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Home » OOH News » 20th Century Studios bags top honours at OBIE Awards 2023 for ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ spectacular OOH campaign

20th Century Studios bags top honours at OBIE Awards 2023 for ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ spectacular OOH campaign

By M4G Bureau - March 30, 2023

The OBIE Hall of Fame went to Netflix for their consistently exceptional creative work

The Out of Home Advertising Association of America (OAAA) announced the 81st Annual OBIE Award winners on March 28. OAAA presented 29 awards during a live ceremony held at the 2023 OAAA/Geopath OOH Media Conference in Nashville, TN. Winners in the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum tiers were revealed, along with recipients of the Craft and Hall of Fame awards.

Avatar - The Way of Water - Times Square Takeover

“The OBIE Awards, also known as the advertising industry’s oldest and most prestigious honours for creative excellence in out of home advertising design, is a special time to acknowledge the most innovative and impactful campaigns we experienced in the last year,” said Anna Bager, President and CEO, OAAA. “We are proud to support and celebrate all of the talented individuals who continue to reimagine public spaces as open canvases that celebrate art and humanity.”

This year’s top honour, the Platinum OBIE Award, went to 20th Century Studios for “Avatar: The Way of Water” for its exceptional work in their larger-than-life fantasy adventure ubiquitous across multiple venues and experiences. After a 13-year wait, “Avatar: The Way of Water” made OOH their storyboard and transported audiences back to Pandora, a creative concept deserving of an epic OOH campaign.

Avatar Day, a global trailer release, was highlighted by a Times Square takeover of 40+ screens featuring creatures flowing around the bowtie. The dazzling light show included a spectacular Niagara Falls takeover using holographic projection, custom lighting, and a 600-drone aerial show. The effort was part of the largest-ever anamorphic 3D campaign extending across 13 iconic locations worldwide. The campaign also included OOH media throughout NY, LA, and SF, in-mall media, and digital bulletins in over 20 markets. Raking in close to $900 million in just the first 10 days, “Avatar: The Way of Water” became the highest-grossing movie in 2022.

The OBIE Hall of Fame went to Netflix for their consistently exceptional creative work and continued investment in OOH over the years.

OBIE Award winners were chosen by a distinguished panel of jurors, led by FCB New York Co-Chief Creative Officer Gabriel Schmitt.

The jury included:

  • Logan Allanson, Global Executive Creative Director, VMLY&R Commerce
  • Madonna Badger, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, The Badger Agency
  • Marc Fenty, Senior Vice President, Director of OOH, Horizon
  • David Marsey, Senior Vice President, Media and Commerce, Allstate
  • Melody Roberts, Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Out of Home Creative
  • Grace Teng, Partner and Chief Media Officer, Zambezi

“It was a blast to help judge and now celebrate the creativity and innovation of the best out of home work in the industry,” said Jury Chair Gabriel Schmitt. “Hopefully, this body of work sets the tone of what the category can do.”

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