Clio was one of the nine muses in Greek mythology -- the historian, the proclaimer, the celebrator of accomplishments. Founded in 1959 by Wallace Ross to recognize creative excellence in the advertising industry, this year's Clio Awards marks the inaugural Interactive awards.
I spoke with Andrew Jaffe, executive director of the Clio Awards, and he filled me in on all the new developments and his thoughts regarding this first year of an Interactive category. Recognizing that budgets are still small, people are still trying to learn how to use the Internet the best way and that the development tools are still very crude, Jaffe feels we are at the beginning of a new creative form and the work represented is notable in a few ways. The Internet is (obviously) changing many things in our world, and new media awards are moving beyond industry-specific ones such as The Webbies, AdTech and so forth. Now the "big shows" (Cannes, Clio) are beginning to pay attention to new media and give it some credit.
Jaffe is hopeful for future Clio award entries as he feels with the developments of broadband and cable modems, consumers will be able to absorb messages better when they are smooth and sophisticated as opposed to clunky images.
Among the goals for this year's introduction of Interactive awards are to give encouragement to interactive pioneers and set standards. There were 400 entries and Doubleclick will take the reel of winners to other countries around the world. (After the luncheon on Tuesday, May 18th, Wenda Millard of Doubleclick told me they were first off to Amsterdam.)
Another mission of the Clio's was, according to Jaffe, to bring people to NYC and give them special access to various companies, galleries and Broadway shows. On Monday, May 17th, nineteen interactive agencies opened their doors and welcomed delegates from across the Avenue and across the seas. He said he was "touched by the generosity of Silicon Alley" and that most of the creative directors overseas don't get it yet and aren't as open.
After the Digital Open-House's later that afternoon ChannelSeven.com hosted a cocktail party at the cool, spacious and holistic Obecali restaurant in TriBeCa. Ben Austin and Bill McCloskey of Comet Systems told me all about the fabulous Rich Media Sig and that they will be announcing one of the BIGGEST INITIATIVE's EVER! Wow. Check my calendar on the web (www.TheCyberScene.com) for the info. Cathy Taylor of AdWeek and Adrienne Mann (AdAge) and I conversed a while with Michael Tchong and Dara Tyson. Mara Lipacis looked positively stunning in her springy linen shirt and new do' and announced the raffle winners to the anticipatory crowd. Some companies were there to demo their wares, like Orientation.com, Spree.com, @Home and UnoDosTres.com. I spoke with Russ Walters of UnoDosTres and he told me this Hispanic portal site based in Miami is gaining popularity.
And with that note, I headed up to the MLC's studios to tape our upcoming "Hot Web site of the Week" segment (Zing.com)
And now the moment you've been waiting for. The Awards! All the information will be up on the ClioAwards.com web site, but here are some highlights from the Interactive Awards luncheon on Tuesday, May 18. Among the presenters was Michael Tchong who reflected on how when we started the 80s we had just two "F" words: Facsimile and Fedex and today - it's scary what we can do with viral marketing. He also predicted for us the 16 year old CEO (that'll be a fun launch party -- cupcakes and soda pop)!
GM O'Connell of Modem Media.Poppe Tyson presented the awards and some of the significant winners were Ogilvy and Mather's interactive division, Gray Interactive/KPE and Red Sky Interactive. Ogilvy won the coveted Grand Clio award for their work on IBM's Internet Technology e-culture awards. Gray/KPE won a Silver in Internet Rich Media for a pop-culture-y Pringles site "Popblaster." I liked TBWA/Chiat/Day's Absolute Vodka site "Absolute DJ" and was thrilled to see Austin-based Monkey Media win the Silver in Self-Promotion. NicholsonNY took home the gold in this category for their popular snow-ball fight holiday card. RedSky not only made some noise with their work (Absolute DJ), but San Francisco-based CEO Tim Smith and his wife Anne Vosler brought out their adorable 16 month old Cale Smith to the luncheon!
Andrew Jaffe closed the ceremony with hopes that next year's entries will be better and encouraging words that we're on the right start.