Multimedia design firms have been sweeping the traditional advertising award shows. Previously limited to illustration, photography and design agencies, interactive design firms now regularly stand as a true competitors in the traditional media space.

There are many reasons as to why multimedia is gaining popularity: in addition to increasing internet usage across the world, there is increased acceptance of interactive as an art form. This is partly due to the “blurring of the lines” between what is traditional v.s. interactive design, as the two mediums draw closer together.

For example, some magazine advertisements, when photographed with a cell phone, can automatically launch associated online content.. Similarly, many of the most popular TV and radio advertisements contain messages to drive their audience to a website to gain more information about the advertised product or service.

One of the most talked about “convergent” advertising campaigns were Dove’s wildly successful campaign for real beauty. Designed as a web-only multimedia advertisement, the campaign for real beauty ending up being picked up across Medias, winning acclaim everywhere it went. Most famously, it won the Grand Prix for at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

Campaigns such as Dove’s have opened the door for interactive advertising campaigns to compete in traditional award. Many design magazines and organizations have begun officially to include interactive media in their competitions. For example Applied Arts Magazine’s recent winners include digital campaigns MacLaren McCann Henderson bas, and Leo burnett.

None the less, getting interactive accepted by marketers as a comparable to traditional medias is an uphill battle. Online, mobile, and other forms of interactive advertising still make up a relatively small portion of most company’s overall advertising budget.

Regardless of who wins future awards, there is one thing is one point advertisers and marketers can be sure of: multimedia is becoming increasingly popular, and should be though of as part of any future advertising campaign.

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