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M&G wins two Bookmarks

Published: 30 November 2010

The Mail & Guardian’s online team took home gold at the prestigious Bookmarks Awards, celebrating excellence on digital platforms.

<i>M&G</i> wins two <i>Bookmarks</i>
The ceremony, held at Brio in Cape Town on 18 November, saw the M&G online make a clean sweep of the microsite category, winning the only trophies awarded.

Chris Roper, M&G online Editor, and his team received Pixel Awards for two of their microsites – “The M&G's special Soccer World Cup site won silver, and our affectionate tribute to Nelson Mandela, the M&G Madiba site, was awarded first place and gold,” says Roper.

The design and functionality of these sites is a strong point for M&G, and the awards prove the effectiveness of the layout, content and design.

The 2010 microsite (http://2010.mg.co.za) was launched on 26 March 2010 and was promoted on the front page of the main M&G site until the World Cup ended on 11 July.

This site was a standalone 2010 World Cup site, designed to showcase M&G text and multimedia content, and serve as both a consumer product and a front window for potential syndication.

”Volvo took a keen interest in advertising on the site,” explains Roper. The company took immediately to the new concept of shunning banner ads for ads that are embedded into the unique design of the page. “These were sold as a sponsorship, whereby a client could "own" a part of the site for a month or more,” he adds.

The Madiba site's strongest point was its 25 years' worth of coverage from the M&G newspaper. The elegant interface was clean of any advertising, as it was not a profit-based project, but rather a homage to Nelson Mandela. There's a section where readers can leave their own tributes to the great man, and this features some heartfelt and touching messages.

It ran for two weeks in the public eye, from 11 to 25 July, and is still alive on the following URL: http://madiba.mg.co.za. For anyone wanting to follow the life and times of Madiba, this is an invaluable resource.

This year the judges decided against a bronze award, which effectively left M&G with a clean sweep of the category. “There were only six publishing gold awards in total, so we are particularly proud of this commendation,” comments Roper.

“The great thing about beating the big publishing houses in this category is that its evidence that original, intelligent content is still valued in the local online universe,” he says.

The annual Bookmarks Awards, now in its third year, recognises the best work carried out in the online industry. Winners are awarded with Pixels, which are small trophy cubes worth an undisclosed but presumably large amount of money.
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