Special guest judge Malcolm Garrett explains the thinking behind his choice of winner for the 2015 Anthony Wilson Original Modern Award

In looking for a winner of the Anthony Wilson ‘Original Modern’ Award I made quite a shortlist of favourites.

Given my interest in technology and innovation, I looked first at the nominees for the Innovative Application of Technology category, where I liked the ways both Relative Insight and Wejo are making smart use of data, although each had me worrying a little about the techniques used to track people’s behaviours.

Of the website projects I liked the quirky yet professional approach of the Geeky Medics site, the bold videographics of the Music site, and the clarity of the Amnesty International website. I also liked the Creamline Dairies e-commerce site, which does what it says on the carton.

After due consideration, though, I’ve decided to give the Original Modern Award to the DB-Play – A Different Dimension game. I’m really impressed how this takes the original computer game ‘ping-pong’ and re-imagines it for a modern, mobile, multi-user world. It is an intelligent and clever remake. It doesn’t compromises the basic idea and resists trying it make it feel too contemporary or feel too removed from the game we all knew and loved. Most of the update works behind the scenes, and the front end is simply about enhancing the game play.

Like a two-way trojan horse, it allows students to take over the Deutsche Bank conference space, whilst encouraging the capture of contact details. I think Tony Wilson would like the noisily irreverent way it intrudes into the formal world of banking, with a simplicity and directness that belies the sophistication of the updated functionality and technology. 

To finish up I’d like to give honourable mentions for some other things that caught my attention. The Mr Men and Little Miss campaign for Beefeater, the Hidden World of Bacteria game, and the BBC iWonder website, all encouraged me to spend time playing and exploring, and all felt right on target for their audiences.

And finally who knew that 40% of online sales at UK Tights were to men? Nice work apprentice Marta Rodriguez Casares in finding that out for us and helping UK Tights focus their marketing to make them the ‘Hosiery Retailer of the Year’.

Malcolm Garrett

3 June 2015