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Obama campaign, Bieber Internet ad score Webby award nominations

U.S. President Barack Obama talks on the phone with NASA's Curiosity Mars rover team aboard Air Force One during a flight to Offutt Air Forc
U.S. President Barack Obama talks on the phone with NASA's Curiosity Mars rover team aboard Air Force One during a flight to Offutt Air Forc

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The teams behind President Barack Obama's 2012 social media election campaign and Justin Bieber's fragrance launch were among the nominees on Tuesday for the annual Webby Awards, which honor excellence on the Internet.

Tom Hanks, Lady Gaga, Tiger Woods, Alec Baldwin and Charlize Theron were among many other celebrities whose high-flying careers provided fodder for innovative Internet campaigns.

The annual Webby Awards honor websites, online video and social media as well as apps and interactive Internet advertising.

"Every year we are constantly amazed by the innovations Webby Nominees push forward and this year is no exception," David-Michel Davies, the awards' executive director, said in a statement.

Last year's "Obama for America: For All Campaign" received two nods in the social media campaign and interactive advertising and media categories. "Girls" TV writer and director Lena Dunham also picked up an individual nomination for her tongue-in-cheek 2012 video "Lena Dunham for Obama for America, 'First Time.'"

The 2012 campaign for Bieber's "Girlfriend" fragrance, in which teens sent in their own video versions of his hit single, won a nod in the interactive advertising field.

In the mobile and apps category, champion golfer Woods' instructional "Tiger Woods: My Swing, Tiger Woods Foundation" was nominated. The comedic Internet production "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," which features Jerry Seinfeld, Ricky Gervais, Larry David and Alec Baldwin, scored three nominations for online film and video.

Hanks' "Tom Hanks' Electric City" was nominated for drama, online film and video, and Lady Gaga's "Gaga's Workshop" 2011 holiday promotion with New York store Barneys is a finalist in the social category.

The international hit TV series about zombies, "The Walking Dead," picked up three nominations in the online content and mobile or apps categories.

The awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Winners, who are selected by a panel including Arianna Huffington, David Bowie and Instagram founder Kevin Systrom, will be announced on April 30.

In a nod to character limits imposed by social media like Twitter, winners deliver five-word acceptance speeches, such as Al Gore's "Please don't recount this vote."

(Reporting by Chris Michaud; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Stacey Joyce)

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