Creating a Winning Entry on a Shoestring

At the 2019 IMCA Showcase Awards, UFG Insurance won Best in Show in the “Creative Development on a Shoestring” category for a video the company created for Ohio agents. The goal? To quickly and effectively inform these agents about a state supreme court ruling regarding faulty workmanship and insurance. Alissa Carson, a marketing project manager at UFG, answered our questions about the company’s winning entry.

What made you decide to submit this project to IMCA’s Showcase Awards? Did you know it was a winner?
This question made my colleagues and me laugh. We submitted the project on a whim, one last Hail Mary because we could easily answer the questions [on the submission form] and we had already collected the analytics. Never in a million years did we imagine our video would win. We’re not saying we didn’t think it was quality work. Our entry had a good story and immediacy factor behind it, and our creative team hit the ground running by completing all development and production in house. (The video was emailed to UFG agents within one week from start to finish!) But we didn’t expect it to win.

What gave you the idea for this video?
The idea to do this project came from our corporate attorney. He knew the endorsement we added to construction policies was already in place, our product team didn’t have to create anything new, and no new policy language had to be added—the time to market our product in an incredibly positive light was now or never.

Your entry cited strong open and click rates when it was sent last October. Do you have any anecdotes about how it helped your agents?
While UFG has been around for nearly 75 years, we’re a newer carrier in Ohio. The video provides our boots-on-the ground marketing team a quick hitter to share with our independent agents in the state. Sometimes marketing representatives only have a few minutes in an agency’s office, and videos give them the opportunity to share a message in an impactful way. In addition, a video is one of the easiest things to send through email or drop into your email signature line. What we provide is a simple solution to a complicated scenario. Our video also provides our agents with a tool they can share with their clients that explains our solution. It allowed our agents to provide peace of mind to their clients who may have never realized they wouldn’t be covered for the faulty work of a subcontractor—UFG has them covered and, better yet, it’s a long-standing solution we’ve had in place.

How did the Best of Show recognition impact your in-house creative team?
We’re able to use the Best of Show recognition to continually showcase not only the exceptionally creative work our team completes, but prove that it is effective, too. We go beyond “prettying something up,” which we’ve all heard a time or two. We’re able to make an impact and the Best of Show recognition just confirmed what we already knew as a team—day in and day out, we’re creating marketing communication messages that make a difference to our bottom line. At the end of the day, the Best in Show recognition builds our in-house creative team’s confidence when having conversations with teams throughout our organization.  

Any advice for people considering submitting to Showcase?
Submit those projects you may consider a “Hail Mary.” Those projects are the ones that just might solidify what you already knew—you have a professional, hardworking team. When writing your submission, make sure you include both qualitative and quantitative information, especially any analytics.

Most important, have fun doing it. The IMCA Showcase Awards isn’t a time to hold back showcasing your team’s work. After your team wins, make sure you push the message to the masses through your intranet, meetings, and emails. It’s the right time to toot your horn.