2014 MarCom Awards Spotlight: Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau

While the winners for the 2014 MarCom Awards won’t be announced for a while, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

MarCom Awards Organization: Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau
Location: Asheville, North Carolina
Title of Entry: “THE SCIENCE BEHIND FALL COLOR: Travel destination immersion through digital storytelling”
Category: 129. Brand Journalism

Explore Asheville, NC | Asheville, NC's Official Tourism Web SiteStorytelling is an essential element in any medium, whether newspaper, magazine, television, radio, movies, or web. But in recent years, all these mediums have been converging. Today’s outstanding storyteller utilizes the best parts of each and creates an interactive template on the web. A breakthrough in this new art form first came to people’s attention in The New York Times.  The content was called “Snow Fall” and describes the harrowing experience of skiers caught in an avalanche. It was an immediate sensation in newsrooms around the country and among visitors to The New York Times website.

The Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau wanted to create a similar stir for a different purpose. The Asheville area in the Smoky Mountains hosts one of the most magnificent fall displays in the country. The bureau wanted to herald its uniquely long and colorful fall foliage season through a new brand of journalism. The resulting web presentation mixes video, Google Earth, pictures, time lapse photography, text and autumn folklore with science to create an immersive experience.

Asheville: Science Behind the Color*****


2014 MarCom Awards Spotlight: La Salle University

While the winners for the 2014 MarCom Awards won’t be announced for a while, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

MarCom Awards Organization: La Salle University
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Title of Entry: “Lasallian Day of Giving Microsite”
Category: 189. Microsite

La Salle UniversityMicrosites are handy for communicators if you want to keep the audience focused on the task at hand. In this case, La Salle University leveraged a microsite to support their first Lasallian Day of Giving, a 24-hour fundraising campaign that celebrates the founding of the university on March 20, 1863.

To create an engaging experience that makes visitors feel like they’re part of something bigger than themselves, La Salle incorporated a hashtag for the event and included a social stream and real-time donor list on the microsite, so people could publicly show their support and encourage others to get involved.

The web development team was also aware of the prevalence of mobile devices, leveraging responsive design to make sure the site was functional on all devices.

The strategy, content and microsite structure delivered results – La Salle passed their initial goal of 320 donors, set a new one of 640, and by the end of the day, the school had more than 869 donors contribute on the first Lasallian Day of Giving, raising more than $84,000.

Lasallian Day of Giving



2014 MarCom Awards Spotlight: Transamerica Retirement Solutions

While the winners for the 2014 MarCom Awards won’t be announced for a while, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

MarCom Awards Organization: Transamerica Retirement Solutions
Location: Harrison, New York
Client: Red Bull North America, Inc.
Title of Entry: “Chad Saverson Scores a Perfect 10!”
Category: 221. YouTube Video

Transamerica Retirement SolutionsTransamerica Retirement Solutions is in the business of helping people retire. It works with companies around the country, offering a full service of retirement products, and has more than 3 million participants.

Retirement savings is a hard sell to 20-somethings, but with help from ARG! Cartoon Animation, Transamerica found a unique message and visual to draw them in. The YouTube video, targeting employees at Red Bull, combines white board techniques with animation wrapped around a skateboard competition. It’s an enjoyable film that makes the finer points of retirement savings without a hard pitch.



Communitas Awards Spotlight: Genesis Health System

Communitas Awards Individual: Genesis Health System
Title: “Meeting Community Health Needs”
Location: Davenport, Iowa
Category: 3. Leadership in Skills-Based Community Service

Genesis Health SystemsGood health should not be taken for granted when trying to create a strong, prosperous community, according to the team at Genesis Health System based in Davenport, Iowa.

Leveraging their expertise and resources to enrich the lives of people in the Quad Cities and surrounding areas, the Genesis team has more than a handful of programs that addresses the specific needs of the community from aiming to make the area flu-free to helping residents navigate the new programs available through the Affordable Care Act.

To learn how the company is supporting its community and how it decides which initiatives to pursue, we chatted with Kenneth Croken, vice president of corporate communications & advocacy for Genesis Health System.

Your company partnered with the Quad Cities Health Initiative to identify critical health needs for the Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. How did that come about, and what did Genesis do with the findings? 

It’s rather unique and indeed was recognized by American Hospital Association with a Nova Award a few years back, which doesn’t happen all that often. The two competing health systems in the area got together with other community health leaders about 15 years ago and formed the Quad Cities Health Initiative (QCHI) to address community health needs in a collaborative and cooperative fashion.

Every three to five years, we take the community health needs assessment from QCHI and studies we do (because we also operate outside of Quad Cities area) and develop an implementation plan. We then carry it to board to get approval before executing it.

To communicate what we plan to do, we keep an online yearbook, an abbreviated version of the plan and what we’re doing about it to answer the goals. A plan is lovely but it’s execution that matters.

Tell me more about the Genesis Flu-Free Quad Cities initiative. What started as a pilot program that vaccinated 400 students in 2007 is now helping close to 10,000 children per year. Why did the company decide to expand the effort and how was it able to do so?

Flu-Free-Quad-Cities-Genesis-HealthIt’s a successful program because it makes flu shots available in schools, which is a wonderful thing for all families. Even those that can afford it or would be inclined to take their child to a doctor, this makes it more convenient.

Sometimes convenience goes beyond traditional convenience. The accessibility provided by a school-based program is convenient for some families. For those with limited resources, it’s the difference between getting and not getting a flu shot.

From a health perspective, it’s critically important to a community to strive for herd immunity from flu. When flu comes to your community, it generally lives in your schools. Kids will carry it home to grandpa or baby sister for whom it could be a life-threatening event.

Flue-Free QC has resulted in great success in terms of our incidences of flu. It’s also important to the students because the flu will be two really bad weeks of poor health but it can also have lasting consequences. Missing two weeks of school can make it hard for students to catch up. Plus, there’s the economic impact on the whole community when adults miss work because they have the flu themselves or someone at home with the flu needs a caregiver.

We studied our impact for several years. Not that there was all that much debate, but we did see significant increase in school attendance rates in schools participating in Flu-Free QC. Then we also tracked the incidence of emergency room visits for flu community-wide. We’ve had mild flu seasons recently in our region and would attribute at least a portion of that trend to the Flu-Free program. 

The Affordable Care Act has changed the healthcare landscape. What has Genesis Health done to ease the transition for the public?

As an organization, I believe Genesis has been a national leader in embracing the population health dictates of the ACA. We have accelerated our deployment of our ACA prescribed medical homes using health coaches and system navigators.

We’re also working to address the primary and chronic care of this community in a way that minimizes residents’ need for the more expensive emergency and acute care that has historically been the focal point of the health care system.

One of Genesis’ latest community contributions is the $50,000 primary sponsorship of the Quad Cities Food Hub Veggie Mobile that debuted this summer. Tell me more about it and its mission.

That’s a brand new initiative. As you can imagine, Iowa offers a wide variety of nutritious affordable locally produced food, so we are indeed blessed. While there are many local and comprehensive farmers markets, what we don’t offer is available public transportation. Much of urban Iowa has only limited public transportation. For many people, getting to local famers market or even grocery store can be challenging and expensive.

So what we’ve done, working with Food Hub and the Wellmark Foundation, is established an extension of the food market that transport locally grown, highly nutritious vegetables to neighborhoods that are underserved.


What’s your favorite community initiative and why?

I have to love Flu-Free QC because it was my baby; it’s one of my children. I’m also very proud the way the community has embraced it. Our local minor league baseball team, the River Bandits, has programs set up to donate a percentage of sales to Flu-Free QC and other children’s initiatives. We also have the support of the local hockey team.

Beyond that, every year we get checks in the mail that say, “Please make sure every third grader at my old elementary school gets flu shoots this year.” It’s not just me who loves the program.


2014 MarCom Awards Spotlight: Gere Donovan Creative

While the winners for the 2014 MarCom Awards won’t be announced for a while, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

MarCom Awards Organization: Gere Donovan Creative
Location: Portland, Oregon
Client: Ravn Alaska
Title of Entry: “Ravn Alaska”
Category: 236. Website Redesign

Gere Donovan Creative

Ravn Alaska may be the largest regional airline in Alaska, but they’re still known for providing a personal touch to customer service. So, when more and more customers began to look for that service online, the challenge was: design a clean, simple and relevant site that reflects the companies’ deep roots across the extremely diverse state of Alaska, and make it accessible and functional across all phone, tablet and desktop devices.

With this is mind, Gere Donovan Creative focused on creating an intuitive architecture—the literal underpinning for good digital design. Popular pages are highlighted through colored tabs; navigation and subheads are limited to no more than three words per instance; and fonts are on-brand but easy to read.

Then to balance what would normally be a text-heavy site, Gere Donovan Creative used colorful, local photography that is representative of the various key customer segments across the state of Alaska—the business traveler, the vacation traveler, and the rural traveler. Instead of focusing on the planes themselves in the imagery, which is typical in airline website design, they focused on the real reason for their business—the customers.

Ravn Alaska Website Redesign by Gere Donovan Creative



2014 MarCom Awards Entry Spotlight: California Institute of Technology

While the winners for the 2014 MarCom Awards won’t be announced for a while, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

MarCom Awards Organization: California Institute of Technology
Location: Pasadena, California
Title of Entry: “Caltech E&S Spring 2013”
Category: 105. Magazine Cover

California Institute of Technology is a world renowned university located in Pasadena, California, specializing in science and engineering research. With a little more than 2,000 students, it’s one of the few schools in the country to have more students in graduate programs than undergraduate.

Caltech publishes quarterly quality magazines for its students, faculty and staff highlighting the institution’s people and their latest achievements. The spring addition is most notable for its cover. A cover sells the magazine to readers, and this one is an award winner.  Titled “Incubating the Future,” the cover cleverly plays off a nest theme weaving together technology and innovation in a colorful frame.

Caltech E&S Magazine Cover*****


2014 MarCom Awards: American Specialty Health

While the winners for the 2014 MarCom Awards won’t be announced for a while, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

MarCom Awards Organization: American Specialty Health
Location: San Diego, California
Title of Entry: “Valentine’s Day E-card”
Category: 226. E-Card

American Specialty HealthE-cards are ubiquitous on the Internet and mostly the same, but American Specialty Health created an E-card that not only gets your attention but also engages you. February is Heart Health Month. American Specialty used a Valentines Day hook along with a game format to pass out special heart tips. The message is passed along in a fun, playful way that recipients will remember.

American-Specialty Health Valentines Ecard*****



2014 MarCom Awards Spotlight: Counterpart

While the winners for the 2014 MarCom Awards won’t be announced for a while, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

MarCom Awards Company: Counterpart
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Client: Workspace Mobility
Title of Entry: “Workspace Mobility Website”
Category: 244. Web Copy

Counterpart Communication DesignCompelling web copy has a several essential elements that make it effective. A few include concise text, a conversational tone and using headlines and subheads to make the content easy to scan.

The team at Counterpart has these things down pat. They created succinct copy that packs a punch for Workspace Mobility, a company that provides “mission-critical applications for mobile sales automation.” The text connects with the target audience’s needs and breaks down the big picture into digestible portions, so visitors can get a good idea of what the company does and how it can help businesses within a few seconds.

Oh, and did we mention the content is persuasive as well? Counterpart has delivered everything you could want in website copy. Bravo!

Workspace Mobility Copy By Counterpart*****



Brilliant Factory Furthers Historic Hotel’s Preservation Efforts in a Pinch

Communitas Awards Company: Brilliant Factory
Title: “Hacienda Hotel Restoration”
Location: New Port Richey, Florida
Category: 3.1 Pro Bono

Brilliant FactoryMany are familiar with making the impossible possible in the face of short deadlines. But how many have donated their time and resources to help with such efforts?

Well, that’s exactly what a two-person crew from Brilliant Factory did. With only a weekend to complete a 2.5-minute video for the city of New Port Richey’s business development director, the team delivered a polished, persuasive video using original footage and anything else they could uncover about the Historic Hacienda Hotel.

To learn more about why Brilliant Factory stepped in to tell the story of its historic hotel and how it created a clip on such short notice, we talked with Brilliant Factory’s Jeffrey Hilton.


2014 MarCom Awards Spotlight: 451 Marketing

While the winners for the 2014 MarCom Awards won’t be announced for a while, we’re showcasing select entries that stand out. Keep checking back to see if your work will be highlighted.

MarCom Awards Organization: 451 Marketing
Client: Mom Meet Mom
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Title of Entry: “Mom Meet Mom Launch Campaign”
Category: 149c. Product Launch

451 Marketing451 Marketing is a fully integrated, Boston-based agency offering everything from content marketing to public relations. In 2013 they were approached by an innovative start-up, also Boston based, and asked to take its novel concept nationwide. Mom Meet Mom is a socially based enterprise that is a cross between a matchmaking service, Zillow, and Care.com. It utilizes “specially designed geo-mapping and social matching features taking the guesswork and anxiety out of finding and meeting fellow moms.”

Mom Meet Mom

Mom Meet Mom was a success in Boston, so 451 had some work to do. The agency leveraged both traditional and social media building brand awareness across platforms. By the end of the campaign, Mom Meet Mom generated almost 300 media hits for more than 254 million impressions. Its website went from 2,500 unique visitors per month to 110,000, and its membership base went from 1,800 users to 85,000 in all 50 states.

Here are just a few examples of the media exposure 451 garnered for Mom Meet Mom.

451 Marketing for Mom Meet Mom

451 Marketing for Mom Meet Mom

451 Marketing for Mom Meet Mom