Talent recognised on and off the page as Magazine Publishers Association announces awards finalists

Early this year, the MPA announced that it was making some big changes to its annual awards, with a new name, a few new categories and a new judging process. Those changes have led to an almost 40 percent increase in entry numbers and as far as the finalists go, Bauer is on top with 46, followed by Tangible Media with 25, Fairfax with 19 and Kowhai Media with 10. 

The magazine of the year category is split into six categories, with each of the category winners then going on to fight it out for the top honour, Magazine of the Year. Woman's Daytook that out last year, and it's back again as a finalist, alongside another Bauer title, Woman's Weekly, in the mass market women's category. New Zealand Weddings, NZ Rugby World and OHbaby! are finalists in consumer special interest; Metro, New Zealand Geographic and North & South are finalists in current affairs & business: Dish, Healthy Food Guide and NZ House & Garden are finalists in home & food; PRO Photographer, Wares Magazine and NZ Marketing and StopPress (we're blushing) are finalists in industry & trade: and Good, NEXT and NZ Life & Leisure are finalists in lifestyle. 

In an effort to reference the way magazines are moving off the page and how the commercial models are evolving, there were four new categories this year, many of them of relevance to the marcomms industry. 

In the best owned media/custom publishing brand, Resene's Habitat by Tangible Media, Air New Zealand's KiaOra by Bauer Media and Asaleo Care's Little Treasures by Tangible Media made the grade. 

Another new category, best brand community/extensions, saw Dish digital & social media extensions, the New Zealand Geographic Archive, NZ House & Garden'smagazine/tours/awards/website/movies/social media and OHbaby! Magazine named as finalists. 

The best sales solution finalists are Griffins: Huntley & Palmers Flatbread, Bauer Media Collective, Taste/Your Home and Garden/Woman's Day/The Australian Women's Weekly/NZ Woman's Weekly; Tourism Australia/OMD NZ, Tangible Media Content Marketing,Dish (Savouring Australia); and Unilever - Persil, Anna Magasiva/Kaylene Hurley, Woman's Day. 

The best retail subscription campaign finalists are Bauer's Christmas 2014: Be in to win a Suzuki & 10 $500 Countdown Vouchers, Group Campaign; Centenary Poppy Project, NZ Gardener; and Little Shop, Woman's Day. 

In the best publishing innovation category, Idealog has two finalists—Idealog Pitch Circus and executive leadership brand The Briefing. Ziera Magazine & App by NEXT was the other finalist. 

And the finalists in the advertising sales excellence awards will be familiar names to many clients and agencies. 

Consumer       
    Alison Shrigley, New Zealand Gardener
    Maddie Thomas, Your Home and Garden
    Stuart Dick/Liezl Hipkins, HOME

Current Affairs & Business       
    Miles Gandy, New Zealand Geographic/PRO Photographer/Time
    Stuart Dick/Matt Smith/Krista Rostenberg, KiaOra 
    Vernene Medcalf, NZ Marketing/StopPress

Pip Elliott, who was recently appointed as the MPA's executive director after departing Roy Morgan, says the awards were set up to inspire excellence and the updated name—Magazine Media Awards—and the 44 award categories "reflect the ever-evolving role of magazines and the diversity of magazine media offerings". 

A team of more than 50 industry leaders were selected as judges and Kim Mundell, director of Mandeville Limited, returned to the role of judging convener. As opposed to previous years, Elliot says it tried to get judges who were either working in the industry or had a deep understanding of the industry and the changes currently taking place so that the right winners were picked. 

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