CP+B, Burnett, Taxi Double Up at Obies

NEW YORK Crispin Porter + Bogusky took home best of show honors for an Ikea campaign that turned billboards into price tags at the Outdoor Advertising Association of America’s 62nd annual Obie Awards on Tuesday.

The campaign by the Miami shop featured enlarged items of furniture, including cabinets and chairs, hanging off billboards that were designed to resemble price tags.

“They took a very traditional format, the horizontal billboard, and literally turned it on its head,” said Obie juror Zak Mroueh, creative director of Taxi Advertising and Design in Toronto. “The creative team embraced the price message and made it the hero. They didn’t try to hide it in smaller type at the bottom of the board. It’s a seamless blend of creativity and retail practicality.”

Nine other Obies were awarded. CP+B won a second Obie for a BMW Mini campaign. The work presents a list of words such as “Paint, Sculpt, Knit, Carve” with check boxes next to each. A Mini Cooper fits into the box of the most daring word—in this case, “Carve.”

Leo Burnett in Chicago also won two Obies: one for a ComEd billboard featuring a huge, 3-D light switch; and one for a sign resembling a comic-strip showing a tongue being shocked, to demonstrate the strength of Altoids.

Taxi in Toronto took home two Obies: one for a billboard showing a 3-D model of a Mini in a slingshot; the other for a Nike ad in the form of a trash can with accompanying copy asking, “Is it the garbage that stinks? Or your shot?”

Arnold in Boston won an Obie for a billboard for the Volkswagen convertible in which the part of the display where the roof should be was missing, leaving the back of the sign showing.

New York-based Young & Rubicam won an Obie for a series of ads showing a can with a drawing on it and challenging viewers to guess which soup variety it depicted (the answer appeared upside down at the bottom of the ad).

Holmes and Lee in Toronto received an Obie for its Weather Network billboards on either side of a road, each displaying one set of quotation marks, seeming to bracket the sky and the weather.

The Obie Awards were presented Tuesday night at the TAB Out of Home Media Conference and Marketing Expo in Scottsdale, Ariz. Twenty-two merit and 33 finalist awards were also given out. A complete list of winners can be found at oaaa.org.