2014 Diamond Award winners honored ar council conference

MADISON, WI (March 17, 2014) — BECU was awarded the “Diamond Best of Show” – the highest honor in the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council’s Diamond Awards competition during the Council’s 21st annual conference, March 12-15 in Orlando, FL.

This year’s Diamond Awards competition received over 1,130 entries. Judges awarded seven entries as Best of Show, along with 70 Category’s Best and 231 Diamond Awards.

Diamond Best of Show: Entered in the Television (Single & Series) category, BECU, Tukwila, WA, won for their SHARE advertisement. Over the last two years, BECU’s membership has skyrocketed as a result of outrage over large banks’ excessive fees and the subsequent Occupy movement. The SHARE campaign expresses the sentiments of new and long-time members about their relationships with BECU. The advertising features the actual words and authentic interactions that have taken place between BECU and its members via social media, and brings the brand to life through the voices of members, whose stories are both inspiring and moving. After recruiting more than 50 BECU members to participate, the credit union collaborated with its advertising agency, Seattle-based DNA, to produce the SHARE campaign.

Other 2014 Best of Show honorees include:

  • “Color” Award for Brilliant Use of Art: Widget Financial, Erie, PA, won for its entry “Launch” in the Diamond in the Rough category. Widget Financial wanted to inform the region of their name change through a 60 second animated TV commercial, with strong use of its new logo and brand elements. They were seeking to attract young people and individuals who share their belief that a credit union is about more than just dollars, increase their electronic audience, and create traction for the new website.
  • “Cut” Award for Most Edgy: Financial Center Credit Union, Stockton, CA, won for its “Eye Candy” targeted auto loan postcards. The objective of the postcard series was to keep Financial Center in the forefront of members’ minds for auto loans, especially members in the 20-30 and 31-45 age ranges. Utilizing internet meme-style messaging, “bleeped” language, holograms, and even a bicycle-riding Santa, the goal was to achieve a 4% response rate and gross $4.7 million in auto loans.
  • “Clarity” Award for Most Sentimental: Gesa Credit Union in Richland, WA, for its “Wedding Commercial Series.” The Gesa Wedding Commercial series promotes general awareness of the credit union and several product lines via television and a microsite. The campaign centered on a series of six TV commercials showing the lives of a fictional couple. The six TV spots were in a storyline format and were broadcasted one at a time over the course of seven months. Each commercial was a story in itself, and viewers had to anxiously wait to see the next installment. The commercials directed viewers to a microsite,, where they could learn about the characters, view the commercials, and join.
  • “Carat” Award for Greatest Impact: Directions Credit Union in Sylvania, OH, for their “Don’t Text & Drive Pledge Contest.” The primary objective was to spread the message not to text and drive to high school students while increasing brand awareness of Directions and position it as a partner with the local high schools. The CU partnered with two local TV stations to develop a “Don’t Text & Drive” PSA campaign. Directions offered $1000 to the High School who received the most pledges, which could be used towards the school’s 2014 Prom. Directions awarded two prizes in the markets it serves.
  • Best Use of Humor: Taleris Credit Union in Cleveland, OH, for its “Building a Brand – Storyboard Spots.” Taleris utilized a cable TV advertising program to build brand awareness in Cuyahoga County and their new charter addition, Medina County. With a very limited budget, four spots were produced, accomplishing two branding goals: educating members on their great loan rates and used funny dogs to tell the story of how they are different than a bank.
  • Best Use of Humor: ORNL Federal Credit Union in Oak Ridge, TN, for its “Holiday Video.” “Making the CU a Great Place to Work” remains one of the credit union’s top strategic initiatives, so a holiday video was created to make executive team more relatable and personable to staff. The video shows the four members of the executive team sharing holiday cheer along with various credit union staff. The video was shared with employees, vendors and members via the Credit Union’s Facebook page. The video has had over 6,300 views and has received great feedback from members and employees alike for the holiday happiness it brings.

“The best of the best in marketing and business development in the credit union industry are receiving Diamond Awards in 2014,” said Nancy C. Hutchinson, Chair of the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Diamond Awards Committee and SVP Marketing/Business Development with Minnesota Power Employees Credit Union, Duluth, MN. “This year, categories and submission procedures were enhanced; combined with the matrix scoring system established in 2013, the caliber of entries showed impressive advancement. In the credit union industry, these awards hold us in high regard at our credit union and in the industry; all who won were very deserving of this recognition.”

The Diamond Awards, representing the pinnacle of credit union marketing and business development, features 29 categories, ranging from direct mail and website marketing to public relations and social media. Judges evaluated entries based on strategy, design and production, creative concept, copy and communication, and results.

A complete list of award winners is available online at

About CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council
The CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council is a member-led organization comprised of 1,100+ credit union professionals across the United States. The Council strives to provide superior educational and networking opportunities to help its members be recognized in the credit union industry as the premier experts in credit union marketing, business development, and related disciplines. The CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council is one of the six organizations that make up the CUNA Councils, a network of more than 5,800 credit union professionals. For more information, visit or


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