The winners of the inaugural Imagination Awards, recognizing the best work produced by independent magazine media brands, were revealed by the Association of Magazine Media (MPA) in San Francisco last night as part of the IMAG 2016 proceedings.
A panel of 25 judges from various "independent" magazine companies—essentially, those titles not published by Hearst, Condé Nast, Time Inc., and the like—refined more than 100 entries for the inaugural awards down to winners across six categories, plus a special, "Why Didn't I Think of That?" award.
Lesley Jane Seymour, quipping about her own newfound independence, served as emcee.
“Counter to the meganormous companies who are trying to appeal to the largest audience possible, tonight’s awards demonstrate that you don’t have to be everything to everyone in order to be successful—and that’s a wonderful accomplishment to celebrate,” said Seymour.
Projects completed between January 1 and December 31, 2015 were considered, but digital-only brands were not. MPA membership was not a requirement.
Active Interest Media took home a pair of awards: in the Content category for Backpacker's National Park Service Centennial, and in the Leadership category for its content marketing unit, recently branded as Catapult Creative Labs.
Accepting the award, Jon Dorn, AIM's SVP of digital and creative services, gave reference to the upheaval and associated challenges that have consumed the independent space of the magazine media industry for the last several years, predicting, "If we stick with this, it'll be the most fascinating and satisfying time of our lives."
See the full list of winners below:
Audience: Leveraging Online Engagement – Roadkill Magazine
Content: National Park Service Centennial – Backpacker
Digital: PORTER Shoppability: Enabling Real-Time Purchases Through Content – PORTER Magazine
Events (tie): Dwell Presents The Monogram Modern Home – Dwell and Gingerbread BLVD – Taste of Home
Leadership: Catapult Creative Labs – Active Interest Media
Revenue: Atlantic Re:think & Netflix House of Cards’ “The Ascent” – The Atlantic
Why Didn’t I Think of That?: The Factory – Surfing Magazine