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Media Guardian Awards 2010 announced

Cyber activism, an iPhone app that sees into the future and a film that romanticises Blackpool are just some of the winners of the 2010 MediaGuardian Innovation Awards (Megas). The winners were announced tonight by Guardian tech journalist and TV presenter Aleks Krotoski at a ceremony at Paramount, Centrepoint, London.

Web entrepreneur Austin Heap was the main winner of the evening, scooping the MediaGuardian Innovator of the Year award, which rewards the figure considered to have had the greatest impact on innovation in the media in the past year. Judges chose Austin for the key technological role he played in last summer’s campaign against censorship in Iran; his Haystack software was used by Iranians to share information outside the country in the protests that followed the disputed election result.

Judges described Austin as “an amazing twenty-something who has harnessed the power of Twitter” and praised this form of “guerilla innovation, using open technology and connectivity to create an opportunity.”


Load & Go (O2 & ZenithOptimedia / Channel 4 / The Outfit)

Load & Go was a bite-sized rom-com that ran in the centre break of Hollyoaks every day, with characters discussing the plot lines and demonstrating the benefits of O2’s Load & Go card. Recognised by the viewers as entertainment in its own right, the soap within a soap got people talking, took them online to find out more and delivered brand and sales results for O2.

Judges said: “A great approach to this demographic”


Blackpool: J’aime la Tour (visitBlackpool & SKV Communications)

VisitBlackpool’s humorous viral film playing on the similarities between the Eiffel and Blackpool Towers generated talkability and achieved a revaluation of Blackpool. An exclusive was given to the BBC which sparked take up amongst other media and overwhelming public awareness.

Judges said: “Delivered perfect timing and execution with a lightness of touch and a sense of humour. A product of PR advertising at it’s best.”


Kasabian Football Hero (Columbia Records / Umbro  & Sony Music Creative)

Sony teamed up with Umbro to promote the release of Kasabian’s single ‘Underdog’ and Umbro’s new sportswear line. They programmed and built a giant ‘Guitar Hero’ game, played with footballs by football freestylers. The game itself showcased the new Kasabian single as well as the new Umbro clothing line. A short documentary of the project was released on YouTube.

Judges said: “A clever link between football, music and video games to appeal to a segment which would appreciate each element and the skills involved. The execution of the campaign was particularly innovative.”


Onedotzero adventures in motion festival identity 2009/2010 (onedotzero & Wieden + Kennedy)

The festival identity actively involved onedotzero’s core audience of design and computing enthusiasts in the creation of an innovative design piece. Identity assets were generated by users and interacted with at a Nokia-powered identity projection at BFI Southbank.

Judges said: “This is a piece which engages the participant and gives them a penny drop ‘I get it’ genius moment. This idea nails its brief, serves a purpose and embraces technology and design and combines them all with a touch of genius and stunning visuals.”


Scraperwiki (Scraperwiki Ltd)

ScraperWiki is a data store which allows developers to scrape, store, aggregate, and distribute unstructured public data in more useful, structured formats. The ambition is to fill ScraperWiki with thousands of public data sets that can be used by journalists, researchers, developers and public bodies.

Judges said: “Scraperwiki had the feel of something with its origins in a really good hackday. A rough and ready idea which, while small, showed forward thinking and innovation in execution and application.”


BBC Democracy Live (BBC FM&T Journalism)

Democracy Live‘s central task was to take raw coverage of Westminster, the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly, the Northern Ireland Assembly and the European Parliament and present it consistently, attractively and in a way that encourages understanding and participation.  A new infrastructure was required to capture and aggregate the video streams produced by the democratic institutions, resulting in a powerful, innovative tool.

Judges said: “While the platform used existing technology is did so in a highly innovative way and in doing so filled a huge gap in the accessibility of political information. A hugely useful and important use of web based technologies.”


MirrorMe (Ideonic & 4iP)


MirrorMe is an innovative application that aims to promote healthy lifestyles in the young adult population. Users take any photo of themselves, enter an overview of their bad habits and are then presented with an image of what their face would look like in the future. The app has personalised effects for ageing, binge drinking, drug abuse, sun damage, obesity and smoking.

Judges said: “It’s new, usable, popular and therefore has social value and empowers kids on making decisions about their future.”


Beamups Online Global News Marketplace (Beamups)


Beamups is an online marketplace for the buying and selling of international news footage and photos. Beamups’ online solution breaks down barriers in distribution and allows news outlets to buy locally-sourced news direct from professional content providers everywhere.

Judges said: “Innovative and successful, a great spread of blue chip companies have signed up to the service.”


Fiat 500C Feelgood Playlist (Fiat UK & AKQA)

To promote the new Fiat 500C to an audience of ‘free thinkers’, AKQA teamed up with Spotify to create the Feelgood Playlist. Tracks were proposed by Spotify users and new tracks to the playlist were instantly shared and enjoyed among all users.

Judges said: “Created a subtle community around passion and content.”


Mystery Packages (RNLI & Proximity London)

With a need to target a younger audience for support and donations, the RNLI engaged 12 of the UK’s most prolific young vloggers as ambassadors. Each blogger was sent an anonymous ‘mystery package’ inviting them to rebrand their generation, challenging negative perceptions of young people. The resulting films received almost a million views, and via these 12 people 11% of 15-20 year olds in Britain were reached.

Judges said: “A brave attempt to reach out to the young and identifying the market”


#sixweeks (Paul McCrudden. Participants included Pret A Manger, Pizza Express, Little Chef, EAT, Squat + Gobble, Cranberry)

Fed up with queuing and interested in measuring his time and money spent interacting with brands, Paul McCrudden decided to conduct a consumer experiment. He directly challenged companies to pay him for the time he spent with them, informing them and tracking their replies using social media, and generating international PR coverage.

Judges said: “Based on a social truth providing a social impact, a campaign that was effective to all.”


Austin Heap

Find out more at http://www.guardian.co.uk/megas.

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