The 2012 Digiday Superlatives

The week before the holidays brings a spate of awards. We decided to go in a different direction by honoring some more unusual feats of the year from our perspective. Please submit your own in the comments below or tweet us @digiday. We’ll add the best.

Buzzword of the Year: Native advertising. The madness must stop. Just because something isn’t a standard ad unit doesn’t mean it’s “native.”

Best PR, Publisher: BuzzFeed. Jonah Peretti has created a monster. Pretty much everything BuzzFeed did this year turned to gold — and spawned many imitators.


Most Grating Term: Pinfluencer. Brought to you by the people behind such awfulness as momtrepreneur.


Most Reliable Quote, Ad Tech: Zach Coellius, CEO of Triggit. You want a wet, sloppy kiss for RTB, Zach is ready.









Most Reliable Quote, Agencies: Ian Schafer, CEO of Deep Focus. Arguably the most ubiquitous man in digital media. Reporters love him for his knack for giving good quote, as they say.


Conference Poetry Honor: Weather Company’s Vikram Somaya. Not many can combine Byron and third-party data.


Laziest Blog Ad-Tech Trope: The Buddy Media of X. OK, Buddy Media was a definite success. But we don’t need one for every single area.


3 Worst Headline Scams:
1. Hey, X…
2. Meet X…
3. 3 Worst…


Best (Worst?) Addition to Agency Gift Economy: Apple picking, as in products. Jeans night and sunglasses parties are passe on the tangible meeting circuit.


Most Extreme Tweeter, Brands: Sara Livingston, Seamless. @saralivingston is a force of nature on Twitter, holding forth on ad tech, college football and more.


Most Frequently Attacked Marketing Job: Social media guru. It’s almost to the point where you gotta feel sorry for these folks.


Best Infographic: No award given. Not every piece of data means you need to “visualize” it.


Funniest Agency Tweeter: @rga. Agencies usually have drab voices in social media. Not so with digital powerhouse R/GA. Chief of copy Chapin Clark brings the wry and sometimes dark to his daily musings.


Oddest Agency Exec Tweeter: @milesnadal. If you’re into Winston Churchill quotes and oddly capitalized nouns, this is the place to go.


Worst Traffic Gimmick: Slideshows. Sure, they can be a useful storytelling device, but they have become a shortcut to bumping up pageviews.


Most Over-covered Story: Facebook’s IPO. This was Silicon Valley’s version of the Royal Wedding.

lev radin /

VC Philosopher of the Year: Fred Wilson. At some point, the man who backed GeoCities and Kozmo became the oracle of tech moneymen. Wilson’s got cred for his bet on Twitter and got an early start on the VC blogging craze. He’s helped an army or imitators and even the reverse move of bloggers becoming VCs.

Most Cringeworthy Job Title: Growth Hacker. Look, there’s no shortage of choices in this category. Growth Hacker wins only because these Silicon Valley marketers really believe they’re something special.

Most Frequent Conference Prop: The Lumascape. Set your watch to its first appearance and/or reference at an industry event.


Worst 2012 Prediction: Death of the ad network. Ad networks are like cockroaches; they find a way. 


Most Overrated Scaremongering: Do Not Track. You’d think democracy itself was at risk if regulators did anything to regulate third-party cookies. Turned out — surprise! — the sky hasn’t fallen.

Toughest Comeback Attempt: MySpace. It’s an uphill battle when “Thanks for the add” is an ironic t-shirt.

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