On Parramatta Road in Sydney’s west, The Outdoor Awards has just unveiled a most unusual first prize for the best outdoor advertisement or campaign of the year.

The massive billboard features 10,000 $1 scratchies – which will be handed over to the creative person or team responsible for the year’s Best Outdoor advertisement.

The 12 metre by 3 metre billboard has had to be especially built and will be guarded 24 hours a day to protect the prize – which could be worth significantly more than the $10,000 to the winner.

Helen Willoughby, of the Outdoor Media Association says: “Outdoor advertising at its best is truly an event which draws an audience. We wanted our first prize to create a similar buzz.”

The massive billboard – featuring the Outdoor Awards’ golden pigeon logo made from the scratchies - directs people to the Outdoor Awards website which provides entry information across a number of categories – as well as imagery of the billboard itself.

The ultimate deadline for entries will be the end of April – but the prize has been announced now to allow creative teams the chance to have their latest work appear and become eligible.

In addition to the financial first prize, winners will receive a Golden Pigeon statue.

The awards are free to enter – and cover categories from financial to travel.

Helen Willoughby continues: “To launch the Outdoor Awards without creating an exciting and original outdoor campaign of our own would be a missed opportunity.

We started by driving a billboard truck around Australia – and now we have unveiled our first prize.”

She continues, “We have also taken the opportunity to assemble a hugely inspiring international jury to judge the first prize – so that there is real objectivity in selecting the year’s best ad.”

The voting jury (assembled by non-voting Chairman Jonathan Kneebone of The Glue Society) will include six leading creatives from the world’s most respected and awarded agencies.

These include John Merrifield (Cannes Grand Prix Outdoor Winner & ECD TBWA Asia/Pacific), Leo Premutico (Johannes Leonardo, New York), Ewan Paterson (CHI London), Joe Staples (Weiden & Kennedy, Portland) and Carlos Bayala (Madre, Buenos Aires).

The Outdoor Media Association

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