2018 Winners – Communications: Holiday Mailings / Announcements

First Place

Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt PC

Schwabe's Can You Survive the Holiday? Quiz

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Summary: Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt's goal was to thank its clients with relatable humor tied into a heartfelt message that recognized 2016 as a year of great change. It also wanted to leverage the momentum of 2014 and 2015’s award-winning animations by continuing to stand out among business greetings and leave a memorable impression with clients. The firm wanted to delight its clients with something unexpected. Through an interactive "Survive the Holidays" quiz, the firm invited clients to actively enjoy a five-minute break from all the holiday noise.

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The campaign, launched on December 15, 2016, involved a targeted email, social media promotions and a series of dedicated landing pages that housed the experience. Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt purposely built a multilayered user experience based on the time and interest of its audience. By creating a results-based quiz, the viewer could retake it and get a different, humorous answer within a matter of minutes, enabling its repeat and viral nature. For those who wanted a deeper experience, the supplemental printable survival guide had a variety of holiday activities, ranging from trendy coloring pages (inspired by Schwabe’s client industries) to family holiday games. By making it actionable and sharable, its stickiness and longevity (time in the hands of the client) extended beyond initial viewership. The firm was also able to leverage the "Year in Review" content created in the printable survival guide as a holiday party giveaway.

Over the course of four months, Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt was able to increase assistant and attorney list management from the previous year and was able to give its team two more weeks to clean up the list. This campaign had a 37.01 percent open rate, 14.20 percent click rate and 27 forwards. According to MailChimp, the industry standard open rate for legal industry is 22.49 percent and the click rate is 2.99 percent. Client feedback included: “LOVED this! SO clever and fun!” “Thanks for sending this to me. Well done, as always!” “For all the lame Christmas cards ... I get around this time of the year, I think Schwabe’s cartoon videos are the best.”

Second Place

Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP

Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila LLP First Holiday Card

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Summary: Riley Safer Holmes & Cancila’s first holiday card provided the ideal project to help establish the firm’s brand and personality and serve as a uniquely RSHC commemorative item. Since its opening, the firm established a best practice of drawing and displaying professional caricatures of all attorneys and staff in their Chicago Break Room. These caricatures were the inspiration for a modern quilt holiday card that would showcase to clients the dedicated and diverse people who are the fabric of RSHC.

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RSHC’s 2016 holiday card was the first all-attorney hard copy mailing that the firm had distributed since its March 2016 opening. The project required many layers of participation and attention to detail from marketing, the freelance graphic designer, HR, the printer, the freelance photographer, the caricature artist, and firm attorneys and administrative staff. A teaser of the holiday card cover was shared to pique interest. Since RSHC attorneys and staff were all very proud of the firm’s caricature gallery, it was a natural sell. Marketing support and ongoing communication with attorneys and administrative assistants was required to ensure maximum participation. From what the card symbolized, to its complex design details including 78 individual caricatures, to its large size (15” x 15” when opened), to the custom commemorative poem, it made a powerful statement and spoke volumes about who RSHC is: a law firm built for clients.

The final 2016 RSHC holiday card design had a powerful effect on people’s reactions and made a statement about RSHC’s unique personality. Clients and friends of the firm could see the many faces of RSHC, humanizing the firm. An interesting note: Clients were drawn to RSHC’s website to see if they could match caricatures with attorney photos. The card generated countless client emails sharing positive feedback (e.g., "Your firm wins the award for most interesting holiday card."; "Easily, the best and most creative card that I have received this season."; "I received perhaps the coolest holiday card ever."; "I loved your firm’s holiday card. I kept it because it was so terrific.") As legal marketing continues to grow in its scope and complexity, it is important to remember marketing fundamentals — building relationships and expressing appreciation to the people who make the success of a law firm possible through the gesture of a creative, uplifting and sincere holiday card.

Third Place

Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP

Porter Wright 2016 "Inspired Holiday" Video Greeting

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Summary: The Porter Wright marketing team endeavored to create a holiday greeting vastly different from the electronic greetings it had sent to the firm’s clients in previous years. The main goal was to create a card that “must express gratitude and define what partnership and collaboration mean to Porter Wright in a fun and cheerful way.” The marketing team agreed they also desired a greeting that would show “a creation coming together as a way to express partnership, gratitude and collaboration.”

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Porter Wright worked with agency, treetree, to storyboard, design and develop its greeting. A video format was chosen to showcase “a creation coming together,” and to use elements of color, light, music and motion — alongside unique camera angles — to present a whimsical display of an artist creating a message of gratitude. Post House Creative brought the elements together in a live video of an artist creating a message on canvas, by hand. Such an exclusive, custom creation coming together right before the viewers’ eyes would be inspiring, engaging and entertaining, and elicit a true pause from the viewer during such a busy season of the year. Post House, treetree and PorterWright developed and edited the video. The final approved video was sent to 8,000 contacts in early December 2016, alongside a shot of the artist’s paintbrushes, as a preview shot of the video, and the message, “We believe in the art of gratitude. Enjoy this holiday greeting, created with you in mind. Porter Wright.”

Porter Wright’s 2016 holiday video greeting received an outstanding response from its recipients: The click through rate (CTR) was 20.20 percent, and the open rate was 43.50 percent. Not only did the firm far exceed the legal industry average of a 3.05 percent CTR and 22.46 percent open rate, but it also exceeded its own average CTR of 4.80 percent and open rate of 30.85 percent. In comparison to Porter Wright’s previous holiday greetings, the firm’s 2014 card received a CTR of 15 percent and its 2013 card CTR was 21 percent. Such comments as “Interestingly different,” “That is one cool video” and “If that doesn't put a smile on every face, nothing will – how sweet it is, and I thank you, Porter Wright” drove home that the video elicited an emotional response strong enough to push viewers to reply positively, which is exactly what the team set out to do. In addition, the video team that shot and edited the greeting — Post House Creative — submitted and won a 2016 Addy at the 2016 Columbus American Advertising Awards for the final video.