Congratulations to our 2021 sammy award winners!


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 2021 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".

Our finalists received the top 10 overall Showcase scores. 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.

Below you can view the Winners submissions along with the other finalist!

Proud sponsor of the 2021 SAMMY Award - Aartrijk

GallagherDemolition Contractors Campaign 

Submission Category: 
Total Sales/Marketing/Branding Campaign between $6k and $15k.

This campaign’s objective was to build awareness, drive interest in Gallagher amongst identified heavy construction targets, and ultimately open opportunities within the sales pipeline. The creative involved demonstrating our knowledge of the complex risk management needs within this highly-specialized niche by leveraging our experience with customized coverages. This campaign also capitalized on the changing market conditions which was forcing several clients to explore alternative risk financing solutions. We developed gated content featuring the benefits of captives in order to drive traffic via paid media tactics and  campaign landing page. In addition to programmatic with geo-targeting at National Demolition Association (NDA) annual trade show, this used paid social media, owned emails and strategic  sponsorships of the industry publications newsletters and podcasts. 

Despite COVID-19 interrupting this eight-week campaign, this campaign came back online to ultimately garner close to 300,000 impressions through paid media tactics, more than 1,000 clicks throughs to the landing page (CTR 0.33%), and an above-average open rate on sponsored emails (32%). This campaign generated 380 leads and the production team saw an increase in meetings in Q2, with opportunities tied to $500,000 in potential new business revenue. 

                       1st Runner up!
Saleme Insurance - Crazy Happens Campaign

Submission Category:
 Total sales/Marketing/Branding Campaign More than $100k

In 2019, Saleme Insurance found itself in a crowded marketplace, with competition from local and national agents, banks and car dealerships. Local insurance advertising was largely bland, focusing on either “trust us” or “lowest rates.”

Saleme wanted to separate itself from the pack with messaging that was authentic and unique. The agency believed that their 95% customer retention rate was driven by the compassion and commitment of their agents to champion resolutions for clients not just when they buy insurance, but when they need that insurance.

In collaboration with BrandDemon Strategy + Design, an out-of-the box concept was born. The campaign taps into the emotional end benefit of true peace of mind, knowing that you’re not buying a policy, you’re buying a champion. No matter what happens in this unpredictable life, you don’t have to worry, because Saleme Insurance has your back.

The campaign features animal characters that innocently cause outrageous accidents. The goal was to have the audience relate to the characters and have compassion for them, the way that Saleme has compassion for their clients. The campaign was developed for multi-media, with executions on billboards, direct mail, newspaper, website, and social media.

View this submission   

                       2nd Runner up!
Church Mutual Insurance Company - Resiliency Through Risk Control 

Submission Category : 
Media/ Public Relations

Houses of worship, nonprofit, school, camp and senior living community leaders faced significant challenges to protecting their employees/communities during the pandemic. They sought advice and resources on the best risk management measures to keep those important to them safe, while also safeguarding themselves from unforeseen liability.

Church Mutual Insurance Company S.I. (a stock insurer),  a premier insurer among these groups, always has featured risk control as a priority area of expertise within its PR strategy. But, in 2020, they had to pivot to ensure content was positioned strongly to reach its most important audiences, who sought a trusted resource during an unprecedent time. 

Church Mutual partnered with Padilla to build trust among key opinion leaders, as well as support its Sales team as a resource for its insured groups.

The PR team contributed to KPIs resulting in a significant increase in new business and a strong increase in written premiums. The team had executed an “about face” with its approach: 
Increasing contributed content and expert narratives that attracted media attention, including Reuters, AP, MSN/others; 
Extending its bench of experts; and 
Expanding its key messages. 

The team achieved a historic 65% increase (2020 versus 2019) in audience reach through its efforts. 

View this submission   

Grinnell Mutual - 2020 Covid-19 Television spot 

Submissions Category:
Crisis Multimedia Communications

As soon as the reality of the pandemic and its likelihood to linger set in, it was apparent that life was changing dramatically and frighteningly.

As a company with a reputation built on trusted relationships and a business model built on protection, Grinnell Mutual knew we couldn’t continue business-as-usual marketing, but we wanted to reassure our customers, both B2B and B2C, that we still had their backs no matter what was happening in the world

Grinnell Mutual’s tagline, Trust in Tomorrow.®, was a natural fit for a message of hope and a spot-on message to peg to the (terrible) headlines of the day.

We needed to let our customers know we were still there, still upholding the promises of every insurance policy.  And we needed to do it with no budget (thank you stock footage/music rights contracts!) and a very quick turnaround.

While acknowledging the frustrations, sadness, and anxiety that came along for the pandemic ride, we wanted to at least proffer a peek at a brighter future — after all, part of our logo represents a sunrise — and those are the concepts that informed our creative choices.

View this submission  

AIG - Stand Out with QoL

Submissions Category:
Website or Portal

AIG provides an end-to-end positive digital experience for agents who sell our Quality of Life Insurance (QoL) suite of products. We consolidated digital marketing resources into one website—called Stand out with QoL. The site captures pertinent marketing materials including products, recruiting, agent development, client prospecting and client conversation pieces – tools to help agents “Stand Out” among their competition and help them to grow their business.

Our objectives were to provide one go-to resource for all AIG marketing resources with quick access and easy navigation to content that will help producers grow and manage their practice or an MGA to recruit & train new producers. Also, to gain a greater share of attention and set the Marketing resource standard of excellence amongst other carriers. Lastly, to increase new and returning visitors to this website.

In August 2020, the website launched through a series of promotional emails, newsletter stories and training sessions. In the first month, visits to the website increased 74% and Unique visitors increased more than 84%. Based on feedback from our customers/partners, the Stand Out with QoL site simplified and streamlined the web experience on a common platform by combining and improving functionality of our most popular tools.

View this submission   

Blink by Chubb - External Corporate Brand

Submission Category: 
External Corporate Brand/ Image Advertising/ Marketing

Blink by Chubb is a new type of insurance that protects customers' lifestyles, instead of just their possessions. Designed to be easy to engage with, and effortlessly useful, Blink's the first endorsed brand from Chubb. And it provides an ecosystem of consumer insurance products, along with add-on perks and services, all designed to put the insurance buyers of today first. 

A modern approach to insurance demands a modern brand. And that's exactly what's been developed for Blink. Drawing on instantly recognizable elements of the overarching Chubb brand, Blink puts a fresh twist on familiar assets, with design and content targeted towards an audience that values community and expects service providers to engage with them on their terms. This is based on the extensive research undertaken as part of the development process, using focus groups with millennial thinkers to develop a brand that doesn't just meet their needs, but speaks directly to them. 

2021 is Blink's inaugural year. With its first products (personal cyber, travel, and sick pay protection) already live or approved in 42, 43, and 34 states respectively — plus valuables and gadgets coming over the next 12 months — it's an exciting time to watch the brand come to life.

View this submission    

Frankenmuth Insurance - New Agent Event 

Submission Category:
Event and Experimental Marketing

One of our company key priorities is to build strong agency relationships. To begin building relationships, Frankenmuth Insurance annually invites newly appointed independent agency owners to our New Agent Welcome event at our home office. The event incorporates authentic German cuisine and entertainment providing a look into our home of Frankenmuth, Mich., which was settled by German immigrants and is known as “Michigan’s Little Bavaria.” Due to the pandemic, hosting this event in-person was not an option in 2020. 

Our strategy was to reshape the event into an engaging virtual experience. Throughout the two-day event, we introduced our team, reviewed the corporate plan, and held several panel discussions. The event theme, Let’s Grow Together, molded topics around growth and how we can facilitate this with our new partners. 

To incorporate social time, agents received a Grubhub credit for lunch and were invited to join us for a happy hour at the conclusion of the event. Agents received a pilsner glass and a treat with instructions to fill their glass, enjoy a snack and engage in some frank conversation.

Post-event surveys reported that 100% of agents agreed they have a better understanding of Frankenmuth Insurance’s values, history, and strategies after attending.

HealthMarkets - 2020 Health Insurance Coverage Finder Tool

Submissions Category:
Crisis Marketing Communications Campaign

HealthMarkets is one of the largest independent health insurance agencies in the United States and is authorized to sell health insurance in all 50 states. We distribute health, Medicare, life, and supplemental insurance products from more than 200 insurance companies with thousands of plans available nationwide. 
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many people lost their health insurance due to layoffs and furloughs. HealthMarkets was in a position to help, and thus created the Coverage Finder tool, which provides free, unbiased advice to anyone in need of health insurance. With just a few questions, this online tool allowed consumers to immediately determine the most suitable health insurance options available to them in their unique circumstances, even if these options did not provide financial gain to HealthMarkets. 
The goal was to provide a free, simple way for users to understand their available health insurance options, whether it be COBRA, Medicare, Medicaid, ACA insurance, or others, and help them understand how to obtain coverage. 
The Coverage Finder was a success. Not only was HealthMarkets able to use it to help their customers, but other companies were able to implement their own versions of the tool to help their audiences find coverage amidst the pandemic.

View this submission   

VGM - VGM Insurance Website

Submission Category: Website or Portal 

An organization’s website is the ultimate representation of its brand, its culture, and the experience it provides to its customers. 

In 2020, the VGM Insurance team set out to create a new website that provided an exceptional digital experience – one that was engaging, intuitive, and allowed our customers and partners to do business with us online in a simple and streamlined way. 

The site also needed to act as a successful lead generation and marketing tool, fueling organizational growth, while embodying the ultimate representation of our brand, our team, and our culture with a fresh, modern look, updated copy, and vibrant imagery.

Since going live in January 2021, we are on track to far exceed our 2021 goals for the site, seeing improvements for all metrics vs. the previous period, as well as the previous year, and receiving an outpouring of positive feedback from our clients and partners. Key results so far include:

Overall site traffic has increased by 31%  
SEM conversions have increased by 37%
Session duration has increased by 138% 
Pages per session have increased by 53% 
Bounce rate has improved by -28% 
Achieved average conversion rate of >10%
Achieved cost per acquisition benchmarks

View this submission   

Aviva Canada - Take Back Our Roads 2020

Submission Category: Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) Campaign 

View this submission   

Important Dates


More dates coming soon!