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December 2009

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Contact Ken Custer at 303-277-9840.


It was another banner year for winners at the various organization award shows. As always, the Best of Show crop are all real winners.

Included again this year are the American Marketing Association Gold Peak Awards, the Art Directors Club of Denver Annual Show, Business Marketing Association Gold Key Awards, Colorado Healthcare Communicators Gold Leaf Awards, International Association of Business Communicators Bronze Quill Awards and the Pubic Relations Society of America Gold Pick Awards. For the second year in a row, the PRSA judges couldn’t break a tie so there are co-winners for the Gold Pick Award. Western Union won the AMA Gold Peak, Steve Bullock, Steve Bullock Design took home the Art Directors honors, Leopard captured the BMA Gold Key, Children’s Hospital took the CHC Gold Leaf for the second year in a row and Sun Microsystems received the Bronze Quill Best of Show. Splitting the PRSA Gold Pick were JohnstonWells Communications and Philosophy Communications.

Advertising & Marketing Review asked each winner to submit a write-up describing the winning entry along with a graphic that best depicts the project. Part of the criteria for entering most of the shows is to provide a summary of the objectives and results of the work and this is considered in determining the winners. This makes the judging more than just a creative award.

Congratulations to all the award winners and everyone else who entered the various competitions. Also, congratulations to the award show Chairs and their committees that work so hard to stage the successful events.

Enjoy the Best of Show!

American Marketing Association Gold Peak Awards

Client: Western Union

Category: Advertising

Title: Yes! Campaign

“Western Union believes in people who are on the move in pursuit of their dreams. Even in these uncertain times, our core consumers – the 200 million people who live outside their country of origin – remain optimistic and inspired.

In response to that can-do spirit, Western Union created the global yes! campaign. The campaign – the first-ever comprehensive global brand initiative in the company’s nearly 160-year-old history – is the result of extensive consumer research from around the world.

Can a mother send her love to her son from 6,000 miles away? The answer is yes! Western Union is proud to enable these connections between people around the globe.

Art Directors Club of Denver Annual Show

Agency: Steve Bullock Design

Client: Pearl Street Boulder

Category: Public Service/Political

Title: “Pearl Street Poster Project”

A series of political posters designed, illustrated and photographed by Steve Bullock of Steve Bullock Design about the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, CO. The posters were selected as the Judges’ choice by three of the four judges.

Ty Hutchison, Associate Creative Director, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, said “The poster that struck a chord with me was theone that featured John MCain shouting that he has no change. It’s bold, visually inviting and so simple.

Chase Jarvis, Photographer, Seattle and Paris, said “My favorite entry was the political posters. They’re impactfull, raw, and had a simplicity that I wish was in more advertising today. This serves as a reminder that it’s not about prestige, glam or pizzazz. It’s about a message.”

Bryan Jessee, Founder, McGarrah Jessee, Austin, TX, said, “The political posters were by far my favorite. Simple and sparse, and yet they said so much. The design, the writing, the production were spot-on. There was nothing to nitpick.”

Business Marketing Association Gold Key Awards

Agency: Leopard

Client: IBM

Category: Multimedia & Video Presentations: Product Demonstration

Title: IBM Mashups Product Demonstration Animated Video

In 2008, IBM launched a critical new offering—IBM Mashups. Research indicated that many in IBM’s target market didn’t clearly understand mashups and that the field was becoming murkier as more competitors added their own definition to the mix. For IBM, the potential was clear: by demonstrating the potential of mashups—and explaining the business benefits—IBM could establish leadership in the area. To support this effort, IBM wanted to create an educational, engaging multimedia piece that would make the murky world of mashups make business sense.

So Leopard created a short, animated video that boils down a complex concept into a simple story punctuated with minimalistic cartoon style illustrations. And overwhelmingly positive feedback is proof of success—including specific comments from viewer, over 7000 hits on YouTube, and analyst and viewer buzz on Twitter. In fact, the work has been so successful that other IBM clients have adapted the same creative approach to other work. watch?v=3kDnbhKb2ow

Colorado Healthcare Communicators Gold Leaf Awards

Client: Children’s Hospital

Category: Communication Programs: Internal & External

Title: “Children’s Hospital Centennial Campaign”

May 2008 marked the 100th birthday of The Children’s Hospital (Children’s) in Denver. To commemorate the milestone, Children’s planned a year-long multi-pronged celebration involving hospital employees, physicians, volunteers, patients and families (past and present), donors and members of the Denver community. Such an undertaking required extensive planning, so Children’s assembled a committee with representatives from a myriad of departments and set the following


1. Celebrate 100 years and build employee awareness, engagement and excitement for the hospital’s past and future.

2. Highlight the hospital’s 100-year commitment to kids and inspire Denver community for continued support.

3. Achieve positive coverage regarding the Centennial in a variety of targeted local print and broadcast media.

Because Children’s had just recently completed the construction of and move to its new state-of-the-art facility in Aurora, Colo., Children’s had to find creative ways to achieve its goals utilizing standard operating departmental budgets, as well as, marketing and communication channels already in place.

The Centennial campaign proved to be a resounding success, generating a great deal of excitement for and pride in the organization. It included a Centennial logo that was spotlighted on all hospital collateral and newly formed community partnerships, from cafeteria tray liners to Robinson Dairy milk cartons. Employees learned about the hospital’s rich history from monthly newspaper articles, the employee Intranet, monthly “Centennial Moment” mass voice messages from hospital leadership, and the history trivia found in weekly email communications. The media team secured over 20 stories, including a front-page Spotlight Centennial feature story in the Rocky Mountain News and a four-part Centennial series on CBS-4. To further engage the community, Children’s partnered with Liks Ice Cream to run a Centennial ice cream flavor contest for patients and kids, and it worked with Peaberry Coffee to create Children’s Centennial coffee blend that was distributed in the hospital and at Peaberry Coffee shops.

As one judge noted, “Clearly, this campaign was 100 years in the making.”

Public Relations Society of America Gold Pick Awards

Agency: Philosophy Communications

Client: For Girls Only

Category: Marketing & Consumer Products

Title: “Secret Comedy of Women”

When the creators of a unique play, Girls Only – The Secret Comedy of Women, approached Philosophy Communication about handling the show’s media relations, Philosophy knew it had a creative goldmine of a client. The play, written by two Denver actresses, is a lighthearted romp through all things girlie, drawing on universal experiences of women.

Philosophy met with the play’s creators and mapped out an approach to reflect the mood of the play – girlie and silly – and to help it stand out from more serious theatrical competition. Our goals were simple: generate five local stories in print and broadcast outlets, sell at least 80 percent of available tickets, and draw interest from at least one major producer who could produce the play nationally

The media relations campaign exceeded all expectations and helped the creators enter into a national production agreement with Denver’s own Denver Center Attractions. Philosophy generated 28 media placements in less than two months, including on-air interviews and performances with radio and broadcast news, and feature stories and positive reviews in Denver’s major print media. Within four days of opening night, Girls Only sold out every show of its original six-week run. The creators extended the run by two weeks and added an additional six performances to keep up with ticket demand. Phone calls for tickets continued long after the shows were sold out. The performance became the best-selling play in the history of its host theater and broke all previous revenue records.

Philosophy Communication’s media campaign turned Girls Only into a media darling, and a sold-out show poised for a national tour. The income from ticket sales for the first run was nearly 15 times the investment, a testament to how creative thinking can drive consumer behavior and ultimately revenue.

Agency: JohnstonWells

Client: Goodwill

Category: Events and Observances, Associations/Nonprofit

Title: “Happy Birthday Will”

The 90th birthday of Denver’s most famous “Will” was reason for celebration last November. Although Will had been around for 90 years, few knew all the amazing things he’d done in that amount of time.

People began to notice hints around town about Will’s true identity and the community was abuzz with questions of “Who is Will?”

For Goodwill’s 90th anniversary, Kristen Blessman, Goodwill’s vice president of marketing, led the effort to raise awareness of Goodwill as more than a retail store, and give the organization a fresh new image.

The comprehensive “surprise” public relations campaign combined viral, grassroots outreach with traditional media relations, and event planning. The Web site,, served as the hub for all avenues of outreach and featured an interactive tool that visitors could use to make guesses about Will’s identity and good deeds in Denver.

The campaign launched with a “Who is Will?” viral e-mail and followed with billboards, surprise birthday cake deliveries, and the actual “Will” and breakdancers performing around Denver. The campaign created buzz around the unveiling of Will during his surprise party at the Governor’s Mansion where more than 170 guests gathered to learn that (Good) Will is so much more than retail.

International Association of Business Communicators Bronze Quill Awards

Client: Sun Mycrosystems

Category: Communications management

Title: “Creating a Clear Line of Sight”

A global company, Sun Microsystems, provides a range of software, systems, and services to the world’s most powerful data centers. Each year, the Global Customer Services Delivery (GCSD) organization, a division of Sun, provides their employees an overview of the year to come via a Services Playbook. Different from years’ past, in fiscal year 2008, a communications strategy was developed to recognize GCSD’s managers as the primary communicators and empower them to take the lead on communicating the Services Playbook, which contained GCSD’s priorities and objectives, and to support their communication efforts with training workshops, organization-wide e-mails, and online communications.

The results were as hoped: just short of 90 percent of employees within GCSD reported that they could see a clear link between their work and GCSD’s priorities and objectives - ultimately providing increased employee focus and understanding of GCSD’s priorities and objectives.

 A job well done to the Employee Communications, Human Resources, and Marketing teams for their participation in the development and implementation of this program and their commitment to the engagement of the GCSD employees at Sun Microsystems.

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