The 15th Annual APEX Awards were handed out last week in Las Vegas – judged and presented by the Digital Signage Federation, during Digital Signage Expo.
I am on the board of the DSF, but was not involved in the judging. I also have a bit of a conflict, in that 16:9 is the main sponsor of the global Digital Signage Awards, which is entirely unrelated and presented during ISE in Europe.
With that out of the way, there was a nice mix of impressive projects and winners, but for something that’s been around as long as it has, and is driven by the substantial marketing muscle and contact list of DSE, it sure doesn’t get many entries. There were 112 and some categories, like DOOH campaigns, had all of three submissions – resulting in the bronze going to a piece of media player hardware???
Hospitality had five???
I also thought some of the winners, like last year, were head-scratchers. But then that happened, to some degree, with the awards I am directly involved in. Apparently not everyone thinks like me! Jeez.
The big award – the APEX Installation of the Year award – went to Revel Media Group for its work on the Hale Centre Theater, which was highly impressive as a pro AV job, but would never be the project I’d point to and say, “That one. THAT’S the one to look at and learn from as to what digital signage is all about.”
One of the reasons companies like Publicis Sapient win awards is that they take the time and spend the modest money to make submissions. I see and write about projects all the time that should be subject to award submission and review, but no one puts them in. Yes, big agencies have more resources than small solutions providers, but there is not that much involved in entry submissions.
The other problem is that the larger the client, the harder it can be to get permission to say anything about the work done. But T-Mobile said OK, as did a big cruise line and some NFL teams.
There’s an argument to be made that a jury of peers should just watch the global marketplace and select their own nominations, but this is not the movie business. Something amazing could be done in Peru or Slovenia, and who would know?
Bottom line – these guys entered, and they’ll rightly mine the benefits of being able to say award-winning. The paucity of entries is not the fault of the DSE people, or the DSF. Vendors and end-users need to get off their butts and enter!
Here’s the rest of what was handed out
The APEX Content of the Year award went to Magic Innovations for its work on the Saudi Airlines Multimedia Solutions.
Dimensional Innovations was named Integrator of the Year for its work for the Minnesota Vikings’ Museum.
Corporate Environments (10 entries)
- Gold – TechTAP TELUS Vancouver Innovation Centre for TELUS Magic Doors
- Silver – StandardVision for One Culver
- Bronze – MAP Global – Musion Turkiye for Maya Holding Maya Kemer and Anatolium Marmara Retail Tower Showroom Space
Digital Out-of-Home Campaigns (3 entries)
- Gold – Vistar Media for Samsung Mobile and Starcom
- Silver – Cineplex Digital Media for Toys R Us Endless Aisle Solutions
- Bronze – Socionext for S8 8K Media Player
Educational Environments (11 entries)
- Gold – TSItouch, Inc. for Morphogenesis- Stanford Biology Building – Anderson Krygier
- Silver – Tierney Microgigantic for U of M McNamara Alumni Center Discovery Nexus Center
- Bronze – University of Illinois Alumni Alliance for Richmond Family Welcome Gallery at Alice Campbell Alumni Center
Entertainment & Recreation (13 entries)
- Gold – Dimensional Innovations for Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings Museum
- Silver – C&G Partners for “Bible Now” Reactive Media Space
- Bronze – Publicis Sapient/Second Story for The Parlors/Thomas Cole National Historic Site
Experiential Design & Planning (11 entries)
- Gold – Ideum for Exploring Pueblo Pottery
- Silver – BARTKRESA Studio for Shogyo Mujo @ Life is Beautiful
- Bronze – YCD Multimedia and Belle & Wissell, Co. for The Spheres: Immersive Visitor Experience – Amazon, Downtown Seattle Headquarters
Healthcare Environments (6 entries)
- Gold – Publicis Sapient/Second Story for Sanford Imagenetics/Sanford Health
- Silver – Dimensional Innovations for Cleveland Clinic Children’s – Interactive Lobby Experience
- Bronze – Envision Canada for Sunnybrook Foundation Digital Donor Wall
Hospitality (5 entries)
- Gold – Publicis Sapient/Second Story for Holland America Line/Explorations Central
- Silver – Magic Innovations for ROYAL WEDDING
- Bronze – Almo Professional A/V for Housing Trust Group
The silver went to a wedding in Armenia. World gone mad.
Public Spaces (10 entries)
- Gold – Kolo Digital Signage for Paseo Interlomas
- Silver – Westbury National for The Idea Exchange – The Digital Library, City of Cambridge
- Bronze – NEC Display Solutions of America for Rooted In Greatness
Restaurants, Bars & Foodservice (7 entries)
- Gold – Nova Media for Hotel Indigo Hsinchu Science Park
- Silver – ProntoTV for Pink Fish
- Bronze – Userful for Tiger Nightclub
Retail Environments (22 entries)
- Gold – Publicis Sapient for T-Mobile Signature Stores/T-Mobile
- Silver – Nanonation for Ellynne Bridal
- Bronze – Shikatani Lacroix Design, Metathink Nu Skin for Nu Xtore Shenzhen
Transportation (9 entries)
- Gold – Magic Innovations for Saudi Airlines Multimedia Solutions
- Silver – MTA Arts & Design for “Skyys™” in Fulton Center
- Bronze – NanoLumens for Charlotte Douglas International Airport
Venues (5 Entries)
- Gold – Revel Media Group for Hale Centre Theatre
- Silver – Sensory Interactive for Bank of America Stadium
- Bronze – Dreambox Visual Communications, Inc. for Integrated 360 Video Mapping Show for Opening Ceremony of the Gyyanly Polymer Plant
You can see vids of all the Gold, Silver and Bronze winners here …
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.