CBS Interactive is the ‘Telly Company of the Year ’ for the second year running, in an edition marked for the new ‘Immersive & Mixed Reality’ categories and an unexpected pandemic.
As COVID-19 content creativity takes center stage, the Telly Awards is once again spotlighting years of achievement in multi-platform narratives by naming CBS Interactive as the ‘Telly Company of the Year.’ A leader in pioneering insightful and inspiring video content online and off, properties such as 60 Minutes Overtime on CBS News and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert along with branded content for the likes of Google, Oculus Quest, and Toyota perfectly exemplify this year’s theme celebrating the inspiring power of storytelling.
Founded in 2008, CBS Interactive is the premier online content network for information and entertainment. Its brands dive deep into the things people care about across entertainment, tech, news, games, business and sports. The Telly Company of the Year Award recognizes the company that has proven to have the most success during this year’s competition across Gold, Silver, and Bronze.
From music videos to commercials
The Telly Awards winners also includes Jeff Buckley’s “Sky Blue Skin” music video from Sony Music Entertainment, Partizan’s Hewlett Packard “Print the Holidays” Christmas commercial (helmed by French director Michel Gondry), and the exciting psychological deepdive “Do We Have Free Will?” from BBC Reels, as well as a short branded documentary from Square.
The list does not stop there, because under this year’s “Telly Awards Winners Tell Great Stories” theme, standouts encompass directors, editors, animators, producers, technologists, and more across a wide range of industries, company sizes, and regions including Viacom Velocity, Autodesk, HBO Latin America, Adult Swim, Condé Nast, BBC, CNN, Fast Company, Bone+Gold, and Beauregard Media, along with international work from the likes of Culture Trip and Christie’s Auction House (United Kingdom), Taxi (Australia), Al Jazeera (Qatar), and FJ Amsterdam (The Netherlands).
Inside Star Wars
“Our work exists to highlight and honor exemplary storytelling across all screens,” explains Telly Awards Managing Director Sabrina Dridje. “And now is a more important time than ever to give a platform to those creators bringing us global stories. Last season, we were blown away by work that highlighted social injustice and celebrated diverse work cultures, including pieces that showed us the excellent work being done by humanitarian groups around the world and international communities striving for more equal playing fields for the marginalized. As our season came to a close during the pandemic, however, we were equally impressed by the work that was being produced in this difficult climate to continue to highlight stories that otherwise would not find an audience.”
Building on the categories of years past, the 41st Telly Awards has added a suite of new ‘Immersive & Mixed Reality’ categories. Winners in this suite include “Star Wars: 5G Sith Jet Trooper” from immersive media company RYOT and “Bonfire” an interactive film voiced by comedian Ali Wong, from VR animation company Baobab Studios. Additionally, in order to better celebrate the increase in social video and documentary work that addresses global issues, two new categories — ‘Social Impact’ and ‘Diversity & Inclusion’ — were also added.
The Juilliard School on Zoom
The diverse array of this year’s winners speaks to the continued growth in creative approaches to the rising digital video production, storytelling, and distribution landscape. To continue broadening its reach across social and digital video artists and spaces, the Telly Awards has expanded its industry partnerships to include VidCon and Social Media Week. This year’s content was judged by a panel of the most diverse and elite group of television and video industry leaders in the awards’ history, including HP Global Head of Virtual Reality Joanna Popper, Vice President of Production at Complex Networks David Weinstein, and Edelman Creative Newsroom Director Annie Granatstein.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many pieces dealing with the fallout of the crisis were also submitted, spanning fully animated explainer videos, stunning drone footage of empty cities, and a heartfelt and inspiring choreographed Zoom performance from The Juilliard School. The latter features over 100+ of the school’s alumni, including legendary musician Yo-Yo Ma, performing “Bolero” utilizing their unique talents to showcase the incredible power of art to draw people together, even in a time of unprecedented separation.
To further celebrate storytelling across all screens, The Telly Awards also ran the annual ‘Film & Video Night’ screening series throughout the 41st season — curated from past winners, judges, and partners. Programming featured standout work from the likes of CNN’s Great Big Story, droga5, Square, WeTransfer, RadicalMedia, and independent artist and animator Andrew Myers with hugely successful screenings in New York, Toronto, London, and Amsterdam. As the COVID-19 pandemic began to unfold, the Tellys pivoted to share this work online in the form of a Facebook Watch Party, safely continuing to bring engaging and relevant content to the community it serves. All of this work can still be enjoyed on the Telly Awards Facebook page.