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Gold, Silver and Bronze trophies will be awarded in each category, based on the judges’ criteria for creative excellence. “Best in Show” categories include Corporate Image, Consumer Retail, B2B, Digital Media,  Multicultural, Multicultural, and Corporate Social Responsibility, as well as the Judges’Choice award for best overall work.  

FCS Portfolio Awards will be given in the following groups:


Work that seeks to market a specific financial or investment product or service, targeting a company or its employees, rather than an individual consumer. Example: Work from investment banks, asset management firms targeting financial advisors, or the investment arm of an insurance company.


Work that seeks to market a specific financial or investment product or service to a consumer. Example: A TV commercial for a specific credit card or an online campaign for a retail brokerage platform.


Work that seeks to build awareness or change perception of an entire company, as opposed to marketing a particular product or service.


  1. Entries can be submitted in only one of the above Groups.
  2. Regardless of group or category, all work that specifically targets an audience based on language, ethnicity or diversity will be automatically eligible for the Multicultural Best in Show Award(Please submit English language translations where applicable.)
  3. Regardless of group or category, all work that specifically serves to promote the firm’s Corporate Social Responsibility and/or Philanthropy programs (and does not promote a product, service or other commercial initiative) will be automatically eligible for the new Corporate Social Responsibility Best in Show Award.




Any advertising that has aired on terrestrial radio, satellite radio, podcasts, or digital/streaming platforms (Pandora, Spotify, etc.) OR original audio content (e.g., podcast) that has been packaged for distribution by the client (via iTunes, corporate website, etc.).  [Note: if audio content was distributed by and/or created with a media partner, see BRANDED CONTENT.]


Printed and digital annual reports will compete for overall creative design and effectiveness. Reports for fiscal 2017 or 2018 published in 2018 are eligible.


Any new or refreshed logo, mark or other graphic, including typography, for a company, a division, a business line or a product or service. Brand architecture is also eligible.


Any written, graphic, video or audio content created by a brand — either in-house or in collaboration with a third party,  such as an agency or media company — that is distributed through a third party media vehicle  in a manner similar to editorial content and is clearly  identified as advertising or sponsored content. The award will recognize the brand as well as the agency  and media partner (if they participated in the creation of the content).


Any print communication targeting an external audience that does not appear in paid media (see Branded Content category) and is not generally mailed to large numbers of people (see Direct Mail category).  Example: Capabilities brochures, sales material and product catalogs.


Trophies will be awarded in these sub-categories:

APPS and TOOLS   Any application that serves to engage an external audience with a financial brand for education, information, data management or just fun.

DIGITAL COLLATERAL   Any digital report/article targeting an external audience that does not appear in paid media (see Branded Content category), does not appear online as a microsite (see Websites category) and is not generally emailed to large numbers of people (see Email category).  Example: digital whitepaper.

NOTE: the content of the digital collateral will not be fully read by the judging panel as part of their evaluation; judging will focus on the excellence of the creative presentation.

DISPLAY / RICH MEDIA Online advertising in any format/size, using any web-based technology. 

EMAIL   Any marketing communication sent via email to a target audience.

MOBILE   Any advertising created specifically for mobile devices. 

WEB VIDEO   Video created for and distributed on a web site or web media channel (e.g., YouTube).

WEBSITE   Web pages or microsites created to promote a specific product line or to support a specific communications campaign.


Any communication, including traditional “DM” packages and dimensional mailers, that is physically mailed to a target audience with the purpose of eliciting  action/response.


On-site execution of any public / client-facing event, including trade shows, conferences, seminars, hospitality. All components of the experience, from physical to  digital, will be evaluated.


A campaign that uses three or more of the distinct channels/tactics listed on this page to communicate the same or complementary messages. 


Advertising in a publicly viewable space. Example: billboard, transit, kiosks.


Advertising placed in paid print media. Example: Magazines and newspapers.


A campaign or initiative involving earned, unpaid, and/or social media that promotes a company, product, or service, etc.


Trophies will be awarded in these sub-categories:

PAID ADVERTISING: Any work that involves paid placement or communications on a social networking site (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.).

NON-PAID/ORGANIC: Organic, unpaid social media campaign on one or more social media platforms for consumer communications, content delivery, and brand  engagement. Examples include tweets, FB updates and content not paid but pushed onto social media such as LinkedIn. 


Commercials that aired on network or cable television.