2014 MarCom Awards Spotlight: Homewood Suites by Hilton Worldwide

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: Hilton Worldwide – Homewood Suites
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Title of Entry: “Homewood Suites – Brand Video”
Category: 258. Informational Video

HomeWood Suites By HiltonHomewood Suites wanted to create a brand essence video that would go beyond the typical marketing accomplishments reel and truly capture the essence of the brand. The result is a clever twist on 1980s arcade video games that even weaves into the storyline the ubiquitous energy bar. The video merges computer animation with reality to deliver a message about the pitfalls of travel while providing the obvious solution.

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2014 MarCom Awards Spotlight: ValueOptions

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: ValueOptions
Location: Norfolk, Virginia
Title of Entry: “ValueOptions 2013 Year in Review/Progress & Promise”
Category: 90. Annual Report Interior

ValueOptionsValueOptions is the nation’s largest independent behavioral health and wellness company whose clientele includes Fortune 500 companies, government, labor groups, and academic institutions. Their mission is to help their clients lead a healthier, fuller lives.

Like many companies, ValueOptions produces an annual report. Usually those reports include the obligatory salutations from the CEO, pictures of officers, and boring black and white facts and figures that would bore a CPA.

ValueOptions’ annual report breaks the mold. It is a creative endeavor of snappy graphics and sharp writing that is actually interesting to read even if you are not an investor or employee.

ValueOptions Annual Report

ValueOptions Annual Report

ValueOptions Annual Report

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2014 MarCom Awards Spotlight: Boise State 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: Boise State University
Location: Boise, Idaho
Title of Entry: “Web Video Promotion Campaign”
Category: 204. Web Advertising Campaign

Boise StateThe football prowess of Boise State University has drawn much national attention in recent years. Equally impressive is its academic achievements. With a student population of 22,000, Boise, like most colleges, wants to recruit the best and the brightest. Recently the school produced a web advertising campaign utilizing some of college’s most iconic symbols to attract new students. The three web videos cleverly blends icons with computer animation to create alluring commercials that you want to watch.

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This Week’s Latest Tech Gadgets – Sept. 22, 2014

By Gregg Ellman
@greggellman@greggellman

Reviews of Monster’s NCredible N-Ergy Impressions earbuds, Monster SuperStar Bluetooth speaker and Powercard Turbo portable battery, as well as Satechi’s USB Portable Air Purifier and Fan.

Monster’s Earbuds, SuperStar Bluetooth Speaker & Portable Battery

Monster-N-ERGY-EarbudsMonster, the company that makes great cables to connect all of today’s electronics to one system, also makes some other great products, most notably headphones.

A few weeks ago I took a vacation and brought along some new Monster products, including the Monster NCredible N-Ergy Impressions earbuds.

First off, when you buy any Monster product, the first impression is how much attention is put into packaging. Usually this ensures you’re getting a well-made product, but not always.

In this case you are getting what you expect: a well made product with great sound and of course well packaged.

For $69 I consider these a great deal. You can spend a lot more and get worse, and for others you can spend less and get a lot more. So this puts the N-Ergy Impressions earbuds right in the middle of the road.

The sound is excellent; they aren’t going to knock your head off with head-banging bass but they produce a nice consistent sound at any volume.

Each speaker is magnetized to they can stick together and hang around your neck when not putting sound in your ears. They are also attached to a tangle-free cord.

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Education for All Children: Why Patrina Marino Designs

Communitas Awards Individual: Patrina Marino with Davidoff Associates
Title: “ChangeALife Uganda: Annual Review 2013”
Location: New York, New York
Category: 1.5 Individual Participation

Patrina MorinoThe skills of marketing and communication professionals are needed across the world for a plethora of reasons. Patrina Marino, principal at New York-based design consulting firm Davidoff Associates, has chosen to donate her skills and expertise for the last seven years to ChangeALife Uganda (CALU). The nonprofit aims to change the lives of Ugandan children and their families through education, health care and income-generating programs.

CALU runs a lean operation, allocating less than 10% of its budget for administration and fundraising, which can present challenges in the creation of visual storytelling tools such as an annual report.

To learn about why Marino chooses to support ChangeALife Uganda and how she overcomes the challenges, we spent a few minutes with the graphic designer.

How did you hear about CALU and what inspired you to support the nonprofit?

In 2009, a friend invited me to a gathering in support of a nonprofit, ChangeALife Uganda. I met the two founders, Jean Semler and Dave Thelen, and the director, Father Lawrence Kimbowa, who spoke passionately about this educational organization. He told his personal story of childhood sponsorship and how he wanted to continue the gift of education to African children. Immediately upon watching the slide presentation, I decided to donate my design and communication expertise to help CALU establish a visual identity and expand its reach.

CALU-2013-Annual-Review

You’ve been involved for many years. What keeps you there?

The importance of education for all children, regardless of birthplace or economics, is something in which I firmly believe. The dedication, cooperation, energy and teamwork that our board and volunteers demonstrate keep me coming back for more!

You’ve created the annual review for the last three years. What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in making the latest annual report and how did you overcome them?

In 2013 we did not have a donation for printing services as we did last year, so I chose a format that can be inkjet-printed locally by our staff as needed. Secondly, since there is no budget for photography, collateral must be built around supplied photos from the field.

Creation of theme and design is driven by this limited photography, which drives the scope of the message; visuals play a big part in the telling of our story.

How have the reports you’ve created helped CALU?

The annual reports give CALU the opportunity to tell stories of the children and their families, which are so instrumental in delivering our message of the “gift of education.”

Also, these reports allow CALU to outline donations and expenditures, showcasing that most of the monies go directly to Uganda. In order to expand the donor base, retain existing sponsors, acquire new partners (both U.S. and international), as well as secure grants, we are obligated to provide financial transparency.

Anything else you want us know?

Quality visual communications is a powerful tool in reaching audiences. When I am able to employ my design, communication, and marketing expertise in support of nonprofit causes, I am gratified to make the contribution and excited by the possibilities ahead.

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2014 MarCom Awards Entry Spotlight: Matrix Group International

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: Matrix Group International, Inc.
Location:  Arlington, Virginia
Title of Entry: “NTI Education Tutorials”
Category: 189. Microsite

Matrix Group InternationalOne of the most rewarding things communicators and marketers do is use their skills to educate. To build an understanding among the upcoming generation of leaders, Matrix Group International created a microsite for the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI), which aims to strengthen security worldwide by reducing global threats from nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, and the and James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

Matrix Group’s creation, found at tutorials.nti.org, includes concise and clear copy with references, an in-depth glossary of terms, video and maps to help visitors building a solid foundation of knowledge. To ensure everyone walks away with a good understanding of the complexities of the nuclear issue, Matrix Group also leveraged quizzes to engage the audience.

Even better and perhaps most important from a functional standpoint, the site renders well on cell phones and desktops.

NTI Education Tutorial

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2014 MarCom Awards Entry Spotlight: 2e 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 Company: 2e Creative
Client: Siemens Healthcare
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Title of Entry: “Siemens Healthcare ABVS Video”
Category: 258. Informational Video

2e Creative2e Creative is a mid-size full service agency out of St. Louis, Missouri. The firm prides itself on “driving change for brands that shape our world.” The agency’s expertise is focused in health/medical, life science and technology.

2e recently produced an advocacy ad for Siemens Medical Solutions to raise awareness of breast density and mammograms. The problem with television ads is always how to visually convey a message about abstract or difficult subjects. 2e produced a simple way of communicating breast density by utilizing dozens of walking women with a white infinity backdrop.

Marrying various camera angles with a strong script and a subtle music bed, 2e produced a spot that creatively delivers a message. The final wide-angle overhead shot is the kicker.

Siemens Advocacy Video

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2014 MarCom Awards Deadline TODAY

MarCom Awards Deadline TodayThe 2014 MarCom Awards deadline is upon us, but there’s still time.

Entering is a quick and easy process that only takes minutes. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown:

  1. Register
  2. Select category, add title of entry and fill in URL if applicable.
  3. Add additional entries.
  4. Proceed to check out and select either pay by Check or Credit Card. If pay by check, then mail it in.
  5. Upload files after checkout or send in your entries.

Visit marcomawards.com now to enter!

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2014 MarCom Awards Entry Spotlight: ProPoint Graphics

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: ProPoint Graphics
Location: New York, New York
Title of Entry: Daylight Saving Time — A Historical and Practical Guide
Category: 208. Infographic

ProPoint GraphicsEver wonder how Daylight Saving Time got started?  Or how it was used during World War II? ProPoint Graphics of New York City was tasked with researching all things DST (by the way, there is no “s” at the end of “Saving”).

Many infographics display too much information or perhaps muddle the relationship between text and graphics. ProPoint easily works through these potential problems. The result is an eye-catching infographic that gives readers a quick and pertinent overview of DST past, present and future.

To find out what inspired designer Monica Siguenza to create the infographic, head over to ProPoint’s blog.

ProPoint Graphics - Infographic

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Can Small Businesses and Freelancers Really Win a MarCom Award?

MarCom Awards - International Competition for Marketing and Communication Professionals

If you’ve checked out the list of past MarCom Award recipients, you’ve seen an impressive array of talented creative professionals. If you’re a smaller shop or freelancer, you might wonder if you have any shot of earning a MarCom Award when you see the names of the most prestigious firms and companies in the world.

Here’s the good news: If your work is creative, you have a chance.

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