Eyeblaster Awards 2008The world is in eager anticipation of change-afoot following the recent US Presidential election, but meanwhile New York had another trick up its sleeve. The Eyeblaster Awards 2008 last week celebrated the very best in digital advertising, and this year there was more than a couple of show stoppers, as U Talk Marketing highlighted, “breakthrough creative from mythical zoo animals and colourful apparel to touch screen innovation.” This is change happening in real-time.

North America Nominees

International Nominees

2008 is the year when cross-channel advertising finally came to be, moving beyond mere banner adverts online into how to work with consumers to deliver brand communication as they look for information across all media. So it is great to see OMD Los Angeles and AKQA London walking away with the first award for the most effective use of cross-channel campaign integration for their respective US and International markets.

OMD used an effective integration of search vs. display advertising to drive awareness and increase viewership for both Beverly Hills 90210 and America’s Next Top Model. Now I personally have got to review the data and have seen the resulting high conversion rates, and the effectiveness of combining both search and display together. When analyzed across a single report, I can tell you to see it in black and white it is incredible how consumers become aware of something from a variety of media sources, and then need to seek further qualification before finally converting. It is the most natural process for human behaviour as little display media in the real world expects a consumer to respond immediately, but expects they need time to digest and research – to finally have a means of evidence on a campaign by campaign level is incredibly powerful for media justification. To see the types of adverts or search terms that are being utilised throughout the conversion life-cycle… this kind of approach is going to revolutionise strategic planning for that advertising community moving forward.

As for AKQA London and their multi-faceted global attempt to raise the profile for Nike surrounding the European football championship, AKQA managed to deliver one of the largest video widget campaigns ever attempted. It ran across more than ten countries and managed to strike chords with a challenging audience though a range of humorous videos that they kept seeding out through the banners and allowed users to pick up the content and add it to their own social networks, homepages, blogs, etc. Anyone who has ever sat at one of my presentations will know just how passionate I am about this campaign that has managed to circumvent all the assumed rules of social network advertising and bring a brand and their audience together to create a hard-core group of brand advocates in their exceptionally personal environment. For a brand to have earned real-time access to a consumer’s personal space by invitation is truly ground-breaking. Again, it is this kind of approach that is revolutionising the interplay with brand communication by allowing the users to get involved where they are and choose how they want to proceed, and once more give us a timely reminder of the change in today’s consumer behaviour.

As for the evidence of the very best in Rich Media;

HP TouchSmart by Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco won the North America People’s choice for a superb creative that managed to dazzle and entertain the average consumer for two whole minutes – no mean feat in today’s fast-paced world – and help convey the future of touch screen computing with stunning 3D navigation, slick video, and product info leading to where to purchase. When you think of two minutes dwell time, that’s four times the average duration of a TV spot, and at the user’s own discretion and choice. Digital effectiveness indeed!

Springfield by OnTwice Interactive, Spain won the International People’s Choice for a page and eye-turning creative piece that shows how to take a traditional clothing catalogue and enhancing it with animation and video. This market never ceases to deliver creative inspiration. Utterly simple in execution, but is just stimulating for a consumer to get involved with a brand where they are, in a way they are historically familiar for this sector and ultimately drive a deeper desire for purchase intent.

San Diego Zoo by M&C Saatchi, Los Angeles won the North America People’s Choice and well it should. This is a beautiful execution that reminds me of Dr. Doolittle’s ‘Push-me-pull-you’ where users can design their own animal, send to their friends encourage a viral nature, but in essence it is all about a zoo is a learning experience of discovering new animals, and re-addresses the notion of mere animals in captivity. Armed with the creating of names for your newly designed animal, it again is ensuring consumer attention moves way beyond the mere paid advertising and becomes a talking point amongst friends. Laced with interaction and armed with viral and word-of-mouth marketing, I simply love the balance of strategy and technology here.

Non-stop Fernando by Lean Mean Fighting Machine, UK took the International Judge’s Choice. No surprise these veteran’s of digital advertising yet again push the limits of what can be done in a publisher’s space on behalf of a brand and managed to deliver 14 hours 40 minutes of video into a banner for Emirates. These guys simply do not believe in technical specifications and is a testament of how to collaborate with an ad serving vendor to achieve the impossible. Touching on the personal intrigue we have in a big-brother way observing other people’s lives, you can’t help but keep jumping around the time frame to find out what Fernando is up to next. Advertising that can truly hold attention, we all have so much to learn.

When we add in the fact that one last year’s winners Adidas ‘Impossible is Nothing’ took a Cannes Gold Lion award earlier this year, am sure you will agree, 2008 has laid on an amazing show of inspiration for the industry from across the globe.

See these and many more examples of ‘creativolgy’ from around the world on creativezone.eyeblaster.com.