Was it only 4 years ago that the heights of online creativity were expanding banners and Facebook apps? With the juggernaut that is digital technology, what is first-to-market in September is been-there-dot-com by next January.

What hasn’t changed is the accumulation of data from all that we’ve done and its impact on everything we will do. We may not know the what, the how, or how much it’s worth, but we can’t ignore it any longer. Perhaps our indifference springs from the fear of math, or the fear of having our creative wings clipped, but data is too big to go away. In fact, we have no choice. We have to climb its summit, to see all its possibilities in empathy, connection, and persuasion.

Take “Run That Town” Gold Lion winner from Leo Burnett Sydney.  You can imagine the agency’s reaction when the client, the Australian Office of Statistics issued the challenge—to make the Census relevant to the surf-riding, barbie-grilling Aussie.

Gamification is only one way by which data changes our worldview. Pry its shiny, 3D-printed shell, and you expose data’s tender human underside, as Y&R Moscow did for its gold-winning “Twin Souls”, for the charity Change One Life.

We can all agree that neither of these creative ideas could have been executed without data.  They exemplify its ingenious use, inspired by consumers and changing the way consumers think and behave. If they don’t fit The Boomerangs’ ideals, then nothing does.

So as one of our last acts as The Boomerangs showrunners, Kichi and I announce a new Effectiveness category for 2016: Creativity in Data.

Like everything else Boomerang, it’s open to campaigns and programs in all sectors of our industry. If you start now, you have nine months to conceive and incubate the first winner in Effectiveness–Creativity in Data.

Innovation inspires yet another category for The Boomerangs. This one, designed especially for innovative small-to-medium enterprises that change the way we live and work.  In short, startups. We call this new award, The Rising Startup.

Beginning 2016, startups can enter and pitch their com-tech, edu-tech, retail tech, health tech, for strategic partnerships with IMMAP advertisers and marketers. Moreover on its inaugural year, startups can enter this category, without paying the entry fee.

IMMAP believes strongly in the collaboration between startups. Because in many ways, The Boomerangs is a startup–looking for funding and alliances, building on iteration after iteration, until it scales and takes flight beyond the Philippines.

Best of luck to us all.