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Justin Bieber, Obama election campaign headline Webby winners

Canadian singer Justin Bieber performs on stage during the "I Believe Tour" in Helsinki April 26, 2013. REUTERS/Mikko Stig/Lehtikuva
Canadian singer Justin Bieber performs on stage during the "I Believe Tour" in Helsinki April 26, 2013. REUTERS/Mikko Stig/Lehtikuva

(Reuters) - Campaigns for pop stars Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga joined comedian Jerry Seinfeld and the team behind President Barack Obama's 2012 social media election strategy on Tuesday in winning Webby Awards, the annual honors for excellence on the Internet.

R&B singer Frank Ocean, fake news website, The Onion, and humor website Funny or Die also picked up awards.

The Webby Awards recognizes websites, online video, social media and apps and interactive advertising.

Judges praised team Obama's social media campaign for having "masterfully combined savvy political and tech genius to become the secret weapon behind Obama's commanding reelection" and its ability to use data to target voters efficiently.

The Webby judging panel included the co-founder of microblogging site Twitter, Biz Stone, Internet media mogul Arianna Huffington and Kevin Systrom, the creator of online photo-sharing service Instagram.

The promotional campaign behind Justin Bieber's fragrance, Girlfriend, which called on fans to submit their own video versions of the teen pop star's song of the same name, won the People's Voice Award in an Internet vote.

Seinfeld's online series, "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," in which he converses with actors and comedians, won for Outstanding Comedic Performance and was lauded for combining "Hollywood-style entertainment with the Internet."

Lady Gaga, who along with Bieber is known for using social media to create a devout fan following, was honored for "Gaga's Workshop," a promotion with department store Barneys.

Grammy-winner Ocean won Person of the Year for using the "power of the Web as a medium for cultural change," the Webbys said. Last year, Ocean made waves when he published an open letter on his blog about a same-sex relationship.

Other winners included actor Kevin Spacey and producer Dana Brunetti for creating the online television drama series "House of Cards" for video streaming service Netflix, and actors Ben Stiller, Ken Marino and creator Erica Oyama for the online comedy series "Burning Love."

U.S. football player Chris Kluwe was honored for his online activism as Athlete of the Year, while Steve Wilhite won the Lifetime Achievement award for the durability of his two-decade-old GIF image format.

Companies such as the New York Times, HBO and Nike also won Webby Awards.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by David Brunnstrom)

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