Immature or wild at heart? Either one could describe the third annual Bookmarks awards evening, where the digital marketing and publishing evening took the opportunity last night, Thursday, 18 November 2010, to pat one another on the back - albeit cautiously.
Held at Brio in Cape Town, the long narrow room filled to capacity by 7pm, the evening kept guests on their feet for the next two and a half hours, literally, since no seating was available.
The vibe was clubby, with MC Don Packett looking ready to take a club to the audience and batter them into silence ("Shut up. That f*cking works." really did not), the confined space flashing conversations around the hall like those stupid green strobe lights they kept shining into my eyes. I've come to realise there is a reason award shows sit people down at tables and ply them with food or drink. Bookmark organisers take note.
Never had a hope
The MC never had a hope of managing or engaging his audience; with events taking place upfront and obscured by several hundred heads, those at the back had little to do but catch up with other industry folk. Trust digital junkies to turn any event into a networking opportunity.
At the end of it, an annoyed Packett simply tweeted; "The crowd at #bookmarks2010 are honestly the rudest bunch of f*cks I've ever had to entertain. Have some respect for ur industry. Pathetic." Sure fire way to win them over. The porn, strip club and JZ's Facebook relationship status jokes didn't work, either.
For the digital agency crowd, the evening can only be described as disappointing. The awards were few and far between and consisted mostly of Bronzes and a handful of Silvers. Not a single Gold was given out in this category. No awards were given out in six of the listed categories. Is SA's digital marketing industry that bad? If so, clients should be mightily annoyed, considering the judges focus on measurability and results (which counts towards 40% of the final score).
Of the 20 awards given out (18 Pixels and two Best of Show), Ogilvy Interactive stood out with two Silvers and Best of Agency Show (Integrated), thanks to its Goodbye Citi campaign. Gloo won two Silvers and a Bronze, Trigger Isobar two Silvers, Click2Customers won a Silver and Best of Agency Show (Best Paid Search Campaign). ClickThinking got two Bronzes and a Silver and YuppieChef a Bronze and a Silver. New kid on the block Native went home with a single Bronze in this category, as it did at the Loeries earlier this year, thanks to Stonewall+.
Still dominated by publishers
The truth of the matter is that the Digital Media and Marketing Association (DMMA), emerging from the Online Publishers Association as it does, is still dominated by publishers, and it showed in the awards given out (some Golds, at last). And publishing is dominated by Naspers.
At the Bookmarks, as at the PICAs, the company's dominance was near total. Of the 19 Pixels awarded, its subsidiaries walked away with 12 awards. 24.com won a Bronze and four Silvers. DStv Online won Gold (for Big Brother Africa All Stars), a Bronze and a Silver, FinMedia24 a Gold (for Miningmx) and two bronzes. New Media Publishing scored only Silver for its Taste website after the site won Online Solution of the Year at the PICA awards last week.
The Mail & Guardian landed a gold (Madiba Tribute microsite) and silver and Memeburn.com landed a Silver and a Bronze. Native won Gold for The Digital Edge (thanks to Cambrient), as did Both Worlds for ZANews.
At one stage, Elan Lohman, GM of Avusa Media LIVE, was furiously rubbing away at his tie - for luck, I thought - but later realised it must have been a food stain, as his recently refreshed online properties failed to get a nod from the judges.
Hardly deemed cutting edge
Best blogs in the country? FinMedia24's Marc Ashton and Jaundiced Eye Media. Without going into the merits of the content of the sites in question, it's interesting to note that both blogs are hosted by newspaper publishers and could hardly be deemed cutting edge (not even an integrated Twitter feed?).
In the Individual and Team Awards, Scott Gray from Quirk was deemed Best Social Media Marketer, while Michele Clark from Clicks2Customers won Best Paid Search Marketer. Andre Britz from Quirk won Best Display Marketer. Looking at the awards list, Pick n Pay didn't feature at all, but still walked away with as Client of the Year. Best Agency was won by Clicks2Customers.
In the Individual and Team Publisher Awards The Daily Maverick was acknowledged for best Editorial team. This is the most exciting site in the country editorially - the award does seem like an afterthought as the organisers didn't place it in the official Publishers category.
Fin24 editor David McKay won Digital Editorial Individual (of the year?). Habari Media was deemed best Digital Advertising Sales team. Outgoing DMMA chair Adrian Hewlett won the rather sweeping title of Greatest Individual Contribution to Digital Media & Marketing.
Within minutes of the awards evening concluding, people spilled into Adderley for a breath of fresh air (soon to be replaced by cigarette smoke), wondering what Hewlett could possibly have said in his closing remarks. Maybe somebody in the front row can let me know.
The Bookmarks is not the Loeries or the PICAs. It's a young award for an industry barely into its teens. It showed. But I look forward to seeing the kid grow up.
Update 23 November 2010: News24.com was one of the Gold Pixel winners in the "Best Publishing Site" category of the 2010 Bookmarks Awards but, because of an administrative error during the consolidation of the awards, it received Silver at the awards evening last week. "We would like to apologise for the error and congratulate News24.com on winning a well-deserved Gold Pixel," says Nikki Cockcroft, Bookmarks chairperson and Digital Media and Marketing Association (DMMA) deputy chair. The awards are organised by the DMMA.
Both of the blogs are pretty good but I think the reason why none of the 'innovative' or self-hosted blogs didn't enter was because of 1. The entry fee and 2. the process that was quite detailed. Just seemed like to much efforts for those who 'blog for fun'. Posted on 19 Nov 2010 10:31
Could not agree with you more Herman. Defintiely one of the worst events I've been too. The MC was horrible, crapping out the audience every 5 minutes - WTF? His jokes were incredibly lame, below the belt and he had no presence on the stage. I think it must have been +35 degrees inside..... Did anyone dress according to the theme - i mean what is old school anyway? Will definitely not go to the rigged event next year.... even if they paid me. Posted on 19 Nov 2010 11:35
Hellocomputer has done some great Mini-websites. Continental is one of the stand outs for me personally. Its just a pity they don't have a good grasp on getting people to those sites with SEO and banner display advertising. However, I am positive that this will change all for the better. Posted on 21 Nov 2010 21:17
I cannot believe i flew to Cape town for this crap! This is a decent article but at the end of the day it's the people who put this event together that should take the blame. The judging was byes(as usual) and the event was shocking. I have been to better events at high schools! The level of work that was nominated was so low! That kurt darren banner??? I mean come on. That is embarrassing! Just a poor show all together... As bon jovi said, "You give digital a bad name". Posted on 20 Nov 2010 18:57
What a shocking event. Badly run, incoherent sound, shabby theme, and clearly not as prestigeous as the organisers seem to think it was. To even try and suggest this was international level was embarrassing. The Loeries can teach these idiots something about puting on a show. Yes the sound at Loeries this year was not great, but the entire event was world class once again, and the Bookmarks scored a 2 out of 10 on that scale. Whoever organised this, Quirk ? please learn for next year. And why were so many golds given out for publishing, when publishing is far behind the creative agency offering in this country ? seemed odd. Posted on 22 Nov 2010 15:18
whoever organised this event should never do one again. They are clearly not equipped to make decisions about events and how to put on a show. The awards were a freaking disaster to attend and a waste of money from my point of view in terms of ticket and entry fee. come on guys, pick up your game. Posted on 22 Nov 2010 15:24
Hello doubters, what a lovely bunch of positive people you are.
@dereck, the awards were not organised by Quirk (in fact we didn't even win any!). I was however on the organising committee which FYI is made up on unpaid volunteers who donate hundreds of hours of their time to hold the best Bookmarks Awards they possibly can. Why? Because we believe its important for the growth of our industry.
However, given that you could obviously do a much better job and have plenty of time on your hands, may I suggest that you volunteer for this job next year. It's extremely rewarding, everyone has such wonderful things to say :)
@paul - I agree the venue was not at all ideal (particularly given the extra 100 people who managed to sneak in without tickets). However given a starting budget of zero and no certainty that we would sell all the tickets, it was the best option we had. Oh well, lesson learnt for next year...
That said, at this rate it doesn't look like there will be a Bookmarks Awards next year because who on earth would want to deal with this nonsense again! Posted on 22 Nov 2010 17:40
No the award show wasn't great. Why not own up, learn and implement new solutions next year? It is a worthwhile event experiencing some growing pains. No point being like that Rob. Posted on 22 Nov 2010 18:56
Great to see the site deleting comments .... think about it, why would "talking out of you bughole - question something I wrote earlier about Habari interest? Not to mention I think a Nikki Cockcraft comment was also deleting.
With ticket prices of R400 - there was def. money. 300 people (lets exclude the 30 that Nicci mentioned sneak in on stage .... which somehow turned into 100 according to ROB) R400 = R120 000. The venue must have been R20 - R30 000 for the night, bar tab R25 000, food R10 and the MC R2. Posted on 23 Nov 2010 08:30
Wow! the idea of a comment stream is to allow comments. This is all these people are doing from what i can see, so why not take this critism and learn ? I was at the event and thought it was a little second rate compared to the Loeries. But hey, this is a growing industry and we can do better next year. So lets listen and learn, instead of thinking we know it all and are brilliant at doing this type of awards show, because quite clearly from looking at this year, we've got a lot to learn. Last year was far better by the way in my view. better venue. better organised. slicker all round. Posted on 1 Dec 2010 23:26
There are lots of other countries from where he could have shoot this movie with another slum , but his choice was India , there s no need of any shame or sentiments on that. Same time that director made Indians to participate and be a part to that so that Indian actors, Posted on 6 May 2011 08:45
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