The SAMMY Award is given to the entry voted to be the best overall work among the Award of Excellence and Best of Show candidates submitted for the 2020 IMCA Showcase. This truly elite award is recognition by your peers of the highest standard of professionalism - thus the name SAMMY, "Special Award from Members".

Since we weren't able to do our traditional on-site displays this year, our judging panel has narrowed the field of Showcase entries to the top 10 SAMMY finalists. We asked each finalist to submit a 200-word summary of their entry, which you'll see below; you can click through to see the full entries, just as the Showcase judges saw them, including links to relevant material.

Review the submissions from SAMMY finalists below and cast your vote using the form at the bottom of the page. Voting is limited to IMCA members—but it's never too late to join!
Voting is open through July 31, 2020.

Proud sponsor of the 2020 SAMMY Award - Aartrijk

Life Happens - Life is for Living

Submissions Category: Audio/Visual Communication Less than 2 Minutes

Talk about death? Nah. How about life insurance? Never! That’s why it’s better to put it all into a 60-second video.

That’s what “Life Is for Living” video does.

Educating the public about the importance of life insurance is the aim of the non-profit Life Happens, because unfortunately thousands of families find out the hard way when a parent dies unexpectedly, leaving grief and often financial chaos in their wake.

The “Life Is for Living” video resides on our free consumer website, whose goal is to educate the public and give them free tools and resources to understand this complex topic. It is also running as a national public service announcement on radio and TV and has reached 170 million people so far.

The video hit home with so many people that they started requesting the book that is read in the video. It was originally just a prop, but we made it into a book that people can use if a loved one has passed. 

At Life Happens, we don’t sell life insurance, we simply want to make sure people know how important it is—even if they don’t want to talk about it.

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SageSure Insurance Managers – 2020 Employer Value Proposition

Submission Category: Employer Corporate Communications Campaign

Since 2017, SageSure has worked to put what makes our culture special into words. Our purpose statement tells us the “why” behind our work. Our values explain “how” we achieve our purpose. But at the heart of it all is the “who”—our employees.

With our premium and employee count growing by 30% per year, it’s critical that we continue to attract and retain top talent. With 300+ employees across eight offices, we’re always looking for ways to help people feel connected. Additionally, employees often refer to our “two sides” of the business—technology and insurance. We wanted employees to understand that although we have different skillsets, we’re all united as one company, and that’s what makes us unique. Based on feedback from employees, we created an employer value proposition—a statement companies use to describe what it’s like to work there—the culture, people, rewards, benefits. This statement provides current and future employees with reasons to choose and stay with SageSure. We then developed an employer brand and marketing materials featuring real employees to promote it. The campaign also included a company-wide launch event with fun ways to educate our team on how to help us recruit top talent.

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Gallagher - Connecting Data to People Strategy

Submission Category: Integrated Digital Marketing Campaign

Employees are more than data points in a report. They are the life force that sets each organization apart from the competition.  Gallagher created a series of data-driven reports to help organizations strategically invest in their people’s health, talent, financial wellbeing and career growth at the right cost structures. 
Each report release: Benefits Strategy & Benchmarking Survey, Best-in-Class Benchmarking Analysis, Organizational Wellbeing & Talent Insights Report, Salary Planning Survey Report; is a touchpoint throughout the year offering clients and contacts an objective resource to help ensure their people strategy aligns with their organizational objectives.  Every impression or connection made with a client or contact — through earned, paid, owned, social media opportunities, report downloads from Gallagher’s website, or other entry points — strengthens the association with Gallagher as a thought leader and partner.

The report series effectively drove sales opportunities, revenue and elevated Gallagher’s thought leadership reputation in the marketplace. Metrics include: 

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 Foremost Insurance Group - Brand Style Guide

Submission Category:
Employee Corporate Communications

The Foremost Marketing Team created a Brand Style Guide to clearly communicate our brand’s image, voice and standards.

It’s a key document to help our team members — both veterans and newcomers — create on-brand content. It also empowers other groups — like Product and Sales — as a guide for providing customers with a consistent experience. For company leadership, it illustrates the strategies we use to ensure all of our work communicates Foremost’s vision of delivering A Better Insurance Experience®.

Based on feedback from various teams, the Brand Style Guide has become a staple, and is used frequently when creating content, reviewing communications and sharing messages with our Independent Agents and customers.

The Foremost Marketing Team facilitated several sessions with other teams and departments to discuss and explore the Brand Style Guide. These sessions led to valuable, mutually beneficial conversations between Marketing, Sales and Product as we discussed on-brand practices for voice, tone, logo use, web standards, and more.

Overall, the Brand Style Guide has helped us build more connections between business units, creating a more unified, focused Foremost team, and — ultimately — accomplishing our goal of cultivating a stronger, more consistent brand.

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 Foremost Insurance Group - Hall of Fame 2019

Submission Category: Event of Experiential Marketing

Hall of Fame is a special event hosted by Foremost Insurance every two years in celebration of high-performing Independent Insurance Agencies. The event consists of business meetings, networking, and fun activities, and it culminates in an awards ceremony that celebrates distinguished agency accomplishments.

Hall of Fame 2019 took place in Colorado Springs, Colorado from September 19-21, 2019. The event was attended by Independent Agents from 52 different insurance agencies.

The goal of the event was to celebrate the dedicated Independent Insurance Agents who, on a large scale, help Foremost deliver A Better Insurance Experience®. We strived to create a space that helped Independent Agents find new tools and resources, expand their network, and leave inspired with fresh ideas. We employed creative Marketing Communications tactics to help accomplish these goals, build strong connections with the Independent Agents, and make Hall of Fame 2019 a success.

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Foremost Insurance Group - The House of Bad Choices

Submission Category: Most Out-Of-The-Box Idea

The House of Bad Choices is a dynamic marketing campaign that includes:

  • Trade Magazine Advertising
  • Video/Social Media Marketing
  • Email Communications
  • Landing Page at
  • Co-Branded Video Resources for Independent Insurance Agents

This campaign features our “Bad Choices” content: Short, fun, relatable stories of people making “bad” choices – but reminding Independent Agents and Customers:

We all make bad choices. Your insurance carrier doesn’t have to be one of them. 

Make a choice you won’t regret: The Foremost Choice®!

The “Bad Choices” concept began with our trade advertisements. They resonated with readers, so we brought the “Bad Choices” stories to life by filming video versions. These stories garnered high engagement rates and positive feedback on social media, so we built a landing page illustrating the “House of Bad Choices” that houses all of the videos. With consistent email promotion, this has been a great tool for driving web traffic and raising brand awareness.

However, the most exciting highlight is the co-branded video opportunities for Independent Agents representing Foremost. We’ve created an easy online process for Agents to request our “Bad Choices” videos, co-branded with their agency logos and contact information. So far we’ve created over 3,300 videos for more than 500 agencies!

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Gallagher - Zoos & Aquariums Campaign 

Submission Category: Integrated Digital Marketing Campaign

Find this a-peeling? Quit monkeying around and vote for the Zoos & Aquariums campaign for the SAMMY!

Zoos & Aquariums are responsible for exposing people to the world of nature, and that opens organizations up to a wide variety of unique risks. Recent events highlight the need for organizations to proactively prepare for security threats to avoid significant financial loss and reduce the potential of legal liability. We developed a lead generation campaign highlighting Gallagher Crisis Protect for Zoos & Aquariums, which provides 24-hour consultative support immediately following a security event to reduce business interruption and minimize adverse publicity resulting in severe damage to reputation. As the exclusive insurance sponsor of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums conference, we reached influential zoo institutional directors, with 89% having insurance buying/decision-making power. Check out Gallagher's multi-faceted campaign to educate institutional directors on Crisis Protect for Zoos & Aquariums.

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Risk Placement Services, Inc. - Brand Campaign

Submission Category: External Corporate Brand/Image Advertising/Marketing

To distinguish Risk Placement Services (RPS) as leading specialty broker of choice, we wanted to build clear and creative brand positioning, differentiated in voice and look from the competition, creating a recognizable identity for RPS producers and service teams.

After research, we produced an entirely refreshed brand message and creative execution that directly answered the needs of our target audience while conveying the energy, enthusiasm and approachability of the RPS culture with a modernized, bold style. 

The brand campaign built upon these refreshed brand fundamentals, showcasing the new RPS brand message and establishing our new brand promise. With the objective and measurable outcomes simple to quantify, the campaign generated 5.84 million impressions and achieved a .20% CTR (above Google benchmarks).

What is not measurable is the sense of pride and enthusiasm expressed by our employees about the visibility of the RPS brand, standing as one of the leading specialty products distributors, and the differentiating and energetic tone expressed in the creative.

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Vertibrands - PAK Programs' IRAD Interactive Map

Submission Category: Most Out-Of-The-Box Idea

PAK Programs’ iRAD Interactive Maps feature “Insurable Hot Spots” for wineries and breweries. The maps were created to highlight the capabilities of iRAD (Insurance Risk Assessment Drone) technology, which surveys winery and brewery properties to identify unscheduled property and assess wildfire risk, ensuring properties are properly covered before claims occur. “I forgot to tell you about the Pump House at the edge of the property. I guess that’s not covered in this wildfire claim?”

When a “Hot Spot” is clicked, a window opens to reveal the hidden risk and potential loss scenarios, as well as PAK Programs’ coverage for that risk. Wildfire “Hot Spots” are symbolized with a flame icon. The Brewery Map image is of a current insured and was captured by iRAD. 

The interactive “clickable” nature of these maps appeals to all audiences and instantly engages and effectively communicates the advantages of utilizing iRAD in policy writing and risk management efforts. The high-tech functionality of the maps also underlines the technological aspect of iRAD. Brokers are utilizing the maps to win brewery and winery accounts and prospects and insureds are impressed by PAK Programs’ dedication to providing coverage and loss control backed by the latest in technology.

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Sun Life Financial - 2019 Carry the Torch Sun Life Campaign

Submissions Category: 
Social Media Marketing Campaign 

Carry the Torch was built on the foundation of our legacy in Canada – founded in 1865 and looking to the future to be the best digital benefits provider in Canada. Throughout that time we‘ve been a part of the Canadian landscape as our health care pioneers blazed a trail of innovation. And we continue to lead the way in bringing to solutions to our Clients to achieve our purpose – helping Canadians live healthier lives.

This campaign came about as we needed to showcase to the market that we are at the forefront of health care innovations in Canada. Innovations that are meant to drive real change in providing access to care to Clients of Sun Life.

Through paid and organic media, we launched six new innovation videos. We focused on key areas of our business: Bending the Benefits Cost Curve, Sun Life and the Rise People, Mental Health Solutions, Digitizing Disability, Provider Search, and Fraud Data Analytics. We also leveraged  the original “anthem video” as there was no sign of content fatigue with this video. The anthem video set the stage for the campaign, drawing on Canadian patriot pride in national healthcare. It aligned with our purpose statement, calling upon Canadians to join us in carrying the torch toward healthier lives for Canadians. 

The results of this campaign:

  • achieved 138% - 400%+ of our KPIs, 
  • set new benchmarks for future campaigns. 

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