IAB SA announces changes to categories for 2016 Bookmark Awards

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After inviting the industry to comment on the revised entry categories for the 2016 Bookmark Awards earlier this month, the IAB SA has now finalised the categories, and will open entries for the awards in the coming weeks.

The final list consists of eight main categories and 55 subcategories, the main categories being Platforms, Community, Channels, Emerging Digital Technologies, Publishing, Campaign, Craft Awards, and Special Honours.

Fred Roed, Head of the Agency Council, IAB SA, says that the proposed categories have come about after much consultation and feedback from within the organisation’s councils, as well as from feedback received after this year’s awards.

“The primary changes have been to the top-level categories. In previous years the increasing number of award classifications led to an uneven weighting being given to the main categories, as well as confusing segmentations between categories. For example, there was a top-level category for Email Marketing, which has a niche focus, compared to Advertising & Search, which is far broader,” he says.

“Our initial challenge was to create broad categories that were recognisable and intuitive. We believe the new main categories are now broad enough to include subcategories in a way that makes sense to anyone entering the awards. Additionally, with ‘Emerging Digital Tech’ we are allowing for new categories that may appear in the future.”

Roed explains that the IAB SA has also spent time on refining the subcategories, doing away with categories that were underperforming and adding new ones, based on suggestions from members.

He explains that there are a number of subcategories that are particularly interesting and unique to the Bookmark Awards, such as Native Advertising, Innovative Use of Media, Ad Network and Programmatic Technology, Software, and Internal Sites – which all underpin the industry body’s focus on innovation.

“The growth of the Bookmark Awards has been remarkable. In only its eighth year, we expect an increasingly diverse range of work to be entered. Digital is evolving at a significant rate, and as a result we have had to evolve the categories accordingly. Entrants this year will notice that the new format is far more intuitive and logical than before. The response has already been positive and I’m excited about what is bound to be our best awards ceremony yet,” he says.

Meanwhile, Timothy Spira, Head of the Publishing Council, IAB SA, says “The Bookmarks are unique in recognising excellence in online publishing alongside advertising and marketing. What we’re seeing now is that publishers are working ever more closely with advertisers as both constantly push the limits of creativity in digital storytelling to command the attention of increasingly fragmented audiences. So, the awards have never been more relevant and the competition has never been tougher.”

With a record number of entries for last year’s awards, the IAB SA is expecting the awards to keep going from strength to strength – along with the digital medium.

The Bookmark Awards are South Africa’s digital marketing and media industry’s most coveted awards, rewarding excellence and effective work within the digital advertising and online publishing space, benchmarked against international standards. The awards bring together forward-thinking, digitally savvy ad agencies and brands to celebrate South Africa’s most creative and high-impact digital executions.

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