The Effie Awards, founded in 1968 by the American Marketing Association, recognize the most “effective advertising efforts” in the country. This year’s event was held on Tuesday night, and while most of the categories and winners were regular campaigns, a viral campaign and a few networks got onto the list.

Each category has an Olympic style structure, with gold, silver, and bronze winners. In the “Entertainment and Sporting Events” category, HBO won the gold for True Blood. Campfire, who ran the viral campaign for the show, is one of the companies on the winner’s list. Hear Campfire co-founder Mike Monello talk about the campaign in our interview with him. Watch Campfire’s video presentation of their work on True Blood below, as well as Effie’s remarks on the overall marketing for the show.

In its first season, HBO’s True Blood quickly amassed an audience of die-hard fans, but for an increasingly ravenous audience, it wasn’t enough to just witness the world of True Blood, they wanted to be able to walk right into it. For Season 2 vampires wouldn’t just be walking among us; they’d be deeply integrated into our society. HBO called it ‘Hacking Reality,’ and it was all about blurring the line between reality and fiction. When it was all said and done, HBO had seized the momentum of True Blood?s first season and delivered an integrated campaign that generated massive press and industry buz, but more importantly, it engaged, provoked and rewarded both die-hard fans and new viewers.

CNN also won gold for their Facebook Inauguration collaboration, which allowed Facebook users to watch the event right on the website.

The Presidential Inauguration presented an equally unprecedented opportunity to not only further demonstrate our brand leadership as the place for news, but to connect and engage with our audience, allowing viewers to experience an historic event in an entirely new way.’s collaboration with Facebook offered consumers the opportunity to witness the historic event firsthand while also connecting with their friends in real-time, which made this not only a momentous occasion but also the largest event in Internet history to date.

Finally, CBS and Pepsi won silver in the “Media Innovation” category for their “Monday to the Max” ad, which featured the first ever video-in-print. I personally saw this in a copy of Entertainment Weekly, and it’s pretty impressive.

With the severe downturn currently accelerating in the print industry, we identified the medium as ripe for innovation and re-invention. The goal was to do something in print that would ensure the integrated messaging for CBS and PepsiMax would come to life and for the first time organically tie the print medium to a true television experience. As a centerpiece to its 2009 Fall Season launch campaign, CBS, with new promotional partner PepsiCo, introduced the first-ever use of video in print advertising. Introducing readers of a magazine to the allure of sight, sound and motion and directly delivering consumers CBS and PepsiMax video content on the printed page.

For the complete list of winners and more information on the awards, go to

By Dan Koelsch

Dan Koelsch is our Executive Editor and in charge of Advertising and Promotions. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Radio TV Film from California State University Fullerton, with a Minor in Advertising. He's a diehard Trekkie and a big Superman fan. has been reacquired by its original founders. Please pardon any interruptions during this transitory period.