Saturday, May 3, 2008

IAB Awards 2008 - recap

So the IABs have been and gone for another year. The 550+ turnout at Star City showed that there is support for the awards ... but the reception/respect the crowd gave the hosts and winners showed that maybe, just maybe, they're either not taken that seriously or some people working in digital don't care about celebrating/respecting great campaigns by at least listening to the winners announcements.

In above pic (left to right), Me, Bill Burton, Ben Maudsley, Leigh Lavery (thanks to Jodie from Drive for the pic)

Full winners can be found here -->

Media in short, Zenith Optimedia won in Auto for their work on Honda CRV, Mindshare Interaction won for ING Home Loans in the Finance category, Carat won for Tourism Australia in Travel, New Dialogue won for their Kevin 07 work in Fusion (which weirdly only had 2 finalists ...) and OMD won for V in the Retail category.

Creative wise, Visual Jazz won for both Fusion and Best in Show for Defence Jobs, New Dialogue for CommBank in Finance, Soap for Consumer Goods for Cornetto, DT Digital for Auto on Honda and Host for Travel for Tourism NZ.

DGM won the Search award for their work on Dell.

The best reactions seemed to be to some of the 'Workplace' videos (kudos to the Sensis video which had some staff dancing to Flo Rida) ... and host Natarsha Belling didn't follow up her 07 performance (she was snide and snappy ... sure, the crowd were tough - VERY TOUGH - but towards the end she wasn't doing much to diffuse the situation). Even though the awards were pretty short - quick speeches and not much fluff ... the crowd never seemed to be on board. I'm not sure if they were all hammered and that's what caused the problems ... but it's doubtful as the service was terrible!

Afterwards most of the attendees hit a bar in King St Wharf - can't remember the name - where the festivities continued until 5am (it was reported back to me - I shut up shop at 2am)

So where to now for the awards? I don't have the answers ... but I think they need a rejig. Many have commented on the quality of the judges and the need for improvement in future ... and many have reservations about how winners are actually judged ... given no entries are audited and year after year there are some extremely odd and anecdotal metrics given that seem to be accepted as fact.

I was sitting on the same table as two agency heads and both didn't seem too impressed with any part of the awards. One commented on how out of 80% of the finalists he has never seen any of the campaigns in situ.

Another question is - do we need a seperate 'digital' awards ceremony ... is this still relevant? Probably - but I think it needs a tweak.

Lastly - what was with the banging dance music when the winners were announced. I felt like I was at QBH on a Saturday night.

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