Visionary Setting for a Visionary Award

June 6, 2017   |   Blue Water

Rising to the top from a record number of entries, Blue Water took home a gold Addy at the 43rd Annual American Advertising Awards, hosted by the American Advertising Federation of Baltimore (AAFB) at the unique American Visionary Art Museum, earlier this year.

The sought-after award for best interactive website went to the ‘Google Transparency Project,’ a uniquely interactive website created and developed by Blue Water.

As a research initiative of the Campaign for Accountability, a project that uses research, litigation, and aggressive communications to expose how decisions made behind the doors of corporate boardrooms and government offices can impact American lives, the ‘Google Transparency Project’ is notable in how, in this case, it exists for the sole purpose of transparency.

“The judges were clearly impressed by the sheer interactivity of the site,” said a delighted Jen Koscielniak, Blue Water’s Creative Director.

Called ‘Google’s Revolving Door,’ the website is a colorful and user-friendly interactive chart (schema ball) that allows the user to explore each of the 61 moves from Google (and related firms) to Government, and each of the 197 moves from Government to Google (and related firms), by name and date, thereby – in the words of CFA itself – ‘highlighting the least-examined examples of corporate influence in government today.’

Says Blue Water’s content strategist, Craig Strydom, “Data visualizations such as these are truly ‘interactive’ in that they put the user in the driver’s seat, allowing them to be the ‘pilot’ of the unfolding visual story.”

“Unlike hactivism,” he adds, “a concept that came to the fore in 2012, The Google Transparency project makes sense of the data it puts out, in an ultra-user-friendly way, rather than simply dumping the information into the webiverse.”

“Not only did we go with the circular concept to get across the idea of a revolving door between Google and the government,” says Blue Water’s Director of User Experience, “but also, we wanted to allow users to drill down and see the relationships at a more granular level, by department and by person.”

The successful Google Transparency Project also won a Best in Class award at the 2016 Interactive Media Awards.

The American Advertising Awards competition is the industry’s largest and most representative competition – attracting more than 40,000 entries every year in local competitions.

The success of ‘Google’s Revolving Door (US)’ campaign, as well as ‘Google White House Visits,’ a similar interactive chart, has now led to the project being extended to ‘Google’s Revolving Door (Europe).