From solar eclipses to sports – 5 lessons learned from the 22nd Webby Awards
According to the Webby Awards 2018, our global population of just over 7.6 billion includes 3.9 billion internet users blasting through 1.9 billion websites.
Digital has arguably democratised knowledge more effectively than any other medium and this year’s Webbys provide a timely reminder that the internet can still be a powerhouse of positivity – here are our five lessons learned.
1. Online activism works
Petitions don’t always achieve their aims, but as the world’s largest online petition site, change.org harnesses the power of 238 million people (and counting) to pressurise global power players in politics and business.
And it often works – they’ve achieved 28,078 victories in 196 countries, in areas like animal welfare, autism care and criminal justice.
Before the internet made campaigning more accessible to the masses, petitions had far less clout – now they change laws and lives around the world.
2. Sports stars create change
When Gridiron god Chris Long isn’t winning the Super Bowl as the Philadelphia Eagle’s defensive end, he’s donating his entire salary to charities he publicises to an online audience including half a million Twitter followers.
He was awarded the Best Athlete Webby for donating his estimated $1 million pay check to admirable causes like educational scholarships in US cities and digging life-saving water wells in Tanzania.
While some elite athletes are criticised for internet outputs that focus on clothes and cars, Long’s digital savvy reminds us of sports’ transcendent power.
3. Simple AR works wonders
Augmented Reality (AR) has been a buzzword for several years, but The Mill’s Webby-winning Stranger Things 2: Facebook AR effects won praise for the way it extended the reach of the all-conquering Netflix horror even further with clever AR optimised for Facebook followers.
In a couple of clicks, fans could add 3D filters that placed the character Dart on their heads, transported them to The Upside Down or transformed them into Demogorgons.
This cool commercial application of AR integrated perfectly with the platform and produced user-generated content that’s instantly sharable.
4. Full-spectrum agencies can still excel
BBDO NY were named Webby Agency of the Year for their outstanding achievements across business strands including advertising, media and PR, websites, apps and social.
The multi-talented agency also won individual awards for Scripted Branded Entertainment with GE’s ‘You Can’t Unring a Bell’ and Best Copywriting for P&G’s ‘The Talk’, which tackled racial bias.
Sustaining quality and creativity at scale isn’t easy – but BBDO NY pull it off with aplomb.
5. Data visualisations help us get the big picture
The gurus at Google Earth Voyager joined forces with NASA boffins to collaborate on a superb solar eclipse project that won a Webby for Websites: Best Data Visualisation.
Total Eclipse of the Sun provided fans fascinated by 2017’s eclipse with a deep dig to back up the real-life drama.
Amateur astronomers could rotate a 3D satellite image of the globe to track the path of the eclipse, work out when it was at optimum visibility in their town or city and zoom down from outer space to street views of the best urban and natural spots to witness the unique event.
Facts and figures can be fascinating, but creative visual effects make them feel much more real.
So that’s our five lessons learned from the 2018 Webby Awards – every day’s a school day in the digital domain.
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