PRESS RELEASE: 2019 Diamond Award Winners Honored at CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference

By CUNA Councils03.25.2019

Whitefish CU was awarded the Best of Show Award – the highest honor in the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council’s Diamond Awards competition – during the Council’s 26th annual conference, March 20-23 in Las Vegas, NV.

The Diamond Awards, representing the pinnacle of credit union marketing and business development, honor credit unions in 36 categories, ranging from direct mail to website marketing to public relations to social media. Judges evaluated entries based on strategy, design, production, creative concept, copy, communication and results.

A complete list of award winners is available online at www.cunacouncils.org/awards.

This year’s Diamond Awards competition received 1,093 entries. Six credit unions won Best of Show Awards, 59 won Category’s Best Awards and 248 won Diamond Awards.

Diamond Best of Show Award: Whitefish CU in Kalispell, Mont. was honored for their High School Spirit Debit Cards campaign. By leveraging a meaningful connection with local area high schools, Whitefish CU gave their community an exciting opportunity to show their school spirit. By providing a $5 donation to the corresponding high school from where each card was issued, Whitefish CU enabled members to take pride in their local high school while also contributing monetarily. Featuring bold designs, members were excited and eager to show off their school spirit by using their debit cards. Whitefish CU built upon their relationship with their community to drum up engagement and excitement, resulting in new members, increased interactions and a more tightly knit community.

Other 2019 Best of Show honorees included:

Color Award for Brilliant Use of Art: Neches FCU in Port Neches, Tex. was awarded the Color Award for Brilliant Use of Art for their nSpire Branded Athletic Bags campaign. To speak directly to their young members during National Credit Union Youth Month, Neches FCU designed unique backpacks for young members in their school districts. Because the backpacks featured youthful graffiti designs, they were in high demand throughout the community, and proved useful to students carrying around their school supplies. By going above and beyond to provide students with a colorful incentive for joining and contributing as members, Neches FCU saw an increase in engagement and school spirit.

Cut Award for Most Edgy: US Community CU in Nashville, Tenn. won for their You Don’t Even Need a Bank campaign. By cutting straight to the point and telling their community that they don’t need banks, US Community CU was able to effectively remind members and non-members of the unmatched perks of joining a credit union (and ditching their bank). Utilizing social media, catchy jingles, and effective targeting, US Community CU was able to stop users in their tracks when they stumbled upon ads for this campaign.

Clarity Award for Most Sentimental: UniWyo FCU in Laramie, Wyom. won for their All Moms Are Special campaign. In an effort to form a special connection with families in this Wyoming community, UniWyo FCU went above and beyond to remind a few local moms just how important and special they are, just in time for Mother’s Day. By relying on a few young members to explain what makes their mom special, UniWyo FCU won the hearts of their community. Videos featuring interviews with the kids and their mother’s reactions were promoted across multiple mediums, creating a seamless experience with this campaign and extending the reach of this sentimental message. 

Carat Award for Greatest Impact: Financial Partners CU in Downey, Calif. won for their #IMadeTheSwitch “Rescue” campaign. Stigmas surrounding credit unions are ever-present, but this campaign tried to dispel these myths and rumors upfront, giving their community a clear image of what joining a credit union is really like. By referring to the act of switching from a bank to a credit union as a “rescue”, the marketing team at Financial Partners CU was able to get excited about truly making an impact in their community, saving members new and old from the headache of big banks.

Best Use of Humor Award: Kentucky Employees CU in Frankfort, Kent. won for their As Told By campaign. By relying on members to say it best, Kentucky Employees CU was able to showcase one member’s car buying experience “as told by” himself. While highlighting this outstanding member testimonial (including his dream-like recollection of being treated like a king), Kentucky Employees CU was also able to remind viewers of the convenience offered by their mobile app.

“These credit unions represent the best and brightest in marketing and business development,” said Amy McGraw, Chair of the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council’s Diamond Awards Committee and VP Marketing, Tropical Financial CU. “Their inventive, passionate and exciting initiatives inspire us to take chances, be bold and try new and untested approaches.”

Join us next year, March 15-18 in Orlando, Fla. for the 27th annual Marketing & Business Development Council Conference.