I wonder: What are the Austin Weird Face billboards?
What would happen if you gathered photos of Austinites distorting their faces in every way imaginable and displayed them for the entire city to see?
Answer: You would get Austin Weird Face.
Oh, and those “photos” are actually 12 x 25-foot billboards.
These larger-than-life portraits, if you will, started popping up on billboards around Austin last December. They are the brainchild of Adam Owen, and his creative team of advertisers at Reagan Outdoor Advertising.
Owen says the company came up with the quirky idea to recognize some of the unique characters living in Austin.
“We wanted to let them express themselves, making a weird face, on our billboards,” Owen said. “It’s a chance for us to interact with the community, and recognize some of Austin's uniquely talented citizens."
And boy, did people look. The company received 250 submissions of wacky faces and got over 8,000 hits on their website.
Based on a photo’s eye-catching ability and humor, 10 weird faces were chosen to be displayed on two Austin billboards each for four to five weeks.
“I am not a man of many talents, but I have always had a Jim Carey-esque ability to contort my face and make weird faces,” said Austin Weird Face winner Ron Bennett.
One day after picking his kids up from school, Bennett saw a billboard advertising the contest. He decided to submit a photo of one of the many faces he entertains his children with, and later was happily surprised to find out he had won.
Another winner, Josh Bear, joked about his reasons for entering the competition.
“I entered the weird face competition because I wanted to be a star, and get more dates from extremely hot women. Little did I know that once I was chosen as a winner and my billboard went up, that I would be bombarded by People magazine, Maxim, and the Conan O'Brien show, just to name a few. Also, the women...they don't stop calling; a blessing and a curse at the same time.”
Owen says he hopes the Austin Weird Face competition becomes a local tradition where people will try to “out-weird” each other.
So if you are hankerin’ to get your mug to hover over city streets, perhaps take Austin Weird Face winner Charissa Jeannett’s advice: “Mostly if it hurts your face to make it, chances are it’s pretty ugly,” she said.
You can learn more about the Austin Weird Face billboards on their website and Facebook page.
You can always upload your own wacky photos to KVUE.com in YouNews.