a half mile south from Winn’s billboard, near a Mattress Firm and on the same the street as the original Weezer billboard, a new one appeared.
It read: “Thanks to whoever bought the billboard down the road. - Weezer.”
Winn posted a response video to TikTok on Thursday, after someone sent him a photo of the new billboard.
“I’m not kidding,” Winn said in the video, “We don’t know who bought it.”
He said Friday that people reached out asking if he was the one who bought the new billboard.
“I was just as confused as everyone else,” he said.
Weezer hasn’t officially confirmed the purchase. However, the band posted images of both billboards to Twitter on Friday. The caption reads: “How it started vs how it’s going,” featuring an image of each billboard side by side.
The band also posted a video to TikTok featuring footage of the new billboard, with a message that read, “We’re sending out a signal. Waiting on a callback from you @LUCCA,” linking to the Lucca International account.
Weezer hasn’t responded to requests via social media and email for confirmation and more information, but Winn believes they must have been involved. Why else would they post about it?
Winn vowed to buy another billboard to respond in kind. He didn’t say exactly how much billboards cost, but said it’s a “substantial amount” of the company’s monthly income to keep the first one up.
It’s too early to know where a second billboard from the company could be located, but Winn said carrying on a slow-paced, public text conversation with Weezer on billboards is more than he could have hoped for when he purchased his sign in June.
Now, he’s just got to figure out what to respond.
“We got to keep it simple for sure,” he said, “but we’ll do something good.”