2014 AVA Digital Awards Entry Spotlight: Independence Visitor Center Corporation & Bluecadet Interactive

While the winners for the 2014 AVA Digital Awards won’t be announced until Feb. 1, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

AVA Digital Awards Companies: Independence Visitor Center Corporation & Bluecadet Interactive
Title of Entry: “Independence Visitor Center in Philadelphia Website Redesign”
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Category: 18. Nonprofit

independence-visitor-center-philadelphiaPhiladelphia should consider itself lucky to have such an innovative group promoting it. The nonprofit Independence Visitor Center Corporation (IVCC) in partnership with design studio Bluecadet Interactive transformed phlvisitorcenter.com into a state-of-the-art, interactive website that offers nearly everything for tech savvy tourists.

This site is user-focused and takes information listing to new levels by allowing guests to filter activities based on their preferences in the following four areas: part of town, highlights, price and interest.

Beyond that, the IVCC’s hospitality is evident in the various ways it seeks to provide information to guests in a way that’s most convenient and comfortable.

Like communicating via phone or in person? The phone number and address are in multiple places on the website. Prefer Twitter? There’s a prompt encouraging sightseers to pose questions via a tweet without leaving the site. If you have several questions and can’t get on the phone, perhaps the Live Chat feature is the way to go. There’s also a FAQ page for common inquiries.

IVCC has also made phlvisitorcenter.com a one-stop shop, allowing guests to purchase attraction tickets online – you don’t have to leave the website.

To top it off, all of these features are packaged in a beautiful, easy-to-navigate site. Did I mention it’s mobile friendly, too?

phlvisitorcenter.com

 *****

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2014 AVA Digital Awards Entry Spotlight: Eric Raum

While the winners for the 2014 AVA Digital Awards won’t be announced until Feb. 1, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

AVA Digital Awards Creator: Eric Raum
Title of Entry: “Shoulder To Shoulder”
Location: Dubai
Category: 149. PSA

Eric RaumPSAs are very serious messages, often conveyed in a tone-deaf manner. You’ve seen them before – a spokesman staring into a camera droning on about a disease, cause, or charity. Instead of this approach, Eric Raum takes a very weighty subject and wraps it in drama and emotion.

Eric lived on a military base in Iraq and witnessed first hand the escalating suicide rate among service members. With the help of a graphic artist, Eric traveled to Kuwait to shoot a PSA with real soldiers facing a military-wide problem.

Within the span of a minute, Eric manages to blend film styles from Alfred Hitchcock to John Frankenheimer to create a riveting film capturing the problem while presenting a solution.

To learn more about Eric’s Army suicide awareness PSA, read his story on his website, ericraum.com.

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This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Jan. 14, 2014

By Gregg Ellman
@greggellman

ProtectCELL
Over the years while covering the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas I’ve had massages, shaves and just about every other industry gimmick you can think of – all right on the show floor.

This year I sat in a Lamborghini to list to an incredible sound system designed by Monster and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to destroy a brand new smartphone.

The company ProtectCELL sells annual insurance for your phone, covering just about everything. This includes getting lost, stolen, dropped in a toilet (very common insurance claim) and even if you get your phone gets caught in a blender.

A week before the show they sent me a brand new smartphone and invited me to come by the booth and destroy it.

After talking with some company representatives, who explained how the insurance policy works, they invited me to toss my new phone in a blender and whip it up.

Without hesitating I accepted and if you want to see a series of the photos just email me.

The blender destroyed the phone, creating millions of pieces from my brand new hardware.

If that was your phone, you would then call ProtectCELL, explain what happened and they would send you a new one immediately, no questions asked.

The company started in 2006 with 91 participants and now has more than 700,000 with a 25 percent renewal rate.

Your phone can be a personal one or company-issued with plans ranging from $199 for two years of coverage for an iPhone 5s to $59 for simpler phones.

ProtectCELL will even back up your contacts and other data to help restore them in the event a new phone in needed.

www.ProtectCELL.com

 

The Cellfy SticOver the past year or so we have all become familiar with the smartphone photography term of “selfie.”

A company called Cellfy has designed a hardware kit to help users take quality self-photos and videos using smartphones or tablets.

For the smartphone model, the patent-pending Cellfy Stic is a universal mount with suction cups on both sides to work in portrait or landscape modes.

First download a timer for your device, they suggest. TimerCam for iOS or CameraZoomFX for Android.

Then attach your phone to the front side and attach the backside to any clean, smooth surface such as mirrors, windows, clean car panels or glass.

Set the timer, choose your pose and photos will now be better composed with the hands-free hardware.

They also have a tablet model ($24.99), which doubles as a accessory to mount on the back of a headrest for back seat viewing. It also has a built-in kick-stand for use on a flat surface in addition to the front and rear suction cups.

www.Cellfy.co Cellfy Stic $9.99, available in orange, pink, gray and white

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2014 AVA Digital Awards Entry Spotlight: Point One Designs

While the winners for the 2014 AVA Digital Awards won’t be announced until Feb. 1, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

AVA Digital Awards Company: Point One Designs
Client: Anna + Andreas
Title of Entry: “Anna + Andreas”
Location: Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia
Category: 203. Wedding

point-one-designsWhen producing wedding videos, it is difficult not to fall into cliches. There is a set template that producers have to work within…bachelor/bachelorette parties, preparations, the walk down the aisle, vows, etc. Point One Designs creates a wedding video that plays more like a movie than an event.

Their video tells a story utilizing unique camera angles, breathtaking cinematography, and expert direction. At the end of the video, you not only feel you were at the wedding but as if you know the participants. Of course it doesn’t hurt to have Bali as the backdrop.

*****

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2014 AVA Digital Awards Entry Spotlight: Efelle Creative

While the winners for the 2014 AVA Digital Awards won’t be announced until Feb. 1, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

AVA Digital Awards Company: Efelle Creative
Title of Entry: “Efelle Creative: Seattle Web Design”
Location: Seattle, Washington
Category: 24. Home Page

efelleDigital agency efelle knocks it out the park with the home page on the company’s site, seattlewebsitedesign.com. The simple, clean-cut design is in line with current trends such as using a large hero area, flat design, long scrolling page and a simple color scheme among other things.

Besides a fresh look and nailing the responsive function, the site is full of content for which visitors typically search – a short one-line summary of what the company does, an overview of services, work samples, a testimonial, pertinent contact info and – of course – several calls to action.

efelle creative website

*****

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2014 AVA Digital Awards Entry Spotlight: Brand Agent and Brown+Partners

While the winners for the 2014 AVA Digital Awards won’t be announced until Feb. 1, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

AVA Digital Awards Company: Brand Agent and Brown+Partners
Client: Third Rail Lofts
Title of Entry: “Third Rail Lofts Website”
Location: Dallas, Texas
Category: 22. Business to Consumer

brand-agent-brown-partnersBrand Agent and Brown+Partners teamed up to create a spectacular B2C website for Third Rail Lofts, which offers luxury apartment living in the heart of downtown Dallas.

The responsive website leverages strong visuals in an industry where purchasing decisions hinge on first impressions. Besides seamless integration of photos in the site’s design, users can also scroll through the photo gallery with a flick of their finger on mobile devices.

A simple contact form appears on the sidebar, which is on every page of the site, making it almost too easy for visitors to get in touch with Third Rail Lofts. The firms also smartly placed the phone number in large font in the header and display essential information – address, phone number, office leasing hours – in the footer.

third-rail-lofts-brand-agent-brown-partners

*****

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2014 AVA Digital Awards Entry Spotlight: Texas Guaranteed

While the winners for the 2014 AVA Digital Awards won’t be announced until Feb. 1, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

AVA Digital Awards Company: Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation
Title of Entry: “TG Online – Responsive Website”
Website: www.TG.org
Location: Round Rock, Texas
Category: 18. Nonprofit

TGTexas Guaranteed, a nonprofit corporation that promotes educational access and success, delivers a clean responsive website during a time when mobile devices of all shapes and sizes are commonplace in society.

With a nice balance of visuals, copy and white space, the site seeks to give its visitors answers to commonly asked questions but takes it a step further with a Live Chat option to deliver answers to its audience.

Here are other things that caught our judges’ eyes about the site:

  • Furthers the organization’s vision of being “the premier provider of information, products, and services to help students and families realize their education and career dreams.”
  • Live Chat is listed in several different places to enhance user experience.
  • Effectively uses subheads, bullets, anchors and other style choices to make content easier to consume and navigate.


Null
*****

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This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Jan. 6, 2014

By Gregg Ellman
@greggellman

MagiCable Duo 1


If a USB cable can be called amazing, Innergie’s MagiCable Duo is the one. It’s a unique 2-in-1 cable with a charging connections for both the Apple Lightning iPhones, iPads and iPods and Android mobile devices, all in one.

One end has a standard USB connection to plug into your power source.

MagiCable Duo 2The other has the Lightning tip on the outside, which slides out (and stays attached) to expose the microUSB tip. If your confused, just buy it. Once you see it, you’ll know how cool this is.

www.myinnergie.com $29.99

 

The Phiaton Chord MS 530 headphones cut the cord with Bluetooth technology connecting the fancy headphone to your music source.

Once paired, the padded ear cups with 40mm titanium driver technology brings you amazing sound. An internal battery (needed for both the sound and noise canceling features) gives you up to 30 hours of use before needing a USB charge.

There’s also a dual-microphone built-in so they can be used for handsfree phone calls. You can try them on your next flight but the attendants might catch on to the Bluetooth, which you still can’t use inflight.

phiaton.com $349

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2014 AVA Digital Awards Entry Spotlight: PRR

While the winners for the 2014 AVA Digital Awards won’t be announced until Feb. 1, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

AVA Digital Awards Company: PRR
Client: DC Streetcar
Title of Entry: “DC Streetcar Video”
Location: Seattle, Washington
Category: 105. Safety

PRR Seattle

Every year, more marketing and public relations firms are abandoning video B-roll and interviews and turning to animation to tell their stories. The white boards, graphics, stock photos, text, and full blown animation sell everything from shipping to interconnectivity over the Internet and on television.

PRR of Seattle was recently hired by Washington, D.C., to steer its street car campaign.  With all the traffic (pedestrian, bike, bus, and car) in D.C., safety is a concern.  PRR turned to animation to alert viewers to the potential pitfalls.  The result is a colorful, eye catching, well-crafted message that puts you into the heart of D.C.  The animation carries you along from the National Mall to Georgetown while pointing out the possible dangers.

*****

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Dates To Remember for 2014

On the the first day of 2014, we thought we’d help you get organized for the year. Mark your calendar with these 2014 deadlines for AMCP’s competitions:

We hope that 2014 brings you and your loved ones much happiness.

happy-new-year-2014-amcp-dates

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