Below is Anthony Vagnoni's report on One Show Interactive. It was originally printed in the special double-issue of one.a magazine. The double-issue highlights the best of international advertising, as well as the results of the 2003 One Show.

Work featured on this spread includes: one show interactive's best of show, awarded to fallon/minneapolis for 'the hire 2,' a series of web movies promoting the bmw. the silver winner in banner campaign for absolut vodka by tbwa/chiat/day/new york. the silver winner in broadband web sites, by goodby silverstein & partners/san francisco for goodyear. and the gold winner in the category, corporate image, for nike, by w+k/amsterdam.

One Show Interactive, now in its seventh year, has grown to become the industry's preeminent interactive awards show, rewarding the best work of the medium and elevating its creative standards. The show has weathered the dot-com bust with flying colors, and this year saw a 15% increase in total number of entries, an indisputable harbinger of blue sky ahead. And blue sky is not the only forecast we can make based on One Show Interactive. The winning work also tips us off to creative trends and new directions to expect from clients, agencies, and the industry at large. For example, the impressive showing in the category, integrated branding, reflects the fact that increasingly, clients big and small are moving toward integrative communication. Below, one contributor Anthony Vagnoni covers this One Show Interactive trend and more. He recently caught up with Kevin Swanepoel, the Interactive Director of The One Club, and Kevin Flatt of Fallon, who served as the One Show Interactive Jury Chairperson. Read on to find out what they discovered in the process of selecting the best new media of 2003.

The big story to come out of the 2003 One Show Interactive competition was the strong performance of Nike and the growing influence of automotive brands in the interactive space, with the Best of Show going to BMW Films (to complement the One Show Best of Show going to MINI).

Nike was named One Show Interactive's first-ever Advertiser of the Year, winning nine Pencils (four Gold, four Silver, and one Bronze) and 19 Merits for work generated from nine different agencies in six countries. While five of its nine Pencil winners came from R/GA in New York, Nike work was also honored from Wieden + Kennedy in Amsterdam, Framfab in Copenhagen, HYRO Communications in Sydney, Blast Radius in Vancouver, Double You in Barcelona, DAIKO Advertising in Tokyo, and The Barbarian Group in Boston.

'Clearly, Nike gives its agencies lots of creative leeway, with a mandate to push the boundaries and do something new,' says Kevin Swanepoel, Interactive Director of The One Club. He cites the Secret Tournament work from Wieden + Kennedy in Amsterdam as an excellent example of this, as it leveraged an interactive concept across multiple platforms, including CD-ROMS, games, Web sites and banners. It took a Gold Pencil in Integrated Branding, along with BMW Films.

Commenting on the show overall, One Show Interactive Jury Chairperson Kevin Flatt, Interactive Creative Director at Fallon, says he was surprised by how much strong work there was in the competition despite this year's difficult business climate. 'It was good to see such a healthy industry showing.'

Flatt says that one thing the work suggested to him was that advertisers of all stripes seem less daunted by the prospect of embracing both interactive and integration when developing ad strategies. 'We're starting to see lots of big brands in this space, and the people who work on these brands are starting to understand what the medium can afford them,' Flatt says. For example, the integrated branding category is now a hotly contested area of the show, he observes, adding that not long ago the category was pretty thin. 'Indeed, we had a tough time determining some of the top category winners in integrated branding,' he says, 'because there was so much good work to consider.'

One thing that is apparent this year is the rising supremacy of the big network agencies when it comes to working in the interactive space. Says Swanepoel, 'The early community of interactive agencies has become much more fragmented,' and more and more are being replaced with interactive arms of traditional shops, which tend to have a better appreciation for the value of having their work recognized in competitions such as One Show Interactive. Even creatively focused agencies that have not been major players in the interactive space before, such as Goodby Silverstein & Partners, were represented this year with Pencils.

Flatt believes this is an important shift. 'When the creative minds that run these big, traditional agencies get behind their interactive efforts, they can bring some real muscle to their thinking,' he says. 'The result is they're delivering solid work for clients.'

The stronger showing of traditional agencies in One Show Interactive reflects the fact that they represent a safe haven to clients who might have become skittish about working with small, independent interactive agencies, given the problems that have beset many of these shops, Flatt adds.

That said, the One Show Interactive story is not all about big shops. Flatt cites the piece called CamCamTime, which won a Gold Pencil in the Broadband Web sites category for Sony, produced by a small Tokyo i-shop called One Sky. The site featured a clock that ticked off seconds by showing photos snapped at various outdoor digital cameras stationed around Tokyo. 'It was done by three people working in an apartment someplace,' Flatt marveled. 'It's still about the best thinkers, the most creative minds can do some amazing things.'

With BMW Films again capturing One Show Interactive Best of Show for its second round of work promoting 'The Hire,' the automotive category continues to demonstrate a clear understanding of the power of interactive communications. 'The jury was impressed by the sheer strength of the BMW work,' says Swanepoel. 'It really built on the first year, with better production value. We felt it would steal the show.'

'I believe the entire category adopted the media early on,' says Flatt. Automakers have gone through the experimental and developmental stages, he adds, 'and what we're seeing from them now is the norm. As a result, what they're doing is searching for new ways to reach an audience and reward them, and to keep them involved. What MINI has done is a good example.'

Still, there were simple pleasures to be found among the winners. AlmapBBDO in S'o Paulo won a Silver Pencil in the single banner category for a subtle little ad for a South American coffee brand called Pilao. The entry was an animated gif that showed a cup of coffee with a stream of milk being poured into it. The surface of the coffee shimmered with ripples as the milk was added, but the coffee never changed color, supporting the brand's claim that it is a robust, strong brew. The Pilao ad impressed Flatt as an example of what is still possible conceptually with low-tech interactive ads.

At the other end of the technology spectrum, a Gold Pencil-winning ad for Sony from Hakuhodo i-studio in Tokyo, for example, invited users to click on a banner that would show them how a Sony Wega TV would look in their homes. Once they did, the banner expanded to fill their browser and allowed them to play with the layout of a room, placing the set in various spots. When they finally placed the set where it made the most sense, the illustration of the room would fill in with detail.

While the Wega ad is a good example of rich media, by and large Flatt says that the industry is not yet demonstrating real creative experimentation in technologies such as Eyeblaster and Unicast. What impressed Swanepoel, however, was the growth and maturation of Flash as a creative tool. 'What we're seeing now is that Flash is being used to create the dimensions of an interactive TV experience,' says Swanepoel. 'What users see looks like a movie, integrating the user experience. It can be totally immersive.'

He cites an outstanding example at 'Fly Guy,' a little Flash self-promotion piece that won a Gold Pencil for Trevor Van Meter of Greenville, South Carolina, in which an animated man can be made to fly around in the sky, where he interacts with a variety of unexpected and often silly objects.

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