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Bieber, Obama rule Webby awards

02 May 2013, 16:03

Los Angeles - Campaigns for pop stars Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga joined comedian Jerry Seinfeld and the team behind President Barack Obama's 2012 social media election strategy on Tuesday in winning Webby Awards, the annual honours for excellence on the internet.

RnB singer Frank Ocean, fake news website, The Onion, and humour website Funny or Die also picked up awards.

The Webby Awards recognises websites, online video, social media and apps and interactive advertising.

Judges praised team Obama's social media campaign for having "masterfully combined savvy political and tech genius to become the secret weapon behind Obama's commanding re-election" and its ability to use data to target voters efficiently.

The Webby judging panel included the co-founder of microblogging site Twitter, Biz Stone, Internet media mogul Arianna Huffington and Kevin Systrom, the creator of online photo-sharing service Instagram.

The promotional campaign behind Justin Bieber's fragrance, Girlfriend, which called on fans to submit their own video versions of the teen pop star's song of the same name, won the People's Voice Award in an Internet vote.

Seinfeld, Lady Gaga and Ben Stiller all winners

Seinfeld's online series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, in which he converses with actors and comedians, won for Outstanding Comedic Performance and was lauded for combining "Hollywood-style entertainment with the internet."

Lady Gaga, who along with Bieber is known for using social media to create a devout fan following, was honoured for "Gaga's Workshop," a promotion with department store Barneys.

Grammy-winner Ocean won Person of the Year for using the "power of the web as a medium for cultural change," the Webbys said. Last year, Ocean made waves when he published an open letter on his blog about a same-sex relationship.

Other winners included actor Kevin Spacey and producer Dana Brunetti for creating the online television drama series House of Cards for video streaming service Netflix, and actors Ben Stiller, Ken Marino and creator Erica Oyama for the online comedy series Burning Love.

US football player Chris Kluwe was honoured for his online activism as Athlete of the Year, while Steve Wilhite won the Lifetime Achievement award for the durability of his two-decade-old GIF image format.

Companies such as the New York Times, HBO and Nike also won Webby Awards.

- Reuters


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