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Gold, Silver and Bronze trophies will be awarded in each category, based on the judges’ criteria for creative excellence.

There will also be Best in Show Awards for Business to Business, Consumer Retail, Corporate Image, Multicultural, Corporate Social Responsibility and Employee Communications,

The Judges’ Choice award is given to the best overall work.

Entries are submitted in one of the following groups:

BUSINESS-TO-BUSINESS

Work that seeks to market a specific financial or investment product or marketing service, or deliver a particular communications message, targeting a company or its employees, rather than an individual consumer. Examples: A campaign from an investment bank or fintech company targeting c-suite decision-makers; an asset manager or the investment arm of an insurance company targeting financial advisors; a financially focused event designed for these audiences produced by an agency or media company.

CONSUMER RETAIL

Work that seeks to market a specific financial or investment product or marketing service or deliver a particular message to an individual consumer. Examples: A TV commercial for a credit card; an online campaign for a retail brokerage platform; an event open to the public sponsored by a media company; a recruiting video produced by a financial association. 

CORPORATE IMAGE

Work or messaging that seeks to build awareness or change perception of an entire company, as opposed to marketing a particular product or service. Examples: a financial firm’s annual report; a fintech company’s video about its CSR initiatives; an agency’s digital slideshow about a financially focused pro bono project; an insurance company’s TV commercial about the pride of its employee.

EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATIONS

Work or messaging that is created specifically for an internal audience at a financial institution, as well as any materials for a recruiting campaign to attract new employees. Examples: a financial firm’s intranet/employee portal; a CEO’s video message to employees; an HR director’s weekly blog; an online charity event for employees; material used for a job fair.

IMPORTANT NOTES

  1. Entries are accepted only from financial institutions, financially focused professional associations, fintech companies engaged in an independent operation as a financial entity, creative, marketing, digital and media agencies specializing in financial services, and media companies whose submissions are 100% focused on or involve financial services.
  2. Entries can be submitted in only one of the above Groups.
  3. All entries must have been visible/accessible to a U.S. and/or Canadian audience during calendar 2021.
  4. Marketing work from insurance companies pertaining to healthcare or Property & Casualty is not eligible for this competition.
  5. 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.)
  6. 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 Corporate Social Responsibility Best in Show Award.

WORK WILL BE JUDGED IN THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES:

Branding & Advertising

 

Audio Advertising

Any advertising that has aired on terrestrial radio, satellite radio, podcasts, or digital/streaming platforms (Pandora, Spotify, etc.).

NOTE: To enter Audio Content, see External Communications: Audio.

Direct Mail

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

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.

Out-Of-Home (Entry/Campaign)

Advertising in a publicly viewable space. Example: billboard, transit, kiosks. Enter a single Entry or up to 3 works as a Campaign.

Print (Entry/Campaign)

Advertising placed in paid print media. Example: Magazines and newspapers. Enter a single Entry or up to 3 works as a Campaign.

Social Media: Paid Advertising (Entry/Campaign)

Any work that involves paid placement of an ad (static, animated, video, etc.) on a social media platform (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.). Enter a single Entry or up to 3 works as a Campaign.

Television (Entry/Campaign)

Commercials that aired on network or cable television or a streaming service such as Hulu. Enter a single Entry or up to 3 works as a Campaign.

Visual Identity

 

Logo

Any new or refreshed logo for a company, a division, a business line or a product or service.

Identity System

Any new or refreshed brand architecture or visual identity system (beyond a logo), including typography and imagery, for a company, a division, a business line or a product or service.

 

 

External Communications

 

Audio

Audio content (e.g., podcast) that has been packaged for distribution via a podcast platform (e.g., iTunes, Spotify), a corporate website, etc.

NOTES: If the audio content was created with a media partner, see Branded Content: Audio. To enter an ad placed within audio content, see Branding & Advertising: Audio Advertising.

Social Media: 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.

Collateral

Note: The content in the Collateral category may not be fully read by the judging panel as part of their evaluation; judging will focus on the quality of the creative presentation.

Annual Reports

Printed and digital annual reports will compete for overall creative design and effectiveness. Reports for fiscal 2019 or 2020 published in 2020 are eligible.

Digital Collateral

Any digital report/article targeting an external audience that typically appears on the company website. Example: digital whitepaper; infographics.

NOTES: If the content was created with a media partner, see Branded Content. If the content is emailed to a large public audience, consider the Branding & Advertising: Email category. If the content appears online as a microsite, consider the Digital Media: Websites category.

Print Collateral

Any report/article printed for an external target external audience. Example: Capabilities brochures, sales material; product catalogs; infographics.

NOTES: If the content was created with a media partner, see Branded Content. If the content is mailed to a public audience, consider the Branding & Advertising: Direct Mail category.

 

 

Public Relations

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

 

 

Event Marketing

 

Event Marketing

Execution of any public / client-facing in-person or virtual event, including trade shows, conferences, seminars, etc. All components of the experience, from physical to digital, will be evaluated.

 

Sponsorship Marketing

Execution of the paid sponsorship of any public / client-facing in-person or virtual event created by a third party for their audience, including sporting events, performing arts and concerts, online awards, hospitality, etc. All components of the experience, from physical to digital, will be evaluated.

 

 

 

Media Strategy

 

Planning

 

Traditional

Demonstration of an effective media plan that aligns with creative strategy and provides meaningful results (excludes use of programmatic planning.

Programmatic

Demonstration of an effective media plan that aligns with creative strategy and provides meaningful results while specifically using programmatic planning.

Innovation

Demonstration of innovative use of media to deliver targeted messaging that aligns with creative strategy and provides meaningful results.

 

 

Digital Media

 

Apps and Tools

Any application that serves to engage an external audience with a financial brand for education, information, data management or just fun. Example: retirement calculator; event scheduling app.

Web Video

Video content created for and distributed on a web site or web media channel (e.g., YouTube). Content can be talking head, animated, etc.

Website

A full company website, web pages or microsites created to promote a specific product line or to support a specific communications campaign. All work submitted for consideration must be newly created/first launched in calendar 2020

 

 

Branded Content

Any 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).

NOTE: if the work is not presented as editorial-like content, then it should be entered under the appropriate Branding & Advertising category, based on the medium.

 

Copy & Design

Written copy with or without design elements such as infographics.

Audio

Audio recorded content, e.g., podcast.

Video

Video recorded content whether animated, live action, talking head, etc.

Event

In-person or virtual live or-pre-recorded event.

Integrated

A campaign that uses three or more Branded Content execution types to communicate the same or complementary messages.

 

 

Integrated Marketing

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

 

 

Employee Communications

This group of categories is open to financial institutions only.

Audio

Audio content created and distributed strictly for an internal audience.

Blog

Written online periodic communication targeting an internal audience.

Email

Messaging / communication (single or campaign) distributed internally only.

Event

In-person or virtual live or-pre-recorded event for employees

Intranet (Internal Website / Employee Portal)

A full company intranet, web pages or microsites. All work submitted for consideration must be newly created/first launched in calendar 2021.

Presentation

Powerpoint or other presentation material created for an internal audience.

Video

Video created and distributed strictly for an internal audience.

Visual Identity

Logo or identity system not intended to be seen by external audience.

Integrated (Any 3 of The Above)

Multiple executions of marketing / communications work as part of a single internal campaign.

Recruiting Campaign

Any marketing material specifically created to attract new employees.