For the first time in the 13 year history of the Horizon Interactive Awards competition, we are providing additional, non-entry recognition through our Distinguished Agency awards. These awards are given based on the achievement of the sum of all work entered into the competition. The Top Agency Runner-up award is considered our second highest non-entry honor and we would like to congratulate Bluecadet, from Philadelphia Pennsylvania, as the inaugural winner.
With us today, we have Josh Goldblum from Bluecadet to discuss the outstanding new award distinction that they have earned.
HIA: So what does it mean to your company and team to receive this award distinction?
Josh: We are big fans of the work and agencies that have competed at the Horizon Interactive Awards. It's always a big boost to our team to see our hard work recognized among our peers.
HIA: Tell us more about your company. Talk, if you would, about how it started, how it has grown, what changes you have seen in the company.
Josh: Bluecadet was founded in 2007 in my hometown of Philadelphia, which is also in my humble opinion one of the best places to operate an agency. Both my partner/ECD Troy and myself started our careers working in-house as New Media Specialists at the Smithsonian Institution. My focus was in contemporary art and art history whereas Troy was focused on history and even has his master’s degree in the subject. Bluecadet's mission from the outset was to engage in the content and institutions that interest us the most. These tend to be museums, cultural institutions, mission driven non-profits and in higher education. We then wanted to work closely and strategically with these groups to connect with their audience deeply and meaningfully. In many ways the tools and processes we use are similar to the best of class advertising agencies. The agency has grown to almost 30 employees and through this growth, we've focused on improving every aspect of our projects. We take a tremendous amount of pride and attention on the user experience, shaping the content and interface to be interesting and compelling. We have also gotten very involved in the overall client strategy, ensuring the products that we produce will serve the client's business objectives. These may be cultural brands, but they are competing with a range of other brands and content offerings and we want them to be competitive, we want them to be awesome.
HIA: How will you continue produce industry leading work?
Josh: We don't get too impressed with ourselves or too complacent with our solutions. We are constantly learning and trying to improve our process and products. Every project is an opportunity to do something better and be more thoughtful and effective in our approach. We have also gotten very good at shifting from the macro to the micro aspects of a project. At the macro level we need to make sure that the strategy is really sound and that we are delivering the right content and experience to the user, meeting our deadlines and keeping the project sailing smoothly. At the micro level we care about the details, we care about performance, we take our craft very seriously.
HIA: What makes Bluecadet special?
Josh: The people that work at Bluecadet are very high talent and low ego. We all want to create great work and want to push ourselves individually and as a studio. We also try to keep things in balance. We work really hard but we try to work smart and not burn ourselves out. It's all a big balancing act but I think we do it well.
HIA: Speaking more generally, what trends are you seeing in the industry and how digital / interactive media is evolving.
Josh: I am very interested in what media companies like Buzzfeed and Vice are doing. It's amazing that Buzzfeed can create a billion monthly views of their content. It's arguable as to whether they are creating "great" content; still, the work travels exceedingly and unbelievably well. Buzzfeed seems to be creating content that is built for the medium of the mobile, social web. There are insights here that are incredibly relevant to the brands and clients we love, and we want to leverage these insights on their behalf. On another note, I love how interactive has started to make it's way into physical space. I especially love where interactivity has moved away from the screens and has become more magical and immersive.
HIA: We know you have entered and won awards in past Horizon Awards competitions, what do you feel is the biggest benefit from being a participant in the competition.
Bluecadet: We love to get more eyeballs on our projects especially from our peers. Our clients also love seeing the work recognized and in the company of other great projects and agencies.
Josh, thank you for taking the time to talk with us. We are truly excited to share your story with our audience as well as promote the great work you do. Once again, congratulations on the Top Agency Runner-Up award. You should be very proud of this achievement. We wish you continued success this year and hope to have you back in future competitions.