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Digital Company news South Africa

Bookmark Awards 2016 entry series: Platform, Publishing and Special Honours

With the deadline for entries to the prestigious IAB SA Bookmark Awards extended to 30 November, digital marketers have one last opportunity to enter and do battle for the industry's most coveted awards across eight categories, of which the Platform category is one.

The Bookmark Awards celebrate the country's most creative and high-impact digital executions and rewards excellence in digital advertising and publishing work, benchmarked against the highest international standards.

"The Platforms category encompasses all the means to communicate a digital message to current and future clients," says Fred Roed, Head of IAB SA's Agency Council. "These prizes are therefore always hotly contested and given the fine work being done by advertisers in the digital space, we expect a strong influx of excellent entries into these subcategories."

The Platforms comprise the following subcategories:

  • Brand, Commercial & Retail Websites and Responsive Sites

    All websites, either desktop or responsive, for any commercial purpose. Entrants may want to consider whether their entry is more appropriate in E-Commerce or Microsites but the category is open to ANY commercial or retail website. Think

  • Microsites

    Any microsite built to promote a particular product or service in the commercial space. Typically has a limited lifespan, and should not be the primary website for a brand which would then be entered into the Brand, Commercial & Retail Websites category. Think the site for the new VW Polo.

  • Public Service, NPO or Cause Sites

    Any website for a public or not-for-profit organisation or cause. Think the Western Cape government website.

  • Web Applications

    A rich, web-based application designed to run in a browser - will be judged by its utility, functionality and technical strength. Think Google Docs.

  • E-Commerce Sites

    Any site offering e-commerce and sale of items as its primary function. Think

  • Mobile App

    Any application installed on a mobile device - phone or tablet. Think Uber.

  • Mobile Site

    Any site specifically designed for browing on a mobile phone, including feature phones. Think

  • Games and Gamification

    Original games designed for phone, web or console; use of game thinking to 'gamify' other properties such as websites, apps or intranets. Think FarmVille.

  • Internal Sites

    Sites such as intranets that are not open to the public and are designed for internal business purposes. Think the Nedbank Intranet.

  • Software

    Any software application sitting behind a digital execution, be it mobile, web or any other. Will be judged by a jury of coders. Think the code sitting behind Google Search.

"Campaigns on various platforms are constantly changed and updated," says Roed. "Therefore, entries from previous years may be re-entered if there has been a material innovation or change to the entry over the one entered in previous years. However, the onus would be on the entrant to demonstrate clearly to the judges how the current entry differs from a previous one."

Also part of this year's eight categories is the Publishing category.

"The online publishing space is quite crowded and many publications are under pressure to be seen and heard," says Roed. "The Publishing category celebrates those who have broken through the clutter to ensure that their publications reach as many people in the intended target market as possible."

The Publishing category comprises the following subcategories:

  • Publisher Trade Marketing Campaign

    Trade marketing campaign conducted within the publishing space.

  • Mobile Publication

    Publication intended for consumption primarily on mobile phones, including feature phones.

  • Email Publication

    Non-campaign publication distributed via email. Think Daily Maverick First Thing.

  • Publisher sites (mass appeal)

    News or feature publishing sites intended to distribute information to a mass audience. Think

  • Specialist Publisher sites (smaller, niche audiences)

    News or feature publishing sites intended to distribute information to a niche audience. Think Gawker.

  • Newswire

    Newswire service syndicating content to publishers. Think Reuters.

  • Special Features

    Specific feature around a specific story or event. Think World Cup microsite.

"I would advise entrants into the publishing category to ensure that the best examples of their work are seen by the judges," says Roed. "Judges are under no obligation to read all the documents or watch all the videos of entrants. Only the material of those entrants that the judges believe have a strong chance of progressing through the competition will be reviewed in greater depth, so it is important to make an excellent impression at the outset."

The eighth category is that of Special Honours, which Roed says celebrates the cream of the SA digital marketing crop.

"In addition to recognising the best businesses in the industry, the awards also unearth new talent through the Best Digital Youngster and Best Digital Student categories."

The Special Honours category comprises the following subcategories:

  • Best Digital Student

    Best student studying a digital course at an institution, including marketing and related disciplines such as UX. Think AAA or UJ.

  • Best Digital Youngster

    Best person under 28 who has made a significant contribution to digital this year through their work - can be agency, publisher or other.

  • Brand of the Year

    Company most supportive or innovative in the digital marketing space.

  • Best Marketer

    Individual in a brand who most supports, encourages and succeeds using digital channels.

  • Best Publisher

    What more is there to say? Based on performance in the 2016 Bookmarks and does NOT require a publisher to enter.

  • Best Digital Agency

    What more is there to say? Based on performance in the 2016 Bookmarks and does NOT require an agency to enter.

  • Best Individual Contribution to Digital

    Person who has made the greatest contribution to the digital industry in SA, agency, publisher or other. IAB SA chairperson and CEO not eligible.

"Along with the craft awards, the Special Honours awards are the only ones where the results achieved are not factored into the weighting," says Roed. "Therefore, the motivation that accompanies the entry is of paramount importance to convince the judges that the person or company being nominated is deserving of the award."

The absolute final deadline for entries is Monday, 30 November 2015. Those who have not yet done so can submit their entries at

IAB South Africa
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) South Africa is an independent, voluntary, non-profit association focused on growing and sustaining a vibrant and profitable digital media and marketing industry within South Africa.
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