Hyperfactory and Xero big winners at 'online oscars'

Wellington-based online accounting software provider Xero and Auckland-based mobile advertising agency The Hyperfactory won eight honours between them at this year’s Webbys in New York overnight, the international ‘Oscars’ of the internet.

Online accounting software provider Xero won two Webbys for its software and website in the banking / bill paying category. The Xero application won the Webby Award and also won the People’s Voice Award in the same category.

The Webby Awards have two honours in every category -- The Webby Award and The People's Voice Award -- in each of its four entry types: Websites, Interactive Advertising, Online Film & Video and Mobile.

Meanwhile after being nominated for eight awards, The Hyperfactory dominated the mobile advertising category with six awards in total, and second overall in the race for Interactive Agency of Year given to the most successful agency across all Webby categories of interactive advertising, websites, mobile sites, and online film and video.

The Hyperfactory won Best Mobile campaign jointly with Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney in the Interactive Advertising section for a mobile ad titled ‘United Nations Voices’. It also won People’s Choice award in the same category for a Guinness ad.

It also won four other Webby People’s Choice awards in the overall mobile category – for Best Use of a Mobile Video, Experimental & Innovation, Gaming and Integrated Mobile Experience.

The 13th Annual Webby Awards received nearly 10,000 entries from over 60 countries, the largest number of entries in its history.

Philip Fierlinger, Head of Design at Xero says, “Winning two Webbys is overwhelming. Reading all the comments people wrote is really humbling. We had a vision to make accounting sexy and fun, but to actually hear people say those words about Xero is incredibly gratifying.”

Fierlinger flies to New York for a star-studded award ceremony on 8 June where he will rub shoulders with other Webby winners including Trent Reznor, Lisa Kudrow and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone.

The Hyperfactory CEO Derek Handley will be joining Mr Fierlinger, and points out the company defended its two mobile Webbys from last year when it won both Best Mobile Advertising and Best Mobile Advertising People's Choice.

“The fact we are totally dominating the mobile category at all these shows and continuing to extend our leadership is gratifying. Mobile has really arrived when a pure mobile agency can be a tight contender for agency of the year against a powerhouse such as R/GA.

“We are very proud to be up there in contention and so close. Coming second only gives us an incentive for next year”, says Mr Handley.

The Webby Awards are known worldwide for its famous five-word speech limit. Past Webby Award winners, and their speeches, include Al Gore (“Please don’t recount this vote”), Beastie Boys (“Can anyone fix my computer?”), and Stephen Colbert (“Me. Me. Me. Me. Me.”).

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