Leo Burnett Wins Gold at Epica Awards for ‘Van Gogh Bnb’ and Clever Organ Donor Ads

McCann NY also wins for 'Toddlers Kill'

AMSTERDAM—Leo Burnett Chicago is an early front-runner among U.S. agencies at the global Epica Awards, where the agency's flagship office has won three golds so far. 

The shop's widely acclaimed "Van Gogh Bnb" campaign for the Art Institute of Chicago continued its lengthy winning streak, this time taking gold in two Epica categories: Media Innovation and Events & Exhibitions. 

(Disclosure: The Epica Awards are judged by advertising journalists from around the world, including myself—however, judges do not cast votes on work from their home countries, so I was not involved in selecting the U.S. winners featured here.) 

Van Gogh Bnb was a cobranded marketing stunt for the Art Institute of Chicago in which Leo Burnett brought Vincent Van Gogh's "The Bedroom" painting to life with meticulous attention to detail, then rented out the room on Airbnb. 

The campaign won 14 Cannes Lions and six Clios, among many other awards. 

But Van Gogh Bnb wasn't Leo Burnett Chicago's only big win at Epica. The agency's "Words" print campaign for Donate Life America took gold in the Health & Safety category. The ads highlight multiple names hidden within a full name, conveying that one organ donor can save several lives: 

Another U.S. winner on the first day of Epica Awards judging here in Amsterdam was McCann New York, which won gold with its "Toddlers Kill" campaign for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Like Leo Burnett's print campaign, the McCann campaign won in Epica's Health & Safety category: