In the late summer (2007) we built an online voting application for the Producers Guild of America and the Hollywood Reporter. The Producers Guild was having their annual “Digital 50” awards, voted on by PGA members. The vote was to answer the question, “who are the 50 most influential digital producers of 2007?”
About the PGA Digital 50
The Producers Guild of America has selected its Digital 50, which recognizes the producers and innovators who distinguished themselves in the realm of digital storytelling in 2007. In August, the PGA membership made their selections from a field of nominees in seven areas: animation, broadband/iTV, cross-platform, DVD, games, mobile and visual effects. The Digital 50 voting was overseen by the PGA’s New Media Council and approved by its board of delegates. This year marks the second consecutive year the PGA has selected a Digital 50.
Leading the voting this year is Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who played a transformative role in the distribution of entertainment in 2007 with the launch of the iPhone and the continued growth of the iPod line. His legacy at Pixar, the animation company he co-founded, also seemed to influence voters, especially given their second and third top selections: Pixar chief creative officer John Lasseter and writer-director Brad Bird, the creative forces behind such recent Pixar hits as “Cars” and “Ratatouille.” Key Pixar execs Jim Morris, Rick Sayre and Ed Catmull came in at Nos. 6, 12 and 13, respectively. Top directors were also well represented on the Digital 50, with Peter Jackson, Robert Zemeckis and David Fincher finishing at Nos. 4, 5 and 7, respectively. Last year’s top vote-getter, Mark Cuban, slipped to No. 17 on the list.
We created an interface for the PGA to upload information about each nominee (there were about 200) such as a head shot, name, title, company, biography. Nominees were divided into seven categories (animation, broadband/iTV, cross-platform, DVD, games, mobile and visual effects). Because there were so many nominees, our goal was to create a great, intuitive, ajaxy user interface that made it easy and fun to search through the nominees and vote.
We created a tabbed navigation system so that voters could browse nominees by category. Within each category there were 20+ nominees. If a voter wanted more information about a specific nominee, they could click on the name and go to a details page with more information.
Each PGA member had 50 votes. They could see how many votes they had remaining at the top of the page. Each time they “voted” the count would go down one (e.g. from 50 to 49). If they “unvoted” a selection, the vote count would go up one (e.g. from 49 to 50).
on2, the video codec company you use every time you watch a flash video or use skype, was the sponsor. on2 branding was on the site while PGA members voted and, if a member clicked on the on2 logo, they could watch an in-studio interview we did with on2 talking about how customers are using their products and services.
I think this interview has been watched over 10,000 times because we featured it on the ScribeMedia.org web site as well. So on2 reached not just the PGA membership, but visitors to the ScribeMedia.org web site, many of whom are involved in the business, technical and creative sides of the Media industry.
We also embedded the video on the on2 web site so they could use it as a marketing tool. I always preach to customers that a video of you talking about who you are, what you do, who is using your products and services and how they are using them is MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE than all the marketing copy on your site.