This week, Facebook announced the winners of the fourth edition of the Facebook Awards, which annually recognise the best creative efforts that advertisers have exhibited on Facebook and Instagram in the last year.
Over 2,700 submissions from 160 countries made this year's edition the biggest in the short history of the awards event and provided a snapshot of the creative trends that have taken shape over the last 12 months (there was a 49 percent increase in entry submissions).
Although it was unable to follow on from its haul of two gongs at last year's edition, Colenso BBDO was the only Kiwi agency shortlisted for its work on the Motel Burger King campaign.
The top honour at the Facebook Awards is the Blue Award and this year it went to Leo Burnett and Procter & Gamble for the thought-provoking 'Like a Girl' campaign produced for the Always brand (it also won a gold award).
The Blue for Good Award (which recognises campaigns created for charitable or not-for-profit organisations) went to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a campaign that Facebook says placed only second to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in terms of how many people it reached (it also raised $220 million dollars for the cause).
Facebook also handed out seven gold, six silver and 14 bronze awards. In addition to the the 'Like a Girl' campaign, #Kissalot by DDB&Tribal Warszawa, GT Ride by LA Red, 'Will What I want' by Droga5, 'Kafa' by Leo Burnett Beirut and 'Love has no labels' by R/GA all won gold awards as well.
Click here to see the full list of winners and the associated case studies.
Although the Facebook Awards primarily aim to celebrate the creative work produced by agencies over the last year, the entries also provide an indication of the advertising trends that are becoming more prominent.
In an op ed for the the latest edition of NZ Marketing, Spencer Bailey, the head of Facebook New Zealand, pointed out that video is playing an increasingly significant role in Facebook creative.
"This year video has clearly emerged as the dominant medium on Facebook," said Bailey in the article. "In just one year, the number of video posts per person on Facebook has increased 75 percent globally and 94 percent in the US. With the growth of 3G and 4G data, the majority of video viewing is now on mobile devices. As people watched billions of World Cup and ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos in 2014, the nature of newsfeeds literally evolved before our eyes. This was reflected in the creative in the Facebook Award entries, with 70 percent of entries being video based. We’ve seen agencies quickly adapt from solely image posts to video-based campaigns."
Facebook also noticed increased diversity in the origins of the entries sent in.
"Twice the number of countries were represented this year, with entries from non-OECD countries making up 17 percent of the total. Emerging and Asian markets submitted the highest number of entries, even more than the USA ... Much of this growth in global creative work is due to the increased use of mobile phones and mobile marketing. In many developing markets mobiles are the number one device for accessing the internet. In New Zealand, this may soon be the case too."