2009 OMMA Agency Of The Year, The Yale Club, New York
January 11, 2010
It's so easy to, uh, fill out more when on the road for business, that's what "they" say. Full articles have been dedicated to how not to blow up like a hormonal manatee when home is the Best Western. I have been trying to apply diversionary tactics myself to the party circuit - like pounding a salad before stepping out into the night. Or like last night, where I figured bread was the lesser of two evils. This was a bad choice because I kid you not; it was the best bread I've ever eaten. And then I commenced eating the equivalent of an entire loaf. Where did I find such delicious product of rising yeast? The OMMA Agency of the Year awards, of course!
I entered the Grand Ballroom of the Yale Club around 6:05 to find a handful of early arrivals already milling about. The stage area was caged in velvet as the MediaPost/OMMA crew set up the tables and made sure every chair had its place. The backdrop was a lush deep blue (or black with blue lights shooting up the folds, hard to tell when you're blinder than a naked mole rat), adorned with a monster truck - which later appeared to be rolling over presenters and award winners alike, and flanked with projection screens honoring "the Boss Hogs." Shout out to the Duke boys!
The first group of celebration jointers I met was the Specific Media crew of Lindsey Nazzaro, Bill Shild, Amy Carlsen, and Andrew Klopp. As I made my way through cocktails I also met Fabian Aviles and John Gammon of USA Studios and Michael Rosenfeld and Michael Sorsi of Intermark Media. Brian Rosenberg of Cox Cross Media probably thought I was stalking him because he popped up in nearly every circle I interrupted for photos. Which also means he was working the room with dedication. iCrossing had bulk representation at last night's event, including Doug Levine and Brigid Steerberge. Matt Schultz of iCrossing was also making the rounds and paused long enough between cocktail wieners to photo bomb a picture or two.
Bruce Goerlich of Rentrak was deep in conversation with Mediavest's Ken Sacharin, which I quickly popped into and out of with my flash. Adam Epstein and Andries de Villiers of adMarketplace joined Anthony Mazzarella and Michelle Wright of Fox Audience Networks for some agency gab. Michelle quickly leapt into the Fuse TV twosome of Elizabeth Phillips and Michael Roche for a photo. Lisa Tran of undertone networks, Amanda Richman of Mediabrands, and Karen Spiegel of R/GA proved that industry rivalries could be put aside when faced with chicken satay.
I also met Frederic Bonn of Razorfish, who was hanging out with David Lozovsky, founder and Ecosystem Facilitator (well that's a new one) at Walk Light Media. The name Walk Light Media reflects the company's desire to keep eco publishers and advertisers honest by helping to offset any heavy tread on Earth's resources. In fact, "...to demonstrate their commitment to the environment and healthy living, Walk Light Media will use 10% of their profits to purchase Carbon Offsets in the name of both their Publishers and Advertisers."
As I walked lightly away from Lozovsky, I ran into Frank Neill, Director Business Development for Realtime Media, who I've only known so far through Twitter. It's always fun to talk to avatars in human form. Frank and I discussed my book idea, which is under the working title of Digital Balls. That's really all my lawyers will let me tell you about it right now.
I reunited with David Lucas, go get 'em Freelancer who I last saw in an elevator in the Hotel Roger Smith, heading up to the Mashable Holiday Party. It was during that elevator trip that I revealed in a moment of frustration that I had forgotten deodorant. See, in this industry, the phrase "it's not like you'll ever see them again" does not work. David was laughing with the vivacious Lauren Bernhardt of Collective.
It was a great crowd - everyone seemed less intent on pitching the hell out of each other and more focused on just letting loose, enjoying the evening, and celebrating the winners. Congratulations again to Agency of the Year Gold Winner R/GA; Silver Winner Razorfish; and Bronze category winners; Media Buying and Planning: MediaVest; Best Search: iCrossing; Best Creative: AKQA; Best Web Design + Development: Firstborn; Best Social Media: Crispin Porter + Bogusky; Best Mobile: Phonevalley.
Pictures from the event are online! (more coming)