The agency community honored some of its favorite service providers during the annual ASPY Awards ceremony Monday, May 5, at the iMedia Agency Summit in Austin, Texas. Nominees and winners were chosen via community voting on iMediaConnection.com.
The following companies and individuals took home the top honors this year.
Best ad product innovation: Celtra
Celtra empowers agencies, media suppliers, and brand leaders alike with an integrated, scalable cross-screen HTML5 technology for brand advertising on smartphones, tablets, and desktop. Its AdCreator 4, built to run large-scale and complex campaigns, is a single platform for streamlined ad creation, performance-optimized serving, and consolidated reporting with common metrics across all screens.
Best customer service: MobileFuse
Since its inception, MobileFuse has created unique mobile media solutions for brands across smartphones and tablets. As an independent ad network, MobileFuse prides itself on its customer service. With a focus on establishing long-term relationships with its clients, MobileFuse strives to create a win-win-win for its advertisers, publishers, and partners.
Best data or analytics solution: Visual IQ
Visual IQ produces powerful cross-channel marketing attribution software products. As a pioneer in the space, the company has been offering products since 2006. Its SaaS-based IQ Intelligence Suite reveals cross-channel performance insights hidden deep within companies' marketing data, providing actionable recommendations and optimized media plans to improve marketing effectiveness. These recommendations enable marketers and agencies to adjust their advertising strategies and tactics to significantly increase marketing ROI across their entire marketing mix -- both online and offline. The functionality behind these products combines a powerful, user-friendly interface with multi-dimensional fractional attribution science and predictive analytics that clearly and accurately show marketers where opportunities exist for improvement.
Best new technology: Fresh Beacons
As brands continue to bet on mobile to connect more directly with consumers, new technologies such as beacons are getting a lot of buzz and attention in 2014. Among all the beacon services, Fresh Beacons stands out. By filtering out the irrelevant and offering more customized experiences, Fresh Beacons allows retailers, venues, content providers, and developers to send personalized high-value content to enhance their users' mobile engagement. With a lower price than major competitors and dual OS capabilities, Fresh Beacons is leading the beacon game in the mobile advertising industry.
Rising Star Award: Frank Maguire, Sharethrough
Frank Maguire is the East Coast sales director of native advertising company Sharethrough. After more than five years of media agency experience, Maguire was hired as the first New York employee and tasked with creating an East Coast sales presence for the then 15-employee, San Francisco-based company. Over the next three years, he helped grow the New York team from his apartment to a 25-person office in SoHo with a reputation for excellent customer service and innovative native ad solutions. He regularly consults brands, agencies, and publishers on best practices in native advertising and content marketing.
2014 Industry Luminary: Joanne Bradford, Pinterest
Late last year, Joanne Bradford became head of partnerships at Pinterest, where she focuses on both commercial and content partnerships globally. Bradford's impressive pedigree includes roles at a number of other major industry players. Prior to Pinterest, Bradford served as president of the San Francisco Chronicle, prior to which she was chief revenue and marketing officer for Demand Media. She also held the role of senior vice president, revenue and market development, for Yahoo, and both chief media officer for MSN and chief revenue officer for online at Microsoft.
The 2014 ASPY Advisory Board included:
- Chairman: Peter Platt, President, PSquared Digital
- Tamara Bousquet, SVP, Media, Digitas
- Jason Burnham, Partner and Social Engineer, Burnham Marketing
- Nicole Incherchera, Director, MindShare
- Jim Meskauskas, Chief Strategic Officer and Co-Founder, Media Darwin
- Christine Peterson, U.S. Group Director, MRY
- Shenan Reed, Chief Media Officer and Founder, Morpheus Media
- Jennifer Samples Lazarus, President, LazBro Inc.
- David Smith, CEO, Mediasmith
- Kay Wesolowski, VP Digital Media Director, Kelly Scott Madison