People can be cranky about marketing awards. As in: “Well, we’re not doing this to win awards, you know.”
But I happen to think that awards serve a purpose. They encourage the competitive spirit that can lead to winning not just awards but business, they put a bounce in the step of the marketing teams and—most relevant for this post—they give the rest of us a glimpse of what others judge to be the best, even trend-setting work.
By now you may have heard the results of the 2011 Financial Communications Society’s award competition. The 18th Annual FCS Annual Portfolio Awards gala was held on May 17. Winning entries were selected from the galaxy of financial services providers including: investment firms, credit card companies, investment banks, brokerages and exchanges, insurance companies, mutual funds, ETFs, hedge funds, accounting firms, clearing corporations and commercial banks. Citi and Prudential particularly distinguished themselves.
I had no horse in the race and I wasn’t there. But after I reviewed the full list of 107 winners (see the PDF) in a range of financial advertising, collateral, digital media, public relations categories and tracked down some of the interactive entries, I thought you might also want to see a few samples of the winning interactive work by investment companies.
Also of interest was that 26 of the 107 winning entries were produced in-house (versus 17 out of 114 in 2010). Good for you all. The argument for working with outsiders (ahem) is that they have the potential to broaden your perspective and enhance your creativity. But the budget for outside resources is finite. I take this excellent showing of in-house resources producing award-winning caliber work to reflect a deepening self-sufficiency, required especially by financial firms that want to jump on emerging communications opportunities. Fidelity, Prudential and Legg Mason were among those recognized for their in-house work.
iShares’ Explainer Video
Educational videos consume even more budget than the standard investment company video featuring one or two heads discussing the markets or products. And, the return on investment is less straightforward.
I was happy to see iShares acknowledged for the videos it’s been producing (with IQ) to explain what’s different about investing in ETFs. But this can't be the first time you're hearing about the iShares videos as kasina and others have also hailed their work. Are you as surprised as I am that "The Story of ETF Creation" embedded below has been viewed little more than 1,000 times on YouTube? This video series deserves broader distribution and consumption. iShares won FCS gold in the Consumer Retail/Interactive Media Single.
State Street Global Advisors’ Interactive
“While the competition was busy talking about the breadth or price of their ETFs, we decided to talk about the reason investors actually want them: They track markets more precisely than mutual funds.”
That’s the background for the State Street Global Advisors SPDR precision strategy, as described on the Gate Worldwide’s Website. Shown below is a screenshot of an interactive file from the site, which extends the messaging used in the television work. Click on the image to go to the site to see it work. I can't say that I've ever seen it elsewhere online. SPDR won FCS gold and silver in the Business to Business/Interactive Media Single category.
Lord Abbett’s Holiday Video
If they haven’t occurred already, agency/client discussions are underway now across most industries to discuss how firms intend to send digital 2011 holiday greetings. But the trend has been slow to catch on in the investment industry, this Lord Abbett video by HNW being a stand-out exception. Below is a screenshot of the video on YouTube, embedding of it has been disabled. Lord Abbett won FCS silver in the Corporate Image/Interactive Media Single.
Congratulations to the winners for the work and for how the work has helped build business.