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The Drum Awards For Digital Industries Feature UK

Digital delights: DADI Awards 2007

By The Drum | Administrator

July 12, 2007 | 14 min read

Who’s the DADI?

But, perhaps now is better than any other time to announce the rotation of the Dadi Awards, this year headline sponsored by Scottish Enterprise.

Scottish agencies faired well in the inaugural year, winning a majority of the prizes on offer, including Chairman’s Award (Glasgow City Marketing Bureau); Best Website (Line for Edinburgh International Festival); with Best Commercial Project and Best Viral Campaign going to Story for its Envy of Islay work for Ardbeg.

The awards attracted a high profile panel of judges from across Europe and London, including COI’s team head of digital media, Franco Bachizza; Richard Holley, interactive art director at Diesel Italy; DNA MD Chris Perry; Tom Evans, creative director of Mook; Ross Sleight, marketing and operations director for Virgin Games; Margaret Manning, CEO of Reading Room; VCCP's creative director and partner Steve Vranakis; Mark Chalmers, creative director of Strawberryfrog, Amsterdam; Mickey Stretton, design director for AllofUs; Trevor Chambers, head of digital at Start Creative; Underwired’s managing partner, Felix Velarde; and chairman Phil Jones, MD Real Time Consultancy.

A full rundown of the results and pictures from the night can be viewed online at www.dadiawards.com.

Chairman's Award

www.seeglasgow.com, which won the chairman’s award, is Glasgow City Marketing Bureau’s major marketing tool and, as such, supports the company’s mission: “To position metropolitan Glasgow to its key markets to create customers, generate inward investment and sustainable net economic benefit.”

In 2006, the website was redesigned to reflect the Glasgow: Scotland With Style brand, with new technologies implemented to allow full integration of multimedia content such as Flash animation and video and audio streaming.

As well as providing information for consumers and the media, the website also has a highly comprehensive Convention Bureau section. A feed from the website is also used to populate pages on Glasgow City Council’s Access Glasgow kiosks, which provide information in various locations around the city.

Search engine optimisation has been key to seeglasgow.com’s performance with the site being returned consistently in the top five sites returned on search engines such as Google and Yahoo, and on search portals such as Dogpile. Glasgow City Marketing Bureau now hosts its own media server and an mp3 library is being put together with every opportunity being taken to record suitable material for streaming or as downloadable Podcasts.

Results for 2006 show: 190 per cent increase in website visitors; 160 per cent increase in page views rendered; 2.8 per cent increase in hotel occupancy; 360,000 tourists generated expenditure of £41,740,506; 28.5 per cent increase in delegate days; and 71 per cent increase in conference accommodation booking. Chairman Phil Jones said: “As a portal that shows off Glasgow throughout the world, it performs beautifully. And the results are superb.”

Agency of the year

Edinburgh-based Line was also one of the main winners of the night, scooping four DADI awards, including Agency of the Year.

Line’s founder and MD Ross Laurie made his name with Kwik-Fit, turning Kwik-Fit.com from a brochureware site to make over £60k a month.

Meanwhile, he launched First Tuesday, growing its reach to 150 cities before selling up in 2000.

A true entrepreneur he helped launch BlackCircles.com and co-founded Long-Lunch, which he has just, last month, stepped down as a director from.

Laurie Templar Knight (LTK) was launched in April 2003 and quickly picked up work from Vodaphone and the Home Office. After just over nine months of trading there was an obvious need for more digital work than LTK had the capability for, so Ben Ausden (formerly head of technical development at Navyblue New Media) and Andy Massey (formerly head of digital design at Navyblue) joined as directors. In the summer of 2004 the agency re-branded and re-launched as Line taking the decision to focus solely on digital.

Since then the agency has continued to grow quickly working for clients, including AEGON, Scottish Life, Royal London, BBC Worldwide, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Turcan Connell, Shepherd+ Wedderburn, Craig & Rose, CCL Compliance, BDG McColl and Boudiche.

Line also added to its senior management team, hiring client services director Malky Brown, formerly head of digital at IAS Smarts, bringing staff count up to nine full-time staff and three long-term contractors, with two more to come in the next month.

In October last year the management team completed an agency buy-out from parent company Future 19, allowing the team to determine its own future.

Four Awards, including Agency of The Year… A busy year, I take it??

It’s been a frantic year but I think this is the same for ALL digital agencies – we’ve all seen how quickly the swing to digital has happened, particularly in the last 18 months, and it’s nice to see our hard work and foresight is being rewarded. We now have a solid base of financial services, professional services and ecommerce clients and we will continue to build on this base to establish ourselves as the most effective digital agency in the country... well, that’s the plan anyway.

What new trends have you noticed in the digital industry of late??

More clients are spending more money on this media and less on others. But there’s still a lot more to come and we’re preparing for it right now – it’s important to stay one step ahead of the game.

Scotland was extremely well represented at the DADAI awards. Is this reflective of the UK industry as a whole? How does Scotland compare to the rest of the UK, in your view??

Scotland is exceptionally credible in this area given our relatively small size. The top agencies in Scotland produce work that can rival any agency and we’ve already seen the credibility of our people/work through the BigMouthMedia buyout last Autumn – how many other agencies in Scotland have sold for over £50m after eight years of trading? The reality of the situation is that most Scottish digital agencies work predominantly with non-Scottish clients (until recently, only about 30% of Line clients were from Scotland) but we are observing a change in Scottish clients views on digital as they bring in experienced digital marketers. It’s a good thing for the industry but we still have a long way to go!

Do we nurture our digital talent? ?

There is a shortage of EXCELLENT people in ALL industries – it’s just a fact of life. The big shortage in digital at the moment is in technical developers. Any good agency needs at least 3 or 4 of these to handle bigger projects and they are very hard to come by. There’s big competition up here from banks and other big financial institutions who can afford to pay more and offer more benefits so you really need to offer your people something extra (exciting jobs, good team, better working environment, etc) in order to attract and retain them.

Digital has moved from being an afterthought to one of the first pieces of the marketing jigsaw, how has this impacted on the industry??

This has always been the case with the “top marketers” as they’ve had the confidence to do what they think is right rather than follow the crowd. These people/clients have now proved it works as an effective tool for launching products, acting as a hub for integrated campaigns, increasing sales, attracting and retaining customers, improving internal efficiencies, etc – and it’s all trackable so the only people who should be worried about it are those who don’t have confidence in what they do.

There’s nothing clever being done here – it’s all about effective use of marketing spend and the internet, and its associated technologies, enables this to happen in real time (with no arguments).

Web2.0. User Generated Content. Blogging... Are marketers still able to control the web?

Blogging is just another form of communication that has been enabled by the web. Personally, I don’t subscribe to it as I have better things to do with my time than read someone else’s diary but, for the right brands, it can be a tremendously effective marketing tool.

What is the ‘secret of your success?’

Belief in what we do; Cashflow; Our people.

Andy Massey was also named as Individual of the Year. What does he bring to the agency?

Massey is one of the most diligent designers I know – in fact I’d say he pays FAR too much attention to detail but that’s probably why he won the award. He’s a perfectionist in an imperfect world. He’s a legend in his own lunchtime and we miss his constant whinging about usability and HCI when he’s out on business.

Tribewanted.com: Grand Prix Winner

The idea was simple enough: Create a land where people pay to live without the luxury of belongings or fripperies. But for Ben Keene and Mark James, two would-be entrepreneurs, the implementation, however, was more difficult. MySpace and Second Life both happily housed users who just wanted to swap opinions and chat, however James saw that there was untapped potential for a site that combined commercial common sense with the community feel so desired by social network sites’ users.

Newcastle-based design company, Komodo Design, had met with Keene and James through Madventurer, a website aimed at people taking a career break. Keene, in fact, launched Careerbreakcafe.com, and had appointed Komodo to work on that, so the design company seemed a natural fit.

The idea of the site, which won the Grand Prix and also Most Innovative Project, was effectively to create a ‘timeshare’ on an island. Keene and James sourced an island, Vorovoro, which is based off the coast of Fiji, and tasked Komodo with coming up with a brand for it.

“We had one week to come up with idea of the stylish parchment, but we knew that the brand design had to be inspirational,” says Komodo’s Andy Greener.

The Komodo team was briefed in the early part of 2006, with the site itself launching in August 2006. The initiative was such a fledgling project, that there wasn’t a budget in place for the design project. “We got paid at the beginning, but it didn’t cover the hours that we put in to get it up and running,” says Greener. “As the project got bigger, the operating costs of the island had overtaken the costs of running the website.”

Tribe members sign up for a basic ‘nomad’ membership of £180, which gives them a year’s membership and 7 nights’ stay on the island; a £360 ‘hunter’ membership which is valid for two years’ and 14 nights; or a ‘warrior’ membership for £540, valid for three years and 21 nights. The fee covers a connection to the island from the nearest main airport, food and sustenance but not travel insurance, international flights or carbon offset costs.

Governing of the island is done by a democracy, with all the 1194 members having access to a private area of the website, and being able to vote a new ‘chief’ in. Island members can all vote on island business, with different threads on the forums dealing with everything from food to sustainable tourism. Although only 100 members are allowed on the island at any one time, nearly all the members have visited and maintained a connection with the island.

Komodo Design has no financial interest in the company, other than from a philanthropical view of its purpose. One of the design company’s biggest challenges was developing the intricate applications, which are bespoke to the site. “The Tribewanted project demanded rapid turnaround due to unprecedented interest from the media,” says Greener.

From an ethical stance, the Tribewanted site doesn’t have any commercial interests, although a few companies have bought membership for their staff. Vodaphone Fiji is the mobile partner, although Greener is quick to point out this is more in ‘spirit’ than currency. “The site remains unaffiliated to any particular corporate body,” he says. “Vodaphone has worked with Tribewanted to give internet coverage to the island, and work with them on communications difficulties.”

The site’s evolution will come as the project grows. There is now a full time web developer based on Vorovoro and there are plans to incorporate further community tools. “We’ve built the brand and the technology – now it’s being handled by the tribe,” says Greener.

With a BBC documentary planned for September, and podcasts and videos already circulating online, it can only be a matter of time before the four-strong Komodo team ups sticks from Newcastle and moves to Vorovoro. “Unfortunately not!” says Greener. “Although we’ve been invited many times work commitments have not as yet allowed us to ‘escape’.”

Supporting Scotland’s Digital Media Industries within Electronic Markets

As main sponsor to this year’s inaugural Drum Awards for the Digital Industries, we were impressed with the variety of nominations. The quality and diversity of work which companies in the digital industry have been involved with, as showcased on the evening of the event itself, was also very impressive.

Scottish Enterprise continues to focus on those industries that can grow faster and bring more benefit to Scotland – such as better jobs, international growth opportunities and inward investment for Scottish businesses. All these things should result in a stronger economy. The Digital Media Industries sector, as part of Electronic Markets, offers Scotland that opportunity.

Electronic Markets address the worldwide opportunities for products and services which are enabled by integrated electronics, intelligent information systems and innovative content.

Within Scottish Enterprise, our Electronic Markets team’s role is to continually analyse current and future market opportunities and to articulate a strategy whereby Scotland can derive greatest economic benefit from capitalising on those opportunities.

Further, it is the role of the team to work with colleagues and stakeholders to maintain promotion and implementation of the evolving strategy.

Currently, since the formation of the new Electronic Markets team, Scottish Enterprise has undertaken an extensive programme of research to make a preliminary survey of the landscape for Electronic Markets. Based on this research we have initially identified four market areas for immediate further investigation:

Broadcasting Security Serious Gaming Intelligent Transport Systems

Whilst these will provide immediate focus, they are by no means exclusive and additional market areas will be considered on an on-going basis.

Some of the key projects Scottish Enterprise is presently working on to bring economic opportunity to Scotland within the Electronic Markets strategy include:

Digital Media Quarter @ Pacific Quay, Glasgow

Scottish Enterprise has invested millions in the development of Pacific Quay as a digital media hub. STV moved to the site in 2006 and the BBC’s move to its new flagship broadcasting centre will be complete by September 2007.

Film City Glasgow

Adjacent to the Pacific Quay site, Film City Glasgow is being developed as a production and post-production base for the film and television community and houses Scotland’s first Dolby Theatre and Digital Picture Grading Suite.

Seabraes Yards, Dundee

The Seabraes Yards development in Dundee is a 20-acre site which will offer 360,000 square feet of high quality accommodation in a purpose-built environment. The first major development on the site is vision@seabraes, providing 100,000 sq ft of low maintenance, energy efficient space.

For more information visit:

www.scottish-enterprise.com

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