The 2009 IAB Awards has announced 16 agencies today as finalists with the new format resulting in a record number of entries as well as strong FMCG representation.

ZenithOptimedia is the leading agency, securing four finalist spots for their work across two campaigns, while a further eight agencies also received multiple nominations. Three finalists were named in most of the 12 new Award categories, while four finalists were announced for their stand-out entries in the hotly contested ‘Brand Destination Site’ category.

The winners will be announced on 9 July 2009.

Professor Mark Uncles, UNSW, Chairman of Judges commented:

“As in previous years, the standard of the best entries was very high and, on the whole, the typical entry was more persuasive than in previous years. In most submissions there was a genuine attempt to show a clear link between initial business objectives and digital strategies, and there was evidence to follow this through in terms of results, be it in terms of building awareness, driving search, increasing sales, or securing effectiveness and efficiency gains for clients.”

IAB Australia CEO Paul Fisher noted the finalists have showcased some particularly interesting work this year.

“Not only has the number of entries increased spectacularly on last year, but now we know the quality has also been outstanding. It is especially encouraging to see that three quarters of the finalists are from the FMCG sector – a sector which is yet to fully embrace online advertising in Australia.

“I congratulate all the finalists and look forward to presenting the awards to the winners at our gala celebration. I’m also looking forward to announcing the Best In Show winner, who will be sent off to New York to compete in the International category of this year’s MIXX Awards, where our last two Best of Show winners have secured gold and silver awards,” said Fisher.

Professor Uncles continued:

“The categories worked well and meaningful distinctions were drawn between generalist and specific categories. We worked with a list that reflected client requirements (brand awareness building, direct response, product launch, and brand loyalty) and emergent digital and interactive priorities (brand destination site, cross-platform integration, social media, search, widgets, etc.). I would expect the list to be kept under review, if only because the priorities morph with the passage of time”.

The finalists, who were selected by a panel of more than 40 industry judges including Marketings own Kate Kendall, represent the most innovative and effective online advertising and marketing campaigns run in Australia over the last twelve months. Finalists were chosen from entries submitted to 12 new categories. The entry judged as Best of Show Award will gain entry into the IAB’s U.S. MIXX Awards in 2009.

IAB Australia Awards 2009 Finalists (listed by entry number)

Category: Brand Awareness and Positioning

  • ZenithOptimedia: Kit Kat Chunky Cookies & Cream – Nestle
  • CumminsNitro Brisbane: The Best Job in the World – Tourism Queensland
  • Profero: Smart online Safe Offline – NAPCAN

Category: Direct Response and Lead Generation

  • ZenithOptimedia: Qantas International 2-1 Sale – Qantas
  • New Dialogue: Home Loans Spring Campaign – Commonwealth Bank
  • OMD: Bakers Delight 500 Recruitment 2009 – Bakers Delight

Category: Product Launch

  • Media Contacts: The Dawn of Twilight – Hoyts
  • Publicis Digital: Nike Football – Nike Australia
  • Soap Creative: Lynx Instinct – Lynx

Category: Brand Loyalty and Retention

  • Captiv8: Recharge & Always Win – Optus
  • Mediacom: Nokia Music Store – Nokia

Category: Brand Destination Site

  • New Dialogue: Tomb Raider Challenge – Atari
  • Publicis Digital: Nike Football – Nike Australia
  • Soap Creative: Rexona Australias Greatest Athlete – Rexona
  • colman rasic carrasco: Riva Stakeout – Cerebos

Category: Cross-Platform Integration

  • Universal McCann: Rexona Australias Greatest Athlete – Unilever Australia
  • Publicis Digital: Nike Football – Nike Australia
  • OMD: Love my Idol – McDonalds

Category: Digital Video

  • ZenithOptimedia: Kit Kat Chunky Cookies & Cream Launch – Nestle
  • Universal McCann: Rexona Australias Greatest Athlete – Unilever Australia

Category: Search Marketing

  • dgmAustralia: St George Bank Search – St George Bank
  • dgmAustralia: Woolworths Everyday Money Credit Card – Woolworths
  • R&B Creative Communication: Champagne Gallery – Drinx

Category:  Social Media Marketing

  • ZenithOptimedia: Kit Kat Chunky Cookies & Cream Launch – Nestle
  • CumminsNitro Brisbane: The Best Job in the World – Tourism Queensland
  • Pusher: Samboy is Back – Snack Brands Australia

Category: Super-Rich Media

  • Universal McCann: Hancock – Sony Pictures Releasing Australia
  • Soap Creative: Lynx Instinct – Lynx

Category: Widget Marketing

  • New Dialogue: Dark Side Of Tanning – Cancer Institute Of NSW
  • Mindshare: Johnnie Walker Widget – Diageo
  • Profero: The Presets – Talk Like That – Universal Music