2015 Diamond Award winners honored at Council Conference

MADISON, WI (April 2, 2015) — Gesa CU was awarded the Diamond Best of Show Award – the highest honor in the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council’s Diamond Awards competition – during the Council’s 22nd annual conference, March 25-28 in Las Vegas, Nev.

This year’s Diamond Awards competition received 1,055 entries. Six credit unions won Best of Show Awards, 88 won Category’s Best Awards and 236 won Diamond Awards.

Diamond Best of Show Award: Gesa CU of Richland, Wash. was honored with the Diamond Best of Show award for their campaign,My Gesa Story. In May 2014, Gesa launched a testimonial-based marketing campaign in an effort to humanize their brand. In eight emotional videos, real-life members explain – in their own words – Gesa’s important role in reaching their goals of owning a house, going to school, starting a business and pursuing their dreams. Print, digital, radio and television “My Gesa Story” ads were placed throughout the community, leading to member and loan growth.

Other 2015 Best of Show honorees included:

Color Award for Brilliant Use of Art: First Entertainment CU in Hollywood, Ca., was awarded the Color Award for Brilliant Use of Art for their Annual Report submission. Serving over 70,000 members of the entertainment industry, First Entertainment wanted their annual report to reflect their members’ creativity, love of the industry and sense of humor. Drawing on inspiration from old-timey travel posters from the 1930’s and 1940’s, Pinterest, Etsy, auction sites and collectors groups, First Entertainment created unique custom-illustrated posters. The distinctive report design shattered traditional format expectations and prompted members to request additional reports for decorative use.

Cut Award for Most Edgy: ANECA FCU in Kourtney, Wash., won the Cut Award for Most Edgy for its Swagger Boost music video. ANECA produced “Swagger Boost” to promote brand awareness and emphasize the correct pronunciation of its name. ANECA also used this video as an opportunity to reach out to younger members, connect with potential members and launch their social media initiatives. To increase its community reach, the video was produced locally and starred ANECA members, staff and their families.

Clarity Award for Most Sentimental: Gesa CU in Richland, Wash. won the Clarity Award for Most Sentimental for its Sarah’s Storyvideo. The animated video, part of their “My Gesa Story” campaign, starts with Sarah saying “I have a story to tell you.” During this touching video, Sarah explains how important her home is to her family. After struggling with infertility, the meaning of home meant more to Sarah than it does to the everyday person. With the help of Gesa, she was able to fund her first home. The video concludes by revealing Sarah saying “This story is true. It’s about me, my family and Gesa Credit Union.”

Carat Award for Greatest Impact: iQ CU in Vancouver, Wash., won the Carat Award for Greatest Impact for their We Mustache You To Join iQ campaign. Fun, quirky advertising campaigns have become synonymous with the iQ brand. Using their sense of humor to target a young audience, iQ built a highly visible membership campaign around the “We mustache you to join iQ” message. The campaign used television and transit ads, as well as social media and guerilla marketing tactics to get the word out. One of their most creative techniques was putting mustaches on the front of buses. The campaign resulted in almost 2,000 new memberships.

Best Use of Humor Award: Tigers CU in Columbia, Mo., won the Best Use of Humor Award for its Tigersquirrel mascot. Tigers CU, a division of West Community CU serving University of Missouri (Mizzou) students, alumni and faculty, created the Tigersquirrel mascot as a creative way to attract student members. The Tigersquirrel merges the university’s beloved mascot – Truman the Tiger – with the image of the popular, friendly squirrels that are so prevalent on the Mizzou campus. The Tigersquirrel is used in all Tigers CU marketing and social media efforts, makes appearances at special events and is available as a stuffed toy for purchase.

“The Diamond Awards are the Oscars of the credit union awards for marketing and business development professionals, at the 2015 conference,” said Nancy C. Hutchinson, Chair of the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Diamond Awards Committee and SVP Marketing/Business Development at Minnesota Power Employees Credit Union. “This year, categories and submission procedures are enhanced and combined with the matrix scoring system, the degree of leading high caliber entries made for an exceptional fiercer competition. All who won were very deserving of this recognition.”

The Diamond Awards, representing the pinnacle of credit union marketing and business development, honor credit unions in 29 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

About CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council

The CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council is a member-led community of marketing and business development professionals dedicated to providing relevant resources and tools essential for success to its members. The CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council is one of six CUNA Councils, a network of more than 6,200 credit union professionals. For more information, visit

About CUNA Councils: 

CUNA Councils is a member-led organization dedicated to connecting passionate people, great ideas, original content and relevant resources to find solutions and inspire achievement through the power of peer collaboration. CUNA Councils serves six areas of credit unions including lending, marketing and business development, finance, human resources and training development, technology and operations, sales and service. For more information, visit

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