I suspect the real reason the ad industry is so diligent about giving awards to itself is that with other metrics so dubious, a shiny peer-bestowed thingamabob is the one measure of success nobody can argue with. Yet the gala the One Club threw in celebration of the past Digital Decade at the Museum of Modern Art last night was an apotheosis of sorts: the culmination of a period of online experimentation that began with buttons and banners and ended with some highly sophisticated platforms for brand participation. So the results, first announced at the end of November, were actually quite instructive.
The One Club has been around for more decades than there've been digits, which explains why the awards it gives out are all pencils. But the story its ten-best list tells is one of a still-emerging grammar of engagement that shows a remarkable evolution in the industry's thinking—and a long way yet to go.