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iMedia Agency Awards 2016


iMedia is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 iMedia Agency Awards.

The awards recognize agencies that drove industry innovation throughout the year, one marketer who helped bring his agency to the front of the pack, and one campaign that deserves special attention.

Read on to find out who won in each of the five categories, as well as the other nominees and the criteria for selection.

Agency Marketer of the Year

John Hartman, President, Piston

As the president of Piston, iMedia's Small Agency of the Year for 2014 & 2015, John and his team have continually pushed the boundaries of what a small boutique agency can deliver for major brands such as Skullcandy, HugoBoss, The San Diego Chargers, Rubio's, Intuit, and AARP.

Some agencies are great at creative, some excel at PPC/SEO, some are great at website and mobile development. John has driven Piston to excel across all aspects of the digital ecosystem. He is equally able to lead a strategic branding engagement, website development project, programmatic media campaign or tag manager pixel tracking framework. John has helped drive early adoption of programmatic media across his clients and the industry. He is now putting major efforts into data visualization with partners such as DOMO.

John is highly active with his local San Diego digital marketing community, which has evolved to one of the key cities for independent digital agency innovation and evolution. He is constantly developing new talent and has agency alumni at dozens of great fortune 500 brands across the country.

Other nominees:

  • Richard McDonald, President, Agency, Epsilon
  • Adam Harrell, Co-founder, Nebo
  • Kevin VanValkenburgh, Senior VP of Connections Planning, Tombras
  • Erik Huberman, CEO, Hawke Media

Criteria: A future-forward, innovative agency marketer with big ideas, who gets results and collaborates openly to push the marketing industry forward.

Agency of the Year


PMG is a global digital advertising agency based out of Fort Worth, Texas. As a whole, PMG powers digital advertising globally across multiple channels for big brands. It is an industry leader in programmatic transparency, data innovation, and analytics, as well as SEM, social, and brand and performance display.
PMG works with some of the world's biggest and most ambitious brands, including Apple, J.Crew, Sephora, OpenTable and Travelocity. In September, PMG won AdWeek's Media Plan of the Year Award in the Best Use of Social category for "Straight Outta Somewhere," its Beats by Dre campaign. It also won seven Cannes Lions, top honors in the Facebook Awards, two Shorty Awards, Best in Show at the EIMA Awards, and more.

Other nominees:

  • Huge
  • Epsilon
  • Influence & Co.
  • DigitasLBi

Criteria: Based on the last 12 months of an agency's consistent, extraordinary, and groundbreaking work that demonstrates significant client ROI. A dominant influencer in the field whose innovative spirit makes an unparalleled contribution to the forward progress of the digital marketing industry.

Campaign of the Year

Make-A-Wish Foundation: Power of a Wish Gala Live on Facebook (KNEKT)

KNEKT took the non-profit's premier fundraising event of the year and extended the reach from 1,000 guests in attendance to the following: More than 44,000 views with 561 Reactions, 371 shares, and 190 Comments on the Facebook Live broadcast.

Nigel Barker of "America's Next Top Model" hosted the evening and the live broadcast, alongside red carpet host Melanie Specht, best known for her role in "Transformers: Age of Extinction." More than $1,300,000 was raised that evening, and the engagement and viewership of this content was unparalleled with any other videos Make-A-Wish NYC has posted. The content was then edited and shared with mutual partner Good Amplified to extend the reach across other social channels.

Other nominees:

  • ASICS: Power of Fans (Red Door Interactive)
  • The First Ever Pinterest Yard Sale (Deutsch)
  • YMCA National Branding Campaign (Kelly Scott Madison and Droga5)
  • Whopper Sign (David Miami)

Criteria: A game-changing integrated campaign that expanded the scope and influence of marketing and redefined how marketers can and should use emerging media and technology to further the craft of brand marketing.

Innovative Agency of the Year


A digital innovation partner for some of the world's largest brands, Rockfish Digital combines technology DNA, marketing expertise, and start-up fuel to develop results-driven, innovative solutions for its clients. Perhaps the most striking example of innovation at Rockfish is manifested in the form of Rapid Innovation Workshops (RIWs), where blended teams of clients, designers, developers, and strategists work together for 72 hours to ideate, create, and demonstrate groundbreaking solutions.

In 2016 alone, Rockfish has hosted Rapid Innovation Workshops for a one of the oldest and largest automakers, one of the largest domestic airlines, and a top-10 U.S. retailer, producing solutions such as mobile-based platforms to improve transportation and mobility, virtual reality experiences to help consumers visualize abstract concepts, and voice recognition technology to help streamline and improve customer service and purchasing experiences.

Other nominees:

  • Deep Focus
  • Giant Spoon
  • Carrot Creative
  • GoKart Labs

Criteria: Based on the last 12 months of work by an agency, regardless of size, that has produced ground-breaking work that reimagines the role of marketing in today's society and pushes media and technology to new heights of imagination and excellence. This category is designed to recognize the agencies that look at new and established channels, wonder "what if?" and then put their musings to the test.

Small Agency of the Year


Piston, a LEWIS company, is a full-service digital agency located in San Diego, working to create successful communications between brands and customers based on a deeper understanding of commerce, culture, and technology. Piston has always been a big believer in partner certification and was recently one of the first agencies to receive Google's new "Premier Agency Partner" certification. Over the last year, the agency invested heavily in its partnership with DOMO to roll real-time dashboards and data visualization out across its entire client base.

Jennifer Lopez, Piston's head of paid search, recently won a Landy Award for Female Search Marketer of the Year. Piston's clients include The San Diego Chargers, Taylor Guitars, Intuit, Skullcandy, AARP, Rubio's, HugoBoss, and Stanford Healthcare.

Other nominees:

  • Good Apple
  • Mindgruve
  • Home Brew Agency
  • Traction

Criteria: Based on the last 12 months of work by a small (100 employees or fewer) agency that has advanced interactive marketing through big ideas, brilliant creative, cutting-edge technology, and the passionate pursuit of excellence in the digital space.

iMedia Communications, Inc. is a trade publisher and event producer serving interactive media and marketing industries. The company was founded in September of 2001 and is a subsidiary of Comexposium USA.  ...

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Commenter: Thomas Moyer

2016, December 06

Congrats everyone!!