360i Gets Top Agency at Digiday Awards

360i, Red Bull and Buzzfeed were awarded last night at the 2013 Digiday Awards, honoring overall excellence and breakthrough achievement in digital media, marketing and advertising.

360i was named most innovative agency. Its crowning moment was the “tweet heard round the world,” the quick-on-the-feet response for Kraft’s Oreo during the Super Bowl blackout. The move showed nimbleness, having grown from a search shop to a full-fledged agency that’s adept in social and untethered to structures of the past. It spawned a trend of real-time marketing, putting megabrands that aren’t agile to shame. It shined in its work with Oscar Mayer on the clever “Butcher Thick Cut Bacon” campaign, tying with Thinkmodo for Popcorn Indiana’s “Popinator” for the best creative category.

Buzzfeed took home the award for most innovative publisher. It led the charge for native advertising, consistently pointing out the shortcomings of the banner ad. That gospel has now spread far and wide as other publishers have adopted similar strategies. The publisher has coupled its innovative ad approach with a publishing system built for social, combining both high-minded coverage of politics and business with the low brow of addictive Internet memes.

Redbull was named most innovative brand for its pioneering work in showing how a brand can be a media company. The pinnacle of its efforts was sending Felix Baumgartner to leap from the edge of space last fall.

Digiday awarded David Kenny as person of the year. Under Kenny’s watch, Weather has cast its lot fully with data-driven advertising. The ex-Digitas CEO brought in a team of ad veterans, including former VivaKi exec Curt Hecht and ex-Reuters exec Vikram Somaya, to transform Weather from a fairly traditional publisher to a data-rich platform that links ads to weather conditions. At a time when many publishers are still playing defense on data, Weather under Kenny has taken the lead.

The Digiday Awards were presented last night at an event in New York City hosted by Chris Pfaff, chairman of Producers Guild of America New Media Council East.

The 2013 Digiday Award winners are:

Best Branding Campaign – Consumer
Oscar Meyer and 360i for Butcher Thick Cut Bacon

Best Branding Campaign – B2B
Traction for Accountemps’ Robert Half International

Best Direct Response Campaign
ReTargeter for BustedTees

Best Brand Platform
R/GA for Nike

Best Publishing Platform  
Buzzfeed

Best Creative
Tie between Oreo and 360i for “Dunk in the Dark” and Thinkmodo for Popcorn Indiana

Editorial Selections:

Most Innovative Agency
360i

Most Innovative Publisher
Buzzfeed

Most Innovative Brand
Red Bull

Person of the Year
David Kenny