The 12 Best Outdoor Ad Campaigns of the Year

Browse the Cannes Lions' gold and Grand Prix winners for 2018

Spicy fried chicken replaces the flames in KFC Hong Kong's outdoor and print campaign from Ogilvy.
Headshot of David Griner

In advertising’s golden age, “outdoor” was a category essentially synonymous with billboards. And while there are certainly still a few creative boards on display in this year’s top winners at the Cannes Lions, most of the golds went to out-of-home ideas that push the edges of how marketers can engage passersby.

Take, for example, the massive dead whale created by Greenpeace Philippines and agency Dentsu Jayme Syfu. What looks at first to be a colossal carcass on the beach is, on closer inspection, a sculpture made from the types of plastic trash that are killing the region’s majestic ocean life.

Then there’s HBO’s SXSWestworld, which brought eerily lifelike sci-fi interactions to modern-day Texas for a next-generation festival experience.

The two Grand Prix winners perhaps represented both sides of the equation, reflecting traditional outdoor minimalism and the blurred lines between out-of-home and activations.

Check out all the 2018 Cannes Lions gold and Grand Prix winners in Outdoor below:

Greenpeace Philippines, “Dead Whale”

Agencies: Dentsu Jayme Syfu Makati City, Etnikolor Makati, Dentsu X Makati, IProspect Makati, Grenroom Inc., Upprgrnd Makati, Hit Productions Makati City
Country: The Philippines

Louvre Abu Dhabi, “Highway Gallery”

Agencies: TBWA\RAAD Dubai, Hertz Radio Manila, Rama International Limited Dubai,  Abu Dhabi Media Company
Country: United Arab Emirates

HBO, “HBO’s SXSWestworld”

Agencies: Giant Spoon New York, Mycotoo California, Glass Eye London
Country: USA

Burger King, “Scary Clown Night”

Agencies: LOLA MullenLowe Madrid, F16 Madrid, Only 925 Madrid, Weber Shandwick London, Alison Brod Marketing and Communications New York
Country: Spain

National Down Syndrome Society, “C21”

Agencies: Saatchi & Saatchi New York, Spark Foundry New York, Jones PR Oklahoma City, MSL New York, Powell Communications
Country: USA

Diesel, “Go With the Fake”

Agencies: Publicis New York, Publicis Italy, Rival School Pictures New York, Cosmo Street New York
Country: Italy

National Safety Council, “Prescribed to Death”

Agencies: Energy BBDO, m ss ng p eces New York, PHD Chicago, Ketchum New York
Country: USA

JC Decaux, “The Route”

Agency: Y&R Brazil
Country: Brazil

KFC Hong Kong, “Hot & Spicy”

Agencies: Ogilvy Hong Kong, Illusion Bangkok
Country: China

Stabilo Boss Highlighter Pen, “The Remarkable…”

Agency: DDB Group Düsseldorf
Country: Germany


Grand Prix: Comedy Central, “The Daily Show Presents: The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library”

Agency: 23 Stories X Conde Nast
Country: USA

Grand Prix: McDonald’s of Canada, “Follow the Arches”

Agencies: Cossette, Novus Media Canada, OMD Canada
Country: Canada

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."
Publish date: June 28, 2018 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT