24.com and Gloo Digital Design, in collaboration with Studio 4332, walked off a Black Pixel each last night, Thursday, 12 November 2009, for Best in Show in publishing and digital marketing respectively at the second annual Bookmarks Awards, hosted by the Online Publishers Association (OPA) in Johannesburg. No Grands Prix were awarded.
Gloo and Studio 4332 (formerly proximity#ttp) won the Best of Show award for their Cell C createme campaign in the Digital Marketing category, while News24 won the Best of Show for the Digital Publishing category. Both awards were sponsored by RG/A New York.
Rob Stokes from Quirk eMarketing was adjudged to have made the Greatest Individual Contribution to Online Media and Marketing in the past year.
The Greatest Individual Contribution to Online Media and Marketing, sponsored by The Spacestation, was tightly contested but Rob Stokes from Quirk eMarketing pipped both Andrea Mitchell from Digivox, CT Media Publications and Tim Bishop from Prezence South Africa at the post.
Online Publishers Association (OPA) chairperson Adrian Hewlett said there’s definitely no lack of skills or talent in this country, but there does need to be greater financial commitment from advertisers.
For the first time, a People's Choice award was awarded in both the Digital Marketing and Digital publishing categories. The former went to Nokia:my97homescreen.com, by Aqua Online, with 107 votes; the latter went to sport24.co.za, by 24.com, with 435 votes. Both of these awards were voted for by members of the public here on Bizcommunity.com.
While no Gold Pixels were handed out, Gloo took the most Pixels, winning two Silvers and four Bronzes under digital marketing. It was followed by Quirk eMarketing with two Silvers; Stonewall+ Digital Marketing with one Silver and one Bronze; and Cow, Stonewall Media, and Hello Computer all received one Silver respectively. The digital publishing sector saw TimesLIVE, from the Avusa Media stable and News24, the digital news brand from 24.com, both walk away with Silvers, while Afrigator and The Shuttleworth Foundation, in collaboration with Fontera and Clockwork Zoo, each received a Bronze.
Hello Computer receiving its Silver Pixel from an 'unflinching' Alex Jay.
According to Online Publishers Association (OPA) chairperson, Adrian Hewlett, the balanced judging panel, made up of both local and international digital experts (Pete Case of Gloo, JP Farinha of 24.com, Rob Stokes of Quirk, Fernanda Romano of Euro RSCG, and Chris Colborn of R/GA New York), maintained the strict standards that the awards set from last year. “This is a truly global discipline and we have to be benchmarked internationally,” he said.
Stonewall+ Media receiving its award.
“[The] key take out of this year's Bookmarks Awards is that there is definitely not a lack of skills or talent in this country. There is, however, a very real need for greater financial commitment from advertisers, which in turn will allow our agencies to invest more time, and thought, in rolling out greater work. Next year I hope we see the first million dollar project!” he added.
Headline sponsors were FNB and BBC.com.
The OPA's Nikki Cockcroft addressing the audience.
Guests were entertained from the moment they stepped onto the red carpet at Movida in Sunninghill. MC Alex Jay brought down a packed house with his quips and irreverent award to Telkom, adding to the professionalism of the evening. With customised Bookmarks cocktails, a physical theatre performance from 1st Project and the uber-cool Cape Town-based band, The Dirty Skirts, the night was all about celebration and digitally-themed entertainment.
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Very well done OPA-
Congratulations to the OPA and all the winners!!
Thanks for a fantastic night.
An incredibly well organised and memorable night - truly amazing. Thanks to everyone who spent countless weeks organising and giving up their time, and congrat's to all the deserving winners. Oh, and thank you too of course for our award, which added a few kg's to the suitcase weight at the airport :)
Well done all, simply amazing
A fair question, and of course something we discussed in some detail with our international judges once the judging was complete. The simple answer is actually quite logical once you consider this:
We selected the top players in our indsutry to sit on our judging panel - it stands to reason then that their agencies (not them personally) would stay a good chance of winning an award. Which makes sense.
But let me assure you, the strictest procedures and guidelines were followed thorughout the process.
Hope you enjoyed the evening last night.
Heard that the evening was a blast and pity to have missed it.
We have submitted entries in the past but have unfortunately struggled to get into the finalist lists (not a gripe as we reckon they probably werent good enough)
what I would like to know is the following (possibly from Rob or Adrian):
- were the international judges involved in the initial judging (ie pre finalist list or was it only the local judges?
- on the ROI front, what should we be working towards. Rob you mentioned that your Harry Potter campaign was a huge success. What made you think it warranted getting a gold and what reasons were given by the international guys for it not hitting the mark? It would be really helpful as not all of us had access to htis type of feedback.
- Finally, what international awards do you guys respect and what should we try to win to get SA on the map?
Well done to all the winners and congrats to the OPA!
Thanks for your open and honest comment - I can tell you from the 5 peeps who worked damn hard to ensure a fair and accurate judging process, its appreciated.
To answer your questions, firstly yes, all 5 judges went through the first round. We marked everything as yes/no/abstain and if something got 2 yes votes, then it went through as a finalist.
On the Harry Potter entry, we thought it would win Gold because (and you'll have to excuse the trumpet blowing here), we thought it was a great idea (original and cunning), executed well (in only 2 weeks! .Our friends at HelloComputer and Conduit were amazing help here), and then marketed to success - we had 300 000 uniques in the 12 days of the campaign with up to 4 tweets a minute at one point. In my 11 years in this game I have never seen a campaign take off as fast as that (The power of combining 2 hot memes, HP and Twitter...).
Why didn't it win? Because it wasn't perfect, it could have been executed better and we know it - budget and especially time were heavily against us. I wouldn't do justice to Chris's summation of the campaign, but the man has real insight and hit the nail on its head in terms of our shortcomings. The site itself could have been better and I fully support his decision.
As to the international awards, there really are so many. The holy grail is probably Cannes, but I also like the Effies and eConsultancy awards as they are performance driven and I think that's key. That said, whilst I desperately want to see SA work on the global stage, I think we need to get a decent round up of Gold Bookmarks and perhaps a GP or two first. The time and cash cost of these international awards is substantial and IMHO not worth taking lightly unless you really believe you have truly remarkable work. I reckon that with the awareness from this year and the (hopefully!) increases in client budget and digital appitite, we're going to see some real winners next year.
Finally if you entered this year, I'd be happy to go through your entry with you, just give me a ring at the Quirkstation.
All the best for next year!
Thanks Rob for the detailed response and clarifying the process. Really appreciated. I might definitely take you up on that call once we submit an entry which we think is worthy.
Thanks for your views on the award shows you mentioned. I havent heard of them until now and will check them out.
I think it would be a wonderful idea to ask the 2 international judges what they respect. They come from different parts of the world and it would be great to get their perspective before SA Agencies spend money submitting to the wrong awards ;)
Hi Ronnie - check out some of the best agencies websites and see what they focus on. Have a look at Razorfish, Big Spaceship, Agencynet, RGA etc
You will find some common themes - Webbys, One Show, Clios, W3Awards, Adweek etc. Unfortunatley not great representation by SA Agencies