Creative Awards

Apps and Websites of Note: Our Website Awards Team's Recommendations

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Nov 03, 2014 @ 02:31 PM

Once a month in this space we highlight apps and websites that we think might help to make your workday a bit more productive or enjoyable.  Here are this month's suggestions.

Box.orgKaren Appleton, a Senior VP at, and one of our Stevie® Awards for Women in Business judges, founded to help nonprofit organizations be more productive and collaborative by providing access to cloud technology.


Buying and selling sound like simple things—and they should be. Somewhere along the way, they got complicated. Square is working hard to make commerce easy for everyone.


Winner of a Gold Stevie in The 2014 International Business Awards, MySmartEye is an innovative mobile app to help the visually handicapped “see” by using technology to crowdsource visual descriptions from a worldwide community of micro-volunteers.

Personal Excellence

Also a Gold Stevie winner in the 2014 International Business Awards, Personal Excellence App is a tool to help motivate and reinforce leadership concepts to help users improve personally and professionally. Available for individuals or companies on Android and iOS.

Have a favorite app, blog, or website? Nominate it for one of our app awards or website awards categories in the 2015 American Business Awards.

Tags: Best Apps, business awards, app awards, website awards, stevie awards, best websites

Apps and Websites of Note: Our Website Awards Team's Recommendations

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Jun 17, 2014 @ 01:46 PM

Once a month in this space we highlight apps and websites that we think might help to make your workday a bit more productive or enjoyable.  Here are this month's suggestions.


way2rideA 2014 American Business Awards Finalist from VeriFone, in San Jose, California, this mobile payment app allows passengers to simply get into a cab, tap to pay, and get out. Available for iPhone, Android. FREE.

Code Halo

It’s the information--the Code Halos--that your customers, products, partners, and employees build and share that make all the difference between success and extinction.  A 2014 American Business Awards Finalist from Cognizant, Teaneck, New Jersey. Available on iOS and Android.


Another 2014 American Business Awards Finalist from Trinet, in San Leandro, California. ExpenzeCloud is a cloud-based solution that allows users to create, submit, and approve expense reports online . Available in iOS, Android & Blackberry.


A winner in The 2013 American Business Awards and a Finalist again this year, Fleksy helps the visually impaired to to use their Smartphones up to four times faster and is now available on Android as well as iPhone.  FREE.

Have a favorite app, blog, or website? Nominate it for one of our app awards or website awards in The International Business Awards (open to all organizations worldwide).

Tags: app awards, website awards, stevie awards, best websites

Apps and Websites of Note: Our Website Awards Team's Recommendations

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Fri, May 23, 2014 @ 05:01 PM

Once a month in this space we highlight apps and websites that we think might help to make your workday a bit more productive or enjoyable.  Here are this month's suggestions.

The Stevie Awards App

Our very own app to keep you informed about upcoming events at The Stevie Awards, including event schedules, event info, and networking with other event attendees.  Available for iPhone and Droid through the App Store. FREE

CardStarAppScreenshotAn app recommended to us by ABA Chair Bob Nicoson of ConstantContact. CardStar stores all your rewards, loyalty, and membership card information in one place. Available for iPhone, Android. FREE

The Laughing Squid
Scott Beale's blog on art, culture, and technology.

The Laughing Squid: The Expert
A Laughing Squid video that might resonate with IT or Support people …

A social media monitoring tool from Constant Contact, providing data on activity on sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Foursquare, Yelp, and more.  FREE
Nate Silver's website analyzing politics, sport, public affairs, science, and more.

Have a favorite app, blog, or website? Nominate it for one of our app awards or website awards in The American Business Awards (open to all organizations in the U.S.A.) or The International Business Awards (open to all organizations worldwide). Both competitions are currently accepting entries.

Tags: Apps, business awards, app awards, website awards, stevie awards, best websites

The Future of User Experience, by an American Business Awards Judge

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Mar 27, 2014 @ 11:01 AM

Mark Shewmaker, chief experience officer at SMITH, an independent digital experience agency based in Seattle, Washington, will chair the final judging committee for the creative awards categories (Apps, Live Events, Publications and Videos) of The 2014 American Business Awards, the U.S.A.'s top business awards. (Entries for this competition are still being accepted.  Get your entry kit here.)

14 ABA CR Chair SmithWe asked Mark, with his deep understanding of user experience, for his thoughts on what major innovations in technology would most affect businesses in the coming year. 

“I work with many clients who are trying to find out how to connect the customer experiences in their online and offline businesses,” Mark told us. “This often finds its epicenter in the retail channel, where customers, who regularly shop online with a brand, often feel anonymous when in the physical stores.”

Bridging the Gap

“Until recently, there were few options available to bridge the gap,” continued Mark. “Some retailers have tried digital kiosks or other static, immovable installations at their stores, but customers seem to lose interest quickly, leaving these installations to collect dust–or worse, break and never be serviced.”

Moving with the Customer

The breakthrough, in Mark’s opinion, is to leverage the customer’s digital footprint by building shopping experiences that recognize customers specifically, move with them, and remain under their control.  For example, as Mark suggests: “Retailers should use their customers’ cell phones or WiFi-enabled tablets to deliver tools and services.”

While this is no small feat from a technology or logistics perspective, Mark advises: “It’s vital that businesses invest in what they’re confident will provide value both for themselves and their customers. To do this you first need to understand how customers use their personal devices to make their shopping experience easier.”

ECommerce Solutions

We asked Mark what ecommerce solutions he would recommend to businesses. Mark is most excited by technologies that allow retailers to measure foot traffic and engagement in their stores by installing wireless-signal or video-based tracking systems. According to Mark: “Ecommerce is a key focus for SMITH, so I’m excited by technologies like Apple’s iBeacon which is the darling of the category, but there are many more, like Nomi, Xandem, and LightHaus.”

Added Mark: “The ability to use real data to precisely understand shopper behaviors allows retailers, venue managers–really, any business with a space you can walk through–to experiment and prototype new in-store digital interactions, measure their potential success, and plan for a larger-scale rollout.”

Business Travel

Mark travels a lot on business, so we asked him what business apps he found most useful. “Thankfully, apps are simple and utility-focused these days, which makes my life as a regular business traveler a little more bearable, and I depend on a few great ones to get my job done,” Mark told us.  “But my most important, my most relied on, my if-I-were-stranded-on-a-desert-island-with-my-cellphone-and-still-had-to-do-my-job app is Dropbox.” 

“I use Dropbox exclusively,” adds Mark. “It has thoroughly supplanted all other storage resources I have access to—including, sadly, those in my own brain. Even my vocabulary has changed in deference to this mighty wizard of technological convenience. I don’t ‘send’ files to others any more; instead, I confidently ask ‘can I Dropbox this to you?’ which is almost always met with acknowledging approval.”

According to Mark, the most life-saving feature of Dropbox is: “Transferring files to my co-workers. I simply send them a download link, which the app automatically creates from what’s stored in my account. I never have to transfer a file over email or VPN—a sketchy proposition anyway when you have no other option than unreliable hotel and airport WiFi connections.”

An added bonus, according to Mark: “It also means you’re rarely the offender who clogs everyone’s email account with enormous file attachments. So if you’re regularly put in ‘mail jail’ for exceeding your Outlook quota, you may also want to give Dropbox a shot.”

A Business of Invention

Having worked in digital communications for nearly two decades, Mark is inspired by the notion that ideas are no longer bound by the barriers of standardized media or channels, like the old days of print and TV advertising.

“My teams have the freedom to dream up clever ways to solve problems,” says Mark. “To me, it’s become a business of invention. New technologies are being constantly introduced, giving us countless building blocks to create fresh solutions for our clients and their customers.”

Concludes Mark: “Frankly, I find it all very exciting, even after nearly 20 years of chasing the future. A new device can be launched and—BOOM!—the whole game changes instantly.”

About Mark Shewmaker

Mark is an expert in user experience with an impressive portfolio of award-winning campaigns and digital solutions created for some of the planet’s most recognized brands. At SMITH, Mark leads UX, creative, and content teams on their mission to craft cutting-edge and revenue-driving brand experiences.

Prior to SMITH, Mark was Executive Creative Director at R/GA San Francisco. Throughout his 9 year relationship with R/GA, Mark worked with clients such as Microsoft, Nike, Verizon Wireless, Abercrombie & Fitch, L’Oréal Paris, Lowe’s, Wal-Mart, IBM, and Merck, overseeing the development of category-leading digital commerce, mobile, retail, marketing, and product-design initiatives.

When he’s not traversing the planet on business, Mark finds his home in the Bay Area of Northern California, with his wife Wendy and two children.


SMITH is one of North America’s leading digital experience agencies and global commerce service providers. Creators of transactional brand moments for humans living in an all-channel world, SMITH’s clients include some of the world’s most important and highly recognized brands, including Microsoft, AT&T, Cisco, Motorola, Nestle, Sam’s Club, Xerox, and MasterCard. The company is headquartered in Seattle and has offices in Atlanta, Portland, Spokane, and Ottawa. Learn more at

Tags: Mark Shewmaker, business awards, stevie awards, creative awards

Apps and Websites of Note: Our Website Awards Team's Recommendations

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Mar 24, 2014 @ 11:00 AM

Once a month in this space we highlight apps and websites that we think might help to make your workday a bit more productive or enjoyable.  Here are this month's suggestions.

Local Vox
LocalVox logoA tool for boosting online marketing presence, LocalVox enables busineses to publish news, events, and deal announcements across social media, websites, local directories, and online newsletters.

About to launch its IPO in the U.S.A., this massive Chinese online marketplace handles more sales than Amazon and eBay combined.

Grammarphobia Blog
Everything you need to know about English grammar but were afraid to ask from authors Patricia O'Conner and Stewart Kellerman.

Find out for yourself all the dirty little secrets of Silicon Valley.  This app from Whisper, LLC is currently only available in North America, but may roll out in other countries soon. iOS, FREE.

Have a favorite app, blog, or website? Nominate it for one of our app awards or website awards in The American Business Awards (open to all organizations in the U.S.A.) or The International Business Awards (open to all organizations worldwide). Both competitions are currently accepting entries.

Tags: good design website, business awards, app awards, website awards, stevie awards, web awards, best websites

How Hanaroadcom Uses Its Stevie® Awards to Build on Its Success

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Jan 16, 2014 @ 02:04 PM

Jung Hieh Shon, President of Hanaroadcom, a marketing and PR consultancy in Seoul, South Korea, won the Gold Stevie Award for Creative Executive of the Year in the creative awards categories of The 2013 International Business Awards. We asked her about the experience of winning a Stevie Award, and what her company’s goals are for 2014.

Jenny Shon“Hanaroadcom will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015, so we will be preparing for this during 2014,” Ms. Shon told us. “It’s a significant anniversary for us because it means our efforts over the past two decades to provide quality PR and marketing, and to deliver a strong message on behalf of our clients, have paid off. So we will be looking back over the past 20 years’ activities while at the same time preparing for increased growth in the years ahead.”

Opening New Markets

Another important objective in 2014 will be to open up new markets overseas. “We already have several clients in foreign countries,” explained Ms. Shon, “but we intend to strengthen our marketing in order to be a truly global company. If you are looking for a partner in advertising or public relations for marketing in South Korea, you can find one in Hanaroadcom! Our aim is to be the best creative partner for business marketing in Korea.”

Winning New Business

According to Ms. Shon, winning several Stevie® Awards over the past few years has had a significant impact on Hanaroadcom. “The International Business Awards is a competition that is highly appreciated here in Korea and winning has contributed greatly to Hanaroadcom’s development: not only does it have a positive effect on the self-esteem of my team, but it also allows us to share the honor with our clients.”

“The Stevie Awards provide an objective evaluation of a company’s work and this has certainly helped us to win new business.”

“I should also add that the trophies make a handsome addition to our Wall of Fame!”

Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards

We asked Ms. Shon how she felt the new Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards could contribute to the success of Hanaroadcom.  Ms. Shon told us: “The more Stevie Awards we have won, the more our customer base has increased. Public organizations in particular view a Stevie Award as an indicator of good management, and the ability for Hanaroadcom to have consistently won international awards over the past seven years is an indication of our reliability.”

Adds Ms. Shon: “Each time I have participated in The International Business Awards presentations in different countries, it has been a great opportunity to study the characteristics and culture of that country. Experiences like this provide important data to improve working relations between companies in different countries.”

A Passion for Work

Not only is Ms. Shon a successful marketing executive, she is also something of a social media addict. “I check my Facebook page every day in order to reply to comments and to have conversations in real time,” she says. She is also something of a night owl. “I work a lot at night. Before sleeping I do the work that should be done in the morning. Going to sleep at 2AM is normal for me.”  She does believe in a healthy diet, however. “I have a good breakfast every morning because it gives me energy.”

Concludes Ms. Shon: “A passion for work is what inspires me. Setting increasingly higher standards for the future encourages me to advance despite the difficulties we may have to face. Looking at the Stevie Awards in my office reminds me that we can succeed and that we can achieve our goals.”

The entry deadline for the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards is February 19.  These awards are open to all organizations in the 22 nations of the Asia-Pacific region.  The early-bird entry deadline for The International Business Awards, which are open to all organizations worldwide, is April 16.

About Jung Hieh Shon

Jung Hieh Shon is the CEO of a 19-year-old company that has won a Stevie® Award for seven years in a row. She herself has also been named “Creative Executive of the Year” for six years in succession. Working during the day and studying at night for fifteen years earned her professional degrees and a good knowledge of English, advertising and PR, social welfare, visual design, and real estate. She currently works as a PR and Design advisor to a number of government organizations and associations.

About Hanaroadcom

Hanaroadcom is a consultancy that helps organizations with their marketing activities through the effective and creative use of diverse promotional tools. Its areas of specialty include brochures, in-house magazines, brand development, communications solutions, and social media. Hanaroadcom is one of only a few companies to have won in the International Business Awards seven years in succession. The company has also achieved recognition in several Korean awards. Hanaroadcom’s customers are mainly Korean government organizations, public institutions, and large companies. It also has partnerships with overseas government organizations and global enterprises. For more information, go to

Tags: hanaroadcom, creative executive, Jung Hieh Shon, iba, Advertising awards, business awards, International business awards, stevie awards, creative awards, publication awards

How Emerging Technology is Changing Media, From a Stevie Awards Chair

Posted by Liz Dean on Wed, Mar 20, 2013 @ 04:55 PM

Otto Bell, Creative Director of OgilvyEntertainment in New York City, NY, USA, will chair the Committee for Final Judging of the Creative Awards Categories in The 2013 American Business Awards, the top business awards competition in the USA. (Next Wednesday, March 27, is the entry deadline for the 2013 ABAs. If you haven't already done so, you can request your entry kit here and it will be emailed to you right away. If you can't make the March 27 entry deadline, April 24 is the last day that late entries will be accepted with payment of a late fee per entry.)

Here we chatted with Otto about the most important recent developments in media and entertainment.Otto Bell, Creative Director, OgilvyEntertainment

What do you think are the three most important recent developments in media and entertainment, and how will they affect the way businesses and brands promote themselves in the future?
The following trends are interconnected and, I believe, result in more powerful advertising and more enjoyable content:

  1. The Decline of the 30-Second Spot … means that businesses can no longer interrupt consumers.  Instead, they increasingly have to find ways to attract consumers in order to shop their wares.

  2. The Decline of Traditional Network Television … means businesses can no longer count on renting space around popular content.   They must either be part of the content, or—even better—the owners.

  3. The Rise of On-Demand Programming … means businesses must produce genuinely entertaining and/or additive content if they expect to win an audience.

What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
The IMF recently reported that India must double its infrastructure over the next five years in order to maintain its current economic growth trajectory.  Given India’s current appetite for fossil fuels, such an expansion could either be a coffin nail in sustainability efforts or an opportunity for a better way forward. This tidbit of news inspired me to write a show format in partnership with an Indian broadcaster that will premiere on the subcontinent later this year. 

What is your favorite business app?
. When your plans hit the fan and you start missing planes, the Skyscanner app is the simplest way to figure out the fastest way from A to B. 

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
I’d be a farmer for a lot of the same reasons I like being a creative director and producer: Broadly speaking, the amount of hard work you put into your plot directly affects the successful results you will enjoy.

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
The work of others: Whether I find it inspiring or I’m just plain old envious, seeing other people produce work that I admire spurs me on no end. 

About Otto Bell
As Creative Director of OgilvyEntertainment, Otto oversees the development and production of both branded and unbranded projects for the group. A multi-award winner, he has told and sold stories on five continents for a kaleidoscope of brands. His ongoing client roster includes Philips, DuPont, and IBM. His current media partners encompass BBC World News. The Huffington Post, Fortune Magazine, Times Now of India, and National Geographic.

Otto is a graduate of the prestigious WPP Fellowship program and holds a Masters in English Literature from Oxford University. He lives in Downtown Manhattan and enjoys photography and riding his Harley Davidson.     

About OgilvyEntertainment:
OgilvyEntertainment was founded in 2006 as the entertainment marketing arm of Ogilvy & Mather. With a worldwide presence including offices in Singapore and Paris, our team is headquartered in New York City. OgilvyEntertainment is a diverse group of 25+ experts with backgrounds spanning every aspect of the entertainment and marketing industries. Our holistic approach to branded content and original entertainment stems from our desire to weave a brand’s DNA into engaging, story-driven content to effectively communicate with consumers through a variety of media channels and platforms. For more information, visit

Tags: Otto Bell, OgilvyEntertainment, business awards, American business awards, stevie awards