Broadcaster Channel 4 has teamed up with viral site BoreMe.com to launch the annual international viral awards ‘Germ’ to find the Best Commercially Produced Viral. The Germ viral awards are free to enter and agencies from all over the world can submit as many entries as they wish. Entries can be submitted from now until the end of March and details of how to submit entries can be found at www.channel4.com/germ. Last year London based viral agency Maverick won the Best Commercially Produced Viral for a campaign to promote the racing simulation game Juiced. Entries for last year’s winner/runners-up can be seen at www.channel4.com/germ.
The Germ judging panel, made up of prominent practitioners from the online and broadcast industries, will select a shortlist of finalists which will be put up for a public vote from the beginning of April.
The winning agency will have its work seen by millions of people around the world, receive significant media exposure and a valuable one-week listing on Bore Me’s home page. In addition, the winner’s/runners-up entries, as well as shortlisted entries, will be showcased at the Germ annual viral exhibition at London’s ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) which, in 2006, broke attendance records for a digital exhibition. The next Germ viral exhibition at the ICA is scheduled to take place later in 2007.
Adam Gee, New Media Commissioner at Channel 4, responsible for the channel’s 4Talent initiative, said:
“Channel 4’s 4Talent is committed to identifying and nurturing hot new talent and showcasing some of the best ideas around. The Germ awards are now an important annual fixture in the viral calendar. Last year we received a phenomenal response and the level of agency creativity was exceptionally high. This year’s awards will be even bigger as we actively open the competition to international agencies. The concept of viral has moved on significantly in the last year, broadening out to cover a range of platforms. More and more brands have invested in viral campaigns as they realise the entertainment value, reach and impact. With Germ, we’re showcasing some of the best viral creativity international agencies have to offer.”
Pete Brown, founder of BoreMe.com, added:
"In 2006, better agency creativity and brand interaction with consumers meant the standard of virals improved. In 2007, we expect companies to seek even more creative ways of getting their message across to consumers as they become more confident about using this marketing channel. We hope this leads to agencies creating even better, more interactive campaigns.”
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