Charleston AMA 2022 Spark! Awards Winners Announced

CHARLESTON, SC, September 26, 2022: Charleston American Marketing Association is pleased to announce the winners of the 2022 Spark! Awards, the only awards event in Charleston celebrating creative excellence and marketing talent. 

On Wednesday, September 21, nearly 100 marketing and creative professionals came together and brought the ‘It’s Time to Tiki” event theme to life. The event featured luau-inspired food from Swig and Swine, Pussers Rum debuted the new Painkiller canned read-to-drink cocktail to the marketing community, and a stand up comedy show from local comedians Dan Sweneey and Josh Bates, as well as an after party a Dalilas. 

Thank you to this year’s Spark! Awards sponsors, Nelson Printing, Valhalla Images, Charleston Radio Group, Balloon Therapy Charleston, Chris Hervochen Consulting, Harborside East, and Squeeze Marketing.

Fellow AMA Reno-Tahoe chapter reviewed hundreds of submissions and selected finalists and winners in 19 creative categories, as well as Charleston Marketer of the Year.

Follow Charleston AMA on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok to stay up to date on shenanigans and events. If you would like to be a speaker at events or want to learn about how to become a member, email info@charlestonama.org

Charleston AMA 2022 Spark! Awards Winners

2022 Marketer of the Year

Rhetta Cloyd – In The Black Marketing and Consulting

2022 Volunteer of the Year

Gillian Mechling

Best Blog

WINNER: 

Trio SolutionsCharleston Allergy + Asthma

FINALISTS:

Charleston Wine + FoodTasting Notes

Winkler GroupNews and Insights: The “Great Resignation” and How to Address Nonprofit Staff Turnover

Best Book Cover

WINNER:

Banks CreativeJapanese Print Catalog

FINALISTS:

Advantage Media | Forbes Books – Jason Mars: Breaking Bots

Advantage Media | Forbes Books – Robert Sofia: Blend Out

Best Collateral

WINNER:

Nina Ita / A+E Digital PrintingThe Wonderer – Krida Dining & Beverage Menu

FINALISTS:

In The Black Marketing & ConsultingBest Collateral: Harlestons

Nina Ita / A+E Digital PrintingHarbour Club at Westedge – Private Events Package

Best Corporate Identity Package

WINNER:

In The Black Marketing & ConsultingBest Corporate Identity Package: Hamby Catering & Events

FINALISTS:

Kim Russo, On Brand DesignsHogarty Group

Trio Solutions Inc. (TRIO)Wholespire

Best Digital Advertising

WINNER:

Momentum MarketingPolly’s Fine Jewelry | Ring In The Madness

FINALIST:

Charleston Wine + Food22Together

Best Direct Mail Marketing

WINNER:

Vertical FoldRapid Repairs Crawl Space Postcard

FINALIST:

LimRic Plumbing Heating & AirWelcome to the Comfort Club!

Best E-Newsletter

WINNER:

Charleston County ParksEducate & Inspire

FINALISTS:

Stingray BrandingCharleston Gator Club

Winkler GroupNovember Giving 

Best Event Marketing

WINNER:

Charleston Wine + FoodCharleston Wine + Food 2022 Festival

FINALISTS:

BoomTownBoomTown Unite

Trident United Way2021 Sing United

Best Illustration

WINNER:

Banks CreativeCharleston Visitor Guide Cover

FINALISTS:

Kim Russo, On Brand DesignsMoxxi Coffee Co.

Squeeze MarketingKrazy Hayes Artwork

Best Logo Design

WINNER:

Kim Russo, On Brand DesignsLowcountry Harvest

FINALISTS:

Kim Russo, On Brand DesignsA Spot of Paint by Kim

Squeeze MarketingFelicity Charleston Logo

Best Non-Traditional Marketing

WINNER:

LimRic Plumbing Heating & AirTransforming the Trades

FINALISTS:

In The Black Marketing & ConsultingHarlestons

The Brandon AgencyBlack Insomnia Coffee Company Poster Campaign

Best Outdoor Advertising

WINNER:

The Brandon AgencyDaytona Beach

FINALISTS:

Push DigitalCharleston’s Best Dermatologist – DLCC Billboards

REV Federal Credit Union1.75% Auto Loans

Best Print Advertising

WINNER:

Momentum MarketingBeacon Community Bank | Hero Word Campaign

FINALISTS:

Charleston Wine + Food22Together

The Brandon AgencyDaytona Beach

Best Product Marketing

WINNER:

DaysieDaysie Launch

FINALISTS:

Banks CreativeCharleston Beer Can

Pussers RumPusser’s Painkiller RTD (Ready to Drink) Cocktail

Best Public Relations

WINNER:

LimRic Plumbing Heating & AirPet Helpers International Dog Day Adoption Event

FINALISTS:

MUSC Children’s & Women’s HealthFather & Son Urge Vaccination

MUSC Children’s & Women’s HealthThe Safest Place to Deliver

Best Social Media Campaign

WINNER:

Charleston Wine + FoodOn the Road with Toyota

FINALISTS:

Butcher & BeeButcher & Bee x Duke’s Mayonnaise

Mount Pleasant Chamber of CommerceShop Where You Live

The Brandon AgencyBlack Insomnia Coffee Company

Best Social Media Presence

WINNER:

Charleston County ParksThe Great Outdoors is for Everyone

FINALISTS:

Butcher & BeeButcher & Bee

Charleston Wine + Food@chswineandfood

Best Video Marketing

WINNER:

BoomTownWhy it Works

FINALISTS:

Charleston Wine + FoodCHSWF 2022 Promo Sizzle

REV Federal Credit UnionCan’t Stop Me Now

Best Website

WINNER:

Stingray Brandinglodi.coffee

FINALISTS:

Charleston Wine + Foodchswf.com

Daysie – enjoydaysie.com

Charleston AMA 2022 Spark! Awards Finalists

Best Blog

Charleston Wine + Food – Tasting Notes

Trio Solutions – Charleston Allergy + Asthma

Winkler Group – News and Insights: The “Great Resignation” and How to Address Nonprofit Staff Turnover

Best Book Cover

Advantage Media | Forbes Books – Jason Mars: Breaking Bots

Advantage Media | Forbes Books Robert Sofia: Blend Out

Banks Creative – Japanese Print Catalog

Best Collateral

In The Black Marketing & Consulting – Best Collateral: Harlestons

Nina Ita / A+E Digital Printing – The Wonderer – Krida Dining & Beverage Menu

Nina Ita / A+E Digital Printing – Harbour Club at Westedge – Private Events Package

Best Corporate Identity Package

In The Black Marketing & Consulting – Best Corporate Identity Package: Hamby Catering & Events

Kim Russo, On Brand Designs – Hogarty Group

Trio Solutions Inc. (TRIO) – Wholespire

Best Digital Advertising

Charleston Wine + Food – 22Together

Momentum Marketing – Polly’s Fine Jewelry | Ring In The Madness

Best Direct Mail Marketing

LimRic Plumbing Heating & Air – Welcome to the Comfort Club!

Vertical Fold – Rapid Repairs Crawl Space Postcard

Best E-Newsletter

Charleston County Parks – Educate & Inspire

Stingray Branding – Charleston Gator Club

Winkler Group – November Giving 

Best Event Marketing

BoomTown – BoomTown Unite

Charleston Wine + Food – Charleston Wine + Food 2022 Festival

Trident United Way – 2021 Sing United

Best Illustration

Banks Creative – Charleston Visitor Guide Cover

Kim Russo, On Brand Designs – Moxxi Coffee Co.

Squeeze Marketing – Krazy Hayes Artwork

Best Logo Design

Kim Russo, On Brand Designs – Lowcountry Harvest

Kim Russo, On Brand Designs – A Spot of Paint by Kim

Squeeze Marketing – Felicity Charleston Logo

Best Non-Traditional Marketing

In The Black Marketing & Consulting – Harlestons

LimRic Plumbing Heating & Air – Transforming the Trades

The Brandon Agency – Black Insomnia Coffee Company Poster Campaign

Best Outdoor Advertising

Push Digital – Charleston’s Best Dermatologist – DLCC Billboards

REV Federal Credit Union – 1.75% Auto Loans

The Brandon Agency – Daytona Beach

Best Print Advertising

Charleston Wine + Food – 22Together

Momentum Marketing – Beacon Community Bank | Hero Word Campaign

The Brandon Agency – Daytona Beach

Best Product Marketing

Banks Creative – Charleston Beer Can

Daysie – Daysie Launch

Pussers Rum – Pusser’s Painkiller RTD (Ready to Drink) Cocktail

Best Public Relations

LimRic Plumbing Heating & Air – Pet Helpers International Dog Day Adoption Event

MUSC Children’s & Women’s Health – Father & Son Urge Vaccination

MUSC Children’s & Women’s Health – The Safest Place to Deliver

Best Social Media Campaign

Butcher & Bee – Butcher & Bee x Duke’s Mayonnaise

Charleston Wine + Food – On the Road with Toyota

Mount Pleasant Chamber of Commerce – Shop Where You Live

The Brandon Agency – Black Insomnia Coffee Company

Best Social Media Presence

Butcher & Bee – Butcher & Bee

Charleston County Parks – The Great Outdoors is for Everyone

Charleston Wine + Food – @chswineandfood

Best Video Marketing

BoomTown – Why it Works

Charleston Wine + Food – CHSWF 2022 Promo Sizzle

REV Federal Credit Union – Can’t Stop Me Now

Best Website

Charleston Wine + Food – chswf.com

Daysie – enjoydaysie.com

Stingray Branding – lodi.coffee

Join us Wednesday, September 21 from 5 – 7 p.m. for the Spark! Awards, in person at Harborside East. Buy your tickets in advance for singles or groups!

A special note from our Membership Director

This city, these cities we get to call home, (Charleston and Mt. P, West Ashley, N. CHS, the Ilsn) we are so lucky to live in, to grow our businesses and raise our families here. The livability is unlike any other place I’ve been. It’s a place where we can all grow up and live happy healthy, active lives, especially our kids of which as you see, I have twin boys Henry and Jackson, who are living their best lives in Kindergarten at Laurell Hill right now. 

But anyway, I really do feel that we have something special here and the CDC is proof. So, now, we need to do our part to keep us on the map, we need a full team effort. We are known for other industries as well, tourism, hospitality/ culinary, foodies are loving it here. Justin Beiber got married here… you know this is a cool spot then. 

Speaking of super influencers, whether you realize it or not, you are representing our city in every piece of content you share. Are there any lawyers reading this? I’m speaking directly to you. I want to share our city in the best way possible.  I want our soul to shine on the map, not just be there. 

The Coffee Talk I presented at the Charleston Digital Corridor is what I love about being on the board of the American Marketing Association. I got to present some best practices from my World to hopefully make someone else’s World that much better. It was cool because the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce was there as well as the Library. Like Ernest had his goal to bring a diverse workforce here, it’s my goal to help amplify it. At rūmbo, we like to say we help amplify a brand’s soul. This is exactly what I’m asking us to do. With your help, we can do exactly that. Attached to this email is the deck I presented at the Coffee Talk, use it to help up-produce your next piece of video content you share for your brand on social media. 

Don’t blink, half the year will be over before you know it. Maybe in the very near future we will be doing a halfway through the year status on our vision board or mission map for 2022. I had the goal to write more content and do my best to give as much value as I can from day to day, person to person. Maybe you have the same goal in writing and you maybe wanted to do a speaking engagement? This is a great outlet for doing so. In light of adding value to our membership, we thought, why shouldn’t you get the same opportunity? I’m inviting you to be a guest writer for our quarterly newsletter. This is your time to check off that goal you created to be a part of something bigger and an easy way to get your name out there as a thought leader. 

I encourage you to reach out to me if you want to connect, become a member or have questions about video production!

Mike Compton
Membership Director

All About The Margins

One thing I hear from agency owners all the time is “how do I know if we are doing well financially? What does good look like?”

In my view, the balance sheet is the most important financial statement to look at. I tell all of my clients, “the balance sheet is where the bodies are buried.” In other words, if your accounting processes and procedures are faulty, they will necessarily show up on the balance sheet. Additionally, an accurate balance sheet will tell you whether or not your business is healthy and likely to sustain itself.

The balance sheet is great, but most agency owners focus on the P&L (sometimes exclusively), plus they want to know how their financial performance compares to other agencies. For agency benchmarking, we look at resources such as ProfitCents, RMA and Ibis Industry Reports, as well as industry reports from associations such as The Bureau of Digital. 

While benchmarking data is great, it’s only a point of reference as agency structures and service lines vary greatly. For instance, some agencies utilize contractors to deliver all of their work. Some exclusively utilize internal employees. With so much variability, how can you use benchmarking data effectively? Well, for starters, you should always be benchmarking your agency against itself. However, if you’re going to use external data, it’s all about comparing the margins.

Gross Margin

Gross margin is calculated by subtracting cost of sales from gross revenue, which will tell you what amount of the next dollar you earn is available to pay fixed expenses and/or take as profit. Cost of sales are variable. In other words, they are expenses you will incur only when you derive a dollar of revenue. If the revenue doesn’t exist, neither does the cost. Examples of cost of sales are project-specific contractors, project-specific software and customer website hosting fees. To express this number as a percentage, more meaningful than simply assessing as a dollar figure, simply divide gross margin by gross revenue.

Net Margin

Net margin is calculated by subtracting fixed expenses from gross margin. Examples of fixed expenses are rent, operational software (e.g. Zoom), salaries, insurance, etc. Net margin is otherwise known as net income, or “the bottom line.” We want this number to be as high as possible, as it represents the amount of money the agency made for any given period. It’s worth noting, though, that net income does not necessarily equal cash flow, the explanation for which is beyond the scope of this blog. To express net margin as a percentage, simply divide net income by gross revenue. Generally, 15% is the minimum percentage we like to see from agencies.

Contribution Margin

Contribution margin is calculated by subtracting payroll expense from gross margin. Remember when I said earlier that benchmarks vary because some agencies use contractors (variable expense, reflected in cost of sales) rather than employees (fixed cost)? This calculation is how you normalize labor cost when considering external benchmarking data in relation to your agency. This measure can also be expressed as a percentage by dividing by gross revenue.

Benchmarking is an important exercise to understand whether your agency is performing good or bad relative to your peer group. Margins are important to measure as they will help you understand how much of the revenue you are likely to keep as you grow, as well as to give you targets to strive for. A good practice is for an agency owner to review all three margins on a regular basis, and to benchmark them both to the agency’s historical performance and the broader industry.

Have more questions? Reach out to Charleston AMA Treasurer and CPA extraordinaire Chris Hervochon here.

5 Digital Marketing Tips, Tricks and Trends to Know Right Now

Whether you’re scrolling through Instagram or hear something on a podcast, there is literally no way you can ignore new tips, tricks or trends around digital marketing. If you’re even remotely tapped into the industry, you will get hit over the head with something you may not have known about or HAVE heard/seen it before but it sparks your imagination to think of your work in a different way.

That’s where this round-up comes from. 

There is no real continuity or cohesiveness to any of these on the list other than they may help you learn something new or remind you of something you haven’t thought about in a while. Either way, here are five tips, tricks and trends you can use right away.

  1. An easy way to go viral on Twitter

Written a blog post or long-form article recently? Great, you now have what you need to go viral on Twitter. A very easy way to get more exposure and engagement on your Tweets is by creating a Twitter thread with all the content you already have. Keep on with your Twitter game since there will likely be new changes headed to the platform VERY soon with its new owner!

  1. Keep in mind this new vocab that is leaking out in to the WWW

That’s right! A new digital language = ‘algospeak’, which is literally new words being published online and across TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and Twitch in an effort to create a brand-safe lexicon that will avoid getting posts removed or down-ranked by content moderation systems. For instance, in many online videos, it’s common to say “unalive” rather than “dead,” “SA” instead of “sexual assault,” or “spicy eggplant” instead of “vibrator.” Keep this in mind for your next SEO meeting…

  1. Create animation or a super quick video with your screen record

Bypass an app, long hours editing or even downloading from another platform to create a very quick, down and dirty video or animation, use your phone’s screen record feature! I do this often to create another piece of content for social channels, especially! Check out this one I created after Mike Compton and I did IGTV Live. I created this fun animation just by scrolling through our faces while I recorded my screen. Done and done!

  1. Remember Blue Ocean Strategy?

Based on the book published in 2004 by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, Blue Ocean Strategy refers to the simultaneous pursuit of differentiation and low cost to open up a new market space and create new demand. It is about creating and capturing uncontested market space, thereby making the competition irrelevant. While published some time ago, the principal here still applies: Don’t do what everyone else is doing. Get creative with YOUR brand as it is unique to you in a space where there are no new ideas. 

  1. What the F is an NFT NE way

It’s a digital flex, mostly in the art world and whether you’re the buyer or seller, anyway you put it, I see this fading out real quick. Crypto, however, will be sticking around

So there you have it! Hope this ignited some inspiration for you and your work. Have questions or want to chat about these more? Email me at: taylor@charlestonama.org

Sponsorship Opportunities within Charleston AMA

The board of Charleston AMA prides themselves on the fact that they volunteer hours to create educational, idea-sharing, networking opportunities for marketing professionals in the Charleston area. But these opportunities would not be possible without the kindness and support of sponsors. As a credited 501c3, Charleston AMA uses the generosity of sponsors to organize exceptional events and programming, share new ideas, along with aiding fellow Charleston marketers to advance in their careers. 

As a sponsor of Charleston AMA, you are not only supporting their efforts to strengthen and nurture the local marketing community, you are also able to benefit from the countless business and networking opportunities that Charleston AMA provides. We encourage sponsors to promote their brands at events they back by setting up a table/space with products/promotional collateral, along with the opportunity to speak to attendees about their business. Besides brand promotion at events, sponsors also receive digital promotion through Charleston AMA’s social media outlets (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn) as well as through email marketing. 

Sponsors not only have access to Charleston AMA’s 100+ members, social followers (Instagram: 1,070, Facebook: 2,300, Twitter: 4,165, LinkedIn: 598) and email recipients, but they can also obtain connections with American Marketing Association’s National organization and the 70+ surrounding AMA chapters. Is that an appealing way to grow your audience or what?! 

There are dozens of opportunities to get involved with Charleston AMA, such as:

  • Coffee Talks
  • Happy Hours
  • Luncheons
  • Special Events (such as the annual Spark! Awards and educational Boot Camp)
  • Newsletters 
  • Podcast (NEW!)

Charleston AMA understands that no two businesses are the same, so they customize each package to best benefit the sponsor. 

If you are interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities with Charleston AMA, contact sponsorship director, Noelle Richard noelle@charlestonama.org

Marketing in 2022 (or is it 2020, too?)

It feels like the remix of 2020, and across the board many of us marketers are having a bit of PTSD. With COVID cases spiking everywhere, it leaves a lot of uncertainty as to what the next steps should be to kick off the new year.

While there are still many in-person events and luckily no lockdowns insight, it still begs the question of whether planning events is worth the risk? Or better yet – what is the best ROI for marketing dollars in 2022? What are the best use of your time, efforts, and talents?

Let’s jump into some ideas that won’t blow your budget and should make a bigger splash than a New Year’s Day polar plunge:

Hone your brand

Have you been itching for a rebrand, a fresh website, or a new color scheme? If it doesn’t carry a big price tag, now might be the time to try that edgy image update. Another idea is to take a moment to organize and polish yourself with a new brand book, fresh graphics, an entire year campaign strategy, and more. 

Content, content, content!

The old adage is true – content is king, so build an empire in 2022 with more content. Take this time to create a content strategy and stick to it. Analyze your results, and pivot focus if necessary (we are pros at that now!). Work on that SEO research you have been putting off. View this as a gift – it’s time to be more proactive than reactive, and really craft the marketing content and campaigns of your (and your clients!) dreams. 

And with that, we get to our third idea…

Try something new

Mastered blog posts and boosted your social following? That’s great, but can you TikTok? The point is, expand your skillset. Keeping your marketing chops sharp is all about continual learning. Social media platforms are always adding new features and updating algorithms so it is up to you and your team to stay keen on the latest and greatest. 

So stay agile, curious, and connected with your Charleston AMA Community! Together, we can make 2022 a year of marketing triumphs here in the Holy City. 

Reflecting on 2021

And just like that, we are at the end of 2021. 

This year wasn’t the year that I had prepared for when I considered running for president-elect. No one could see what was going to happen in 2020, and we certainly did not think we would still be in the pandemic at the end of 2021. Well, at least this overly optimistic person did not. Despite the past two years not developing to be all that we had hoped, we have proved the resiliency of our Charleston chapter and the community we love. Together we pivoted and created opportunities for professional development outside of our norm. You all kept showing up for events, even when the Zoom fatigue was next-level. And for this, the board and I are forever grateful.

As we go into the New Year, I am excited for not only the opportunity to be back in person for events but to have the opportunity to take what we learned in the past year to grow. We recognize that one of the many benefits of being a member of the Charleston American Marketing Association is the opportunity to network and gather together. We are excitedly working on a new calendar of events full of opportunities to learn, grow and engage in our community.

One of our highlights this year was the highly successful Spark! Awards. After having to take a year off to do a virtual event, it was wonderful to be amongst our peers and celebrate our marketing community in person with dancing, drinks, and seeing new and familiar faces. We have exciting plans for the 2022 Spark! Awards and our annual Marketing Bootcamp coming up in a few months. Not to leave out our signature programming and new opportunities to mix and mingle. Let’s just say, I am exhilarated, proud, and hopeful for all the things to come.

I want to take a moment to thank my fellow board members and volunteers for their dedication and hard work throughout this past year. Some of you started during the pandemic and quickly jumped in headfirst. All of us were forced to evolve and think outside the box to deliver programming that mattered. It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to work beside you, and as you know, are all marketing superheroes in my book.

2022, we are coming in hot and hope you are ready. Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you at an event soon. Happy New Year! 🎉

Stephanie Barrow
President, Charleston AMA

Getting Your Act Together for #GivingTuesday

As marketers, we all know those editorial calendars should be built out at least 90 days in advance. However … if you’ve waited this long to think about your #GivingTuesday strategy, all is not lost. Giving Tuesday is a global  generosity movement launched in 2012, at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, with not much more than 30 days’ notice either. It has grown to a movement that in 2020 generated at least $2.47 Billion in twenty-four hours in the U.S. alone. And, good news! Donors were giving at record high levels during the pandemic. 

Always held on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, this year #GivingTuesday is November 30th. Short lead times are no problem with social media. However, with popularity comes competition, so, how can your organization stand out?

 Get specific. Instead of one post on the “day of,” choose one program or funding need your social media followers can readily identify with and create your drive around that. When you share where donation dollars go, you give your organization credibility and fuel donor buy-in and confidence.

“$25 cleans the water supply”

“$50 serves lunch for a week”

“$100 trains 3 demining volunteers”

“$250 provides a lifesaving veterinary surgery”

Skip the generic feel good, happy faces and use photos of your clients, volunteers, and projects to tell the story and increase conversion. Everyone appreciates behind-the-scenes photos which show, rather than tell, about your organization’s good works.

No need to reinvent the wheel, get #GivingTuesday graphics and toolkit here: https://www.givingtuesday.org/resources/ to add your organization’s outreach.

Don’t just use the #GivingTuesday hashtag, though. Add your specific industry and donation drive to gain social momentum. For instance, #coatsforkids, #aidsawareness #cleanwater, #helpingthehomeless, #fooddrive, #sustainablefood.

Can you get your team together in a hurry?

Don’t wait til November 30th. Start announcing your fundraising needs as soon as you can with ideas like, “We’re creating an AmazonSmile page for Giving Tuesday.” Or, “Go through your closet now and start putting aside those gently used clothes for our #GivingTuesday drive.” 

More than just money. While donations are certainly necessary to any nonprofit organization, so are volunteers. Your posts can appeal to those people who like to roll their sleeves up for a good cause, and because you are not asking for money, your post will stand out from the millions of others that day. This is the perfect time to harness those individuals and families who look for opportunities to serve during the holidays. 

It’s not all over on Tuesday. Here are two ways to get more mileage out of #GivingTuesday.

You may not have time to promote #GivingTuesday in your newsletter but be sure to talk about your success in the next newsletter to come out and include all the ways to give. 

Appeal to the procrastinators out there with “morning after” posts.  “It’s Not Too Late.” “Giving Tuesday might be over, but the fight to end hunger isn’t.” 

Then sit back, appreciate the community support you’ve generated, and start thinking about next year’s marketing campaign. Plus, watch for Charleston American Marketing Association’s upcoming nonprofit-focused marketing coffee talks starting up in 2022.

Charleston AMA Announces 2021 Spark! Awards Winners

2021 Spark! Awards

Charleston American Marketing Association (AMA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 Spark! Awards. The annual Spark! Awards is the premier marketing event of the Lowcountry that honors creative and marketing excellence in the Charleston community. After receiving hundreds of submissions in 20 categories, fellow AMA chapter, AMA Tahoe, judged and casted their votes for finalists and winners, while Charleston AMA Board of Directors selected winners for Marketer of the Year, The Giving Award, and Chapter Volunteer of the Year.

Awards finalists, Charleston area marketing professionals, and business leaders gathered for the lively awards celebration on September 23 where winners were revealed. The awards were hosted by event emcee Whitney McDuff, who is a recent winner of Best Marketing/PR Company for Charleston City Paper’s 2021 Best of Charleston.

Charleston AMA is thankful for this year’s sponsors, including Nelson Printing, Squeeze Marketing, Fox Audio Visual, Larry Monteith Photography, Seth G. Music, Holy City Sinner and Chris Hervochon CPA CVA.

And the winners are…

Charleston AMA 2021 Marketer of the Year:
Charlotte Berger, CharlotteBergerPR

The Giving Award:
Stan Foxworthy, Foxworthy Studios

Chapter Volunteer of the Year:
Taylor Ion, Charleston AMA Director of Marketing and Communications

Best Book Cover
WINNER: Advantage | ForbesBooks – Stuck In The Middle Seat by Stephen E. Gerard
FINALISTS:
Advantage | ForbesBooks – Stuck In The Middle Seat by Stephen E. Gerard
Advantage | ForbesBooks – Hidden Wealth by Terry H. Monroe –
Banks Creative – Eleanor, Alice and the Roosevelt Ghosts by Dianne K. Salerni
G Sharp Design – Mindscaping

Best Branding
WINNER: Squeeze Marketing – Lowcountry Trolley
FINALISTS:
PlanSource – PlanSource
Trio Solutions – Marketing Impact Assistant (aka M.I.A)

Best Corporate Blog
WINNER: Roper St. Francis Hospital – House Calls Magazine and Health Hub Blog
FINALISTS:
Stingray Branding – Tumbleston Photography
Winkler Group – Winkler Group Corporate Blog: Part 1 – Counterintuitive Fundraising

Best Corporate Identity
WINNER: Roper St. Francis Hospital – Roper St. Francis Healthcare Brand 2020
FINALISTS:
Trio Solutions – Bleecker Family Law

Best Collateral
WINNER: Rawle Murdy – Desert Highlands
FINALISTS:
Push Digital – Stop Soldier Suicide – 2020 Impact Report
Squeeze Marketing – Lowcountry Trolley

Best Content Marketing
WINNER: Lunch + Recess – Vertical Roots Brand Video
FINALISTS:
BoomTown – The BoomTown Effect
PlanSource – Employee Communications Interactive Site

Best Digital or Print Ad
WINNER: Push Digital – Dermatology & Laser Center of Charleston
FINALISTS:
Rawle Murdy – Terminix

Best Direct Mail
WINNER: PlanSource – THRIVE SalesCon Box and Deliverables

Best e-Newsletter
WINNER: Charleston County Parks – Charleston County Parks Explore

Best Event Marketing
WINNER: Mex 1 Coastal Cantina – Mex 1 Snowboard Rail Jam
FINALISTS:
BoomTown – Unite
Push Digital – Lung Cancer Research Foundation – Free to Breathe Event
PlanSource – Eclipse Live Marketing Collateral

Best Fundraising Campaign
WINNER: CharlotteBergerPR – Warrior Surf Foundation Surfboard Auction

Best Social Media Presence
WINNER: Rawle Murdy – Sleep.com Mattress Firm
FINALISTS:
Charleston County Parks – Charleston County Parks Facebook Page –
Push Digital – Stop Soldier Suicide

Best Illustration
WINNER: Banks Creative – College of Charleston ‘What Type of Cougar are You?
FINALISTS:
Banks Creative- College of Charleston ‘What Type of Cougar are You?
Charleston County Parks – Step Into Nature
Lunch + Recess – Osprey and Snake Illustration

Best Logo Design
WINNER: In the Black Marketing & Consulting – Migliori’s Pizza
FINALISTS:
Gibbes Film in Focus – Banks Creative
Stingray Branding – Juneteenth
Stingray Branding – Your Space Designs
TRIO Solutions – Ruby’s Academy

Best Non-Traditional Marketing
WINNER: Banks Creative – Gibbes on the Street – Gibbes on the Couch
FINALISTS:
CharlotteBergerPR – LoDi Coffee Sleeve Design
Rawle Murdy – Primland Resort

Best Social Media Campaign
WINNER: Matchstick Social – Kickin Chicken
FINALISTS:
Chernoff Newman – MUSC Don’t Go Viral
Nelson Strategic Marketing – Meals on Wheels Summerville: Stories of Isolation

Best Pandemic Pivot
WINNER: ArcheMedX, Inc. – COVID-19’s Effect on Virtual Tech in Clinical Trials
FINALISTS:
CharlotteBergerPR – Warrior Surf Foundation Surfboard Auction
Maggie Mills – Take Maggie’s Word for It

Best Promotional Video
WINNER: Lowcountry Local First – Every Dollar Matters
FINALISTS:
BoomTown – Success Assurance
Charleston Battery – This Is Your Club
Mara James – Shiksona Beauty

Best Website
WINNER: Squeeze Marketing – Lowtide Brewing
FINALISTS:
Push Digital – PushDigital.com
Squeeze Marketing – Southern Concepts
Stingray Branding – Wild Blue Ropes