Webby Awards 2015: strong Kiwi presence at the ‘Oscars of the internet’

The Webby Awards, which the New York Times has described as “The internet’s highest honour” and referred to by others as the Oscars of the internet, has come around again with nominees being announced last week. And there are a few talented Kiwi contenders.

The Webbys honour excellence in five major media types: Websites, Interactive Advertising and Media, Online Film and Video, Mobile Sites and Apps and Social. The 2015 nominees were selected from 13,000 entries from all 50 US states and from 60 countries worldwide. Two honours are presented in every category – The Webby Award and The Webby People’s Voice Award. Members of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS) select the five nominees for both awards in each category, including the winners (underneath that there are also honoree awards handed out). The Webby’s People’s Voice is awarded by the voting public. 

Springload, which designs websites and applications is a nominee this year for ‘On the Fence’ in political blog/websites, its collaboration with Massey University. ‘On the Fence’ is a web tool that Springload says helped 140,000 users make a decision about who to vote for in the New Zealand 2014 General Election. It also encouraged 30,000 non-voting 18- to 34-year-olds to vote, representing seven percent of the total eligible youth population.

Users indicate how they feel about a selection of issues statements, to find out which parties or candidates most closely reflect their values.

Springload is also adapting its On the Fence idea for the Knight News Challenge, which accelerates media innovation by funding breakthrough ideas in news and information. The challenge this year is “How might we better inform voters and increase civic participation before, during and after [the US]elections?”

The company said of the challenge: “We have assembled a team of expert designers, web developers, and researchers, and are partnering with Stanford University as we look to scale up for the US.” 

Springload spokesperson Alan Doak says “We’re especially proud of this nomination. The Webbys are like the Oscars for web design and development. We won one back in 2006 for our work on, what was then, the International Festival of the Arts website. Bron Thompson, one of the directors and co-founder of Springload went to collect the award in New York. The acceptance speeches are notorious for their brevity. There’s a “five word limit”!

Clemenger BBDO Wellington is a strong NZ contender at the awards, scooping up three nominee nods, two for NZTA’s ‘Mistakes’ for drama and public service/activism and one for its anti drug driving Snapchat campaign called ‘Tinnyvision’ in native advertising. It received two more honorees for ‘Tinnyvision’ and one more for ‘Blazed’.  

Colenso BBDO also scored some nominations, one for its work on Burger King’s ‘Anti Pre-Roll’ in best use of online media and one for Burger King’s ‘Burger King Motel’ in best use of social media. It also received an honoree for Monteith’s Meatpack Hunt. 

DDB NZ’s #BringDownTheKing campaign for Sky TV scored two nominations in events and publishing and media and an honoree award for live experiences. It received another honoree nod for Steinlager’s change the bottle, change the game

Special Group Auckland also got one nominee in email marketing and a honoree for Paspaley Pearls and Xero also scored a nomination in finance. 

  • Let us know if we’ve missed any in the comments. 

A few of our favourite nominees from the comedy categories include: ‘Between Two Ferns’ with Zach Galifianakis: President Obama (Funny Or Die), Jerry Seinfeld’s ‘Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee (Resource/Ammirati)’ for comedy and Kevin Bacon Explains the ’80s to Millennials (Mashable).

Nominees earning the highest number of nominations are: Vice Media with 17, CollegeHumor with nine, Funny or Die and HBO with eight, The Guardian with seven, and Comedy Central and Mashable with six.

The awards ceremony will be held on 18 May and will be hosted by Broadcity star Hannibal Buress.

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