A Brief History of the Meffys
In June 2004, the inaugural Mobile Entertainment
Forum awards took place in Islington’s Business
Design Centre in London to reflect the “growing
maturity and importance of the mobile
Hosted by then MEF Americas Chairman and
mobile evangelist Ralph Simon, the awards
were scooped by some of the pioneering names
in mobile entertainment: In-Fusio (Games),
Chaoticom (Music) and Ki-Bi (Innovation).
The Special Recognition award was presented to Finnish technologist Vesa Matti Paananen for ringtone personalisation – an idea he came up with one morning in Helsinki when he woke with a hangover and wanted to get rid of that “annoying Nokia tune”.
The 2005 awards marked “an industry coming of age” according to host Channel 4 newsreader Krishnan Guru-Murthy and the number of award categories increased accordingly. Held in Earl’s Court, the winners’ podium was dominated by some of the heavyweight brands in the mobile and entertainment sectors: Nokia N-Gage (Games), Endemol (Content), Orange (Services) and a brace of awards for Vodafone (Music and Innovation). This time it was the turn of another Finnish technologist, Taneli Armanto, to be honoured with the Special Recognition award for bringing the game ‘Snake’ to the mobile phone.
Rebranded as the "Meffys", the host of the
expanded awards for 2006 was legendary DJ
and producer Pete Tong. The winners reflected
“the hot trends shaping and driving the mobile
entertainment industry” with nods to user-
generated content, made for mobile TV and
innovative mobile marketing campaigns.
The MEF board chose to recognise the technical
and entrepreneurial skills of Dr Jim Brailean and
his pioneering work on mobile video. On
receiving the Special Recognition award, Brailean mused that he was grateful for the acknowledgement since the team he had originally led were considered “maverick, slightly wacky scientists with crazy mobile media ideas!”
With a switch to the glamorous surroundings of Monaco, the 2007 Meffys were celebrated in style with their first ever gala dinner hosted by former MTV presenter Ray Cokes. The ceremony showcased winning entries from around the world with a shortlist featuring applications from 20 countries in four of the five continents. A trio of individuals – Alain Rossman, Chuck Parrish and Bruce Martin – were presented with the Special Recognition award for their collaborative efforts that led to the creation of the mobile internet.
In 2008 the Meffys show opened with footage of
glamorous Gadget Show presenter, Suzi Perry,
joining an aerobatic display and skydiving while
testing the latest handset blogging capabilities.
Perry’s feet remained firmly on the ground while
she hosted the fifth annual awards at the famous
Carlton Hotel in Cannes.
With the unstoppable rise of social networking, it was
fitting that the three founders of Upoc: Greg Clayman,
Gordon Gould and Alex LeVine, were honoured with the Special Recognition award as the ‘inventors’ of mobile social networking. US company Upoc created a “whole new channel of socialising for mobile subscribers”.