The Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) has revealed the 44 contenders for the 2012 OBIE Awards. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the OBIE Awards, the oldest and one of the most prestigious awards in the advertising field.
All nominees are in the running to take home the top prize – the OBIE Best of Show. Among the agencies with multiple nominations are Leo Burnett, TBWA\Chiat\Day, and Publicis New York, which earned last year's Best of Show for its campaign for Pepto-Bismol.
Fifty-four brands are represented among this year's finalists. Some of the nominees are OBIE Hall of Fame brands, such as Absolut, Chick-fil-A, and McDonald's. Others such as Milwaukee Public Library, Seattle Mariners, and Stripes Convenience Stores are hoping to bring home an OBIE Award for the first time.
"Out of home may be one of the oldest advertising media, but this year's nominees demonstrate its continuing relevance in today's marketplace," said Stephen Freitas, OAAA chief marketing officer. "These campaigns represent the many ways out of home can connect with consumers on the go each and every day."
The nominated campaigns take advantage of the numerous advertising opportunities out of home creates. Some brands opted for traditional media campaigns for maximum reach and impact in a market. Chick-fil-A went this route, with its beloved cows finding ever new tactics to persuade people to eat chicken instead of beef.
Others, looking to create a more personalized experience, used interactive displays that encouraged consumers to engage more deeply with brands. In one campaign, eBay complemented its holiday advertising efforts with storefront displays where passersby could use their phones both to animate characters in the display and to purchase toys that were donated to children in need.
"What we've seen in many examples of the work is an increasing amount of technology applied to the world of out of home," said David Payne, chief executive officer, Kinetic Worldwide, and one of this year's OBIE judges. "The digitization of our medium is allowing us to be more immediate with our messaging and bring something that the medium has never really been able to tackle before: a much more integrated partnership with content."
This year's winners will be announced at the 70th Annual OBIE Awards event on May 2. The event will be held on the closing night of the TAB/OAAA Out of Home Conference & Marketing Expo at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.
A complete alphabetical list of 2012 OBIE contender agencies and campaigns follows.