Annual @YourOAAA OBIE Awards

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

The call-for-entries has kicked off for the OBIE Awards, the oldest and most prestigious honors for creative excellence in out of home advertising design.

This marks the 79th anniversary of the awards program from the Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA), the national trade association for the entire OOH and DOOH media ecosystem, and they have secured some of the biggest names in creativity, branding, art, and design to judge submissions. Tiffany Rolfe, Global Chief Creative Officer of R/GA, has signed on as jury chief to guide an esteemed panel through the judging process.

Tiffany Rolfe said “At a time when we’ve all been more indoors than ever, we’re all more appreciative of our shared spaces—the city streets, the signs and messages we all walk past each day. It will fascinating to see how the medium came to life during this time and how it will inspire us to continue to interpret it as we re-enter the world with new eyes.”

Other celebrated innovators and design pioneers on the jury include:-

  • Shepard Fairey, Artist
  • Susan Hoffman, Chairman, Wieden+Kennedy
  • Kevin Grady, Executive Vice President, Head of Design, FCB Chicago
  • Jonathan Mildenhall, Co-Founder and Chair, TwentyFirstCenturyBrand
  • Jim Wilson, U.S. Chief Executive Officer, Talon Outdoor
  • Leslie Wingo, President and CEO, Sanders/Wingo

OBIE, short for obelisk, refers to the ancient stone pillars that served as the foundation of modern advertising––where posts and pictures informed the masses in town squares across ancient Egypt. Today, out of home marketing has taken up that role, serving as a critical source for consumers to get information and messages from brands, causes, and civic organizations, whether delivered through spectacular digital signage with addressable video or inventive transit takeovers or eye-popping billboard campaigns or state-of-the-art AR and experiential programs.

Anna Bager, President and CEO, OAAA told us “2020 has been a year like no other—and creativity across the spectrum of OOH and DOOH advertising rose to the occasion, with imaginative, breakthrough work that captivated consumers during one of the most challenging periods we’ve experienced in our lifetime. This stellar group of judges—every single one a legend in their own right—has their work cut out for them, culling through the incredible campaigns and executions that came to fruition these past months. We are ecstatic about honoring this work and uncovering key learnings to help drive out of home creative even further ahead.”

Eligibility for the OBIE Awards competition requires that paid advertising was displayed on an out of home advertising display at some point during the calendar year (January 1 through December 31, 2020). Advertising awards program categories range from Contextual OOH to Experiential to Integrated Multimedia. Craft awards will be given in categories that include Copywriting, Digital Design, Photography, and more. The OBIEs also feature sector-specific awards in brand categories such as Automotive, Food & Beverage, and Public Service & Nonprofits, among others.

Nominations will be accepted through December 31, 2020. To learn more about the OBIE Awards and submissions, please click here.

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