2017 NOVA Award Results

2017 NOVA Awards Banner

AMA Iowa is proud to announce the award winners from the 2017 NOVA Awards: Urban Jungle!

Thank you to all our 2017 sponsors and Iowa companies who submitted a marketing campaign! We are looking forward to hosting the 2018 NOVA Awards.

To relive all of the fun and excitement, view the 2017 NOVA Awards pictures, taken by sponsor Brent Isenberger Photography.


It’s okay to go bananas for a good concept. These advertisements certainly didn’t monkey around though. They executed a perfect message blend for their audiences.

Best of Category - GICU Zombie Humor TV Spot, Greater Iowa Credit Union
2nd Place - Vermeer - Do A Demo Get A Yeti, Lessing-Flynn Advertising
3rd Place - Ghosts of the Gridiron, Greater Iowa Credit Union                     


For entries in the copywriting category, clever copy was like a safari. Each of these creative pieces took audiences on a reading adventure.

Best of Category - Ag Leader Insights Magazine, Lessing-Flynn Advertising
2nd Place  - Makin' Hay Magazine, Lessing-Flynn Advertising
3rd Place - Open Enrollment Survival Kit, ARAG

Direct Marketing

For the entries in the direct marketing category, it was necessary to send out the call of the wild. These compelling campaigns got audiences to roar into action.

Best of Category - A View from the Outside, TMG Financial Services
2nd Place - Open Enrollment Survival Kit, ARAG
3rd Place - Delta Dental Termination Mailing, Delta Dental of Iowa

Integrated Marketing Campaign

Entries in this category understood birds of a feather fly well together. The following campaigns soared by successfully blending several different motifs.

Best of Category - I Switched Campaign, Lessing-Flynn Advertising
2nd Place - Iowa Corn Mobile Education Unit, Lessing-Flynn Advertising
3rd Place - Helena Seed First, Trilix

Interactive Marketing

With interactive marketing, making an effective expedition is key. The use of digital technologies and social platforms in these campaigns successfully drove action.

Best of Category - BFGoodrich Not Your Average Social Campaign, The Integer Group
2nd Place - Vermeer.com Responsive Redesign, Vermeer Corporation
3rd Place - Insane Impact Promotional Video - Principal Charity Classic, Trilix

Marketing Communications

With marketing communications, exploring uncharted territory is a must. These communications journeyed new paths to achieve their goals.

Best of Category - Annuity e-App, Sammons Financial Group
2nd Place - White Paper - How to Stay Seen as Payments Turn Invisible, TMG Financial Services
3rd Place - I Switched Videos, Lessing-Flynn Advertising

Marketing Research

Finalists in the marketing research category are indeed wild about research. The following programs unleashed new strategic insights.

Best of Category - Bankers Trust / On Point Strategies - Customer Research, On Point Strategies
2nd Place - Predictive Modeling for Short-Term Recovery Campaign, Mercer Consumer
3rd Place - Vermeer Dealer Portal Replacement Research, Lessing-Flynn

Nonprofit Marketing

For successful nonprofit marketing campaigns, seeing beyond the forest is key. These campaigns rose to the top of the canopy, quickly surpassing their marketing goals.

Best of Category - Big Data for Nonprofits, B2E Direct Marketing
2nd Place - YESS Duck Derby 2016: What A Duck Can Do, Strategic America
3rd Place - IHYC Rooftop Gardens Name, Logo & Package Design, Meyocks

Public Relations

Public relations professionals know how to let their roars be heard. These hard-to-miss public relations efforts caught media attention in a big way.

Best of Category - #BringDraketoDrake, Drake University
2nd Place - Meyocksgiving, Meyocks
3rd Place - Super Duper, Lessing-Flynn Advertising

Special Event

Special events should lead the pack to a good time. These events made attendees feel like kings and queens of the jungle.

Best of Category - 2016 TMG Summit, TMG
2nd Place - Vermeer National Farm Machinery Show, Lessing-Flynn Advertising
3rd Place - 2016 SHAZAM Forum, SHAZAM Network

People's Choice

Each year, we ask our audience to select the marketing campaign they felt was the best of the best. 

Best of Category - #BringDraketoDrake, Drake University

2017 NOVA Awards Finalists

#BringDrakeToDrake - Drake University

#BringDrakeToDrakeLast fall, a mid-sized private university in the heart of the Midwest brought the world’s hottest rapper to campus—and made international headlines in the process. Drake University’s “Bring Drake to Drake” campaign leveraged media relations, social media, real-time marketing, and word-of-mouth tactics to engage target audiences and increase brand awareness and affinity. By the time Aubrey “Drake” Graham shared a photo of himself perched atop Drake University’s welcome sign—decked out in a university letterman’s jacket—with his more than 30 million Instagram followers, it was a pleasant bonus for a viral campaign that had already received international attention and created lifelong memories. Associating the Drake University brand with a world-famous and occasionally controversial rapper was a calculated risk—but one the communications staff would do again, not only because it brought unprecedented visibility to the University, but also because (as the rapper would say), #YOLO. You only live once.

2016 SHAZAM Forum - SHAZAM Network

2016 SHAZAM ForumThrough the knowledge and understanding of relevant “hot topics” and key industry issues of interest to prospective attendees, the SHAZAM marketing team researched and collaborated internally and externally to procure respected industry experts to speak at the 2016 SHAZAM Forum. The development and implementation of a dynamic multi-channel marketing plan created awareness, peaked interest and offered a compelling reason for SHAZAM clients and prospects to attend the event. A new record-setting number of registrations, 342, was achieved. The creativity applied to the structuring and diversification of highly-valued networking activities and the added value of event app technology directly supported the 100% satisfied / very satisfied attendee rating (5% above goal). The 2016 SHAZAM Forum was, by all measures, our best event yet!

2016 TMG Summit - TMG

2016 TMG SummitThe TMG Summit is about more than fostering relationships with TMG’s valued clients. It’s also about providing an educational oasis for the hard-working executives charged with operating profitable payment programs for their community financial institutions... and ultimately about creating an exceptional experience for TMG clients and prospective clients. TMG enjoys a 95-percent client retention rate for existing clients, which the company’s leadership attributes to high-touch, high-value initiatives like the 2016 TMG Summit.



A View From The Outside - TMG Financial Services

A View From The OutsideLaunching a new line of business can be both exciting and tough. To help set ourselves apart from what we are most know for as well as from our competitors, TMG Financial Services took a chance and hoped our prospects would too. A View from the Outside was a capturing, interactive direct mail campaign that challenged recipients to ask the tough questions about their credit card programs – and better yet, to consider what benefits an outside perspective can bring them.



Ag Leader Insights Magazine - Lessing-Flynn Advertising

Ag Leader Insights MagazineAg Leader's Insights magazine was launched as an industry-exclusive precision farming publication. Insights Magazine grew its audience to more than 28,000 since the initial launch. The copywriting and relatable editorial content in this publication allowed Ag Leader to reach farmers, dealers and competitive technology users in a way that had not been done before. Today, Ag Leader deems this publication one of their most powerful and effective marketing tools, and attributes the feature article copywriting to much of its success.


Annuity e-App - Sammons Financial Group

Annuity e-AppThe Annuity e-App campaign by Sammons Financial Group was designed to break long-held traditions of insurance carrier advertising. Using nostalgia, irony and humor to both educate and impress agents, this nostalgic e-App campaign won’t soon be forgotten.





Customer Research - Bankers Trust & On Point Strategies

Bankers Trust is currently celebrating 100 years of business, with a presence today in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Phoenix, Arizona. With On Point Strategies, the research methodology selected was qualitative in nature and was conducted with Bankers Trust retail banking customers in all three markets, designed with a cross-functional strategy. Four online bulletin board focus groups were used to maximize topical variety, geographic reach and budget, and were broken into age groups: Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers and Seniors. Research insights have been utilized for new buyer personas, digital product development direction, marketing communications direction, and meeting customer service expectations.

BFGoodrich Not Your Average Social Campaign - The Integer Group

The BFGoodrich "Not Your Average” campaign was definitely not your average social campaign. Integer’s team leveraged the “not average” qualities of the Advantage T/A Sport tire in a unique and engaging way that resonated well with TBC’s audience. Even with an extremely tight timeline, Integer’s work far exceeded expectations. TBC executives praised it as “commercial quality”, the BFGoodrich category manager called it the best work of the year and the Integer team briefly enjoyed the success — before catching up on some much-needed sleep!

Big Data for Nonprofits - B2E Direct Marketing

Nonprofit organizations are a crucial part of our society, providing help to the needy, education for a lifetime, funds for good causes, and social interaction. The "Big Data for Nonprofits" program was born out of a vision that we had at B2E to give back to our community. We wanted to offer nonprofits the same visual business intelligence and database marketing services that we provide our other clients.

Delta Dental Termination Mailing - Delta Dental of Iowa

Delta Dental Termination MailingThis wasn’t a case study in master revamp of strategy, it was a back to basics lesson of understanding your customer’s decision journey and more intelligently leveraging your data.




Ghosts of the Gridiron - Greater Iowa Credit Union

Ghosts of the Gridiron'Ghosts of the Gridiron' was created by Greater Iowa to allow us to promote our Greater Checking account during the 2016-2017 NFL season while keeping humor front and center. Our goal was to drive new account openings by both existing members and prospective members between the ages of 30-55.



GICU Zombie Humor TV Spot - Greater Iowa Credit Union

GICU Zombie Humor TV SpotGreater Iowa aimed to create a Zombie-themed, humorous television spot that would also allow us to promote our newest mobile technologies during the 2016 season of The Walking Dead. Our goal was to drive existing members to download and use our new mobile app while demonstrating to potential members that they can transact 24/7 with us as they could with all of our other direct competitors.






Helena Seed First - Trilix

Helena Seed FirstHelena Acre by Helena Chemical Company wanted to find a way to boost renewals among existing growers and secure their business with early commitments. Trilix helped Helena Acre create the Seed First program to educate sales reps on the importance of early commitments and incentivize growers to participate in the program. Before Trilix created Seed First, Helena Acre had a 25 percent renewal rate. In the first year of the program, they achieved 92 percent.


I Switched Campaign - Lessing-Flynn Advertising

I Switched CampaignLessing-Flynn partnered with Vermeer to create a series of testimonial videos that flourished into a comprehensive integrated marketing campaign. We wanted to show people that switching to Vermeer could make the haymaking process more convenient, trouble-free and even more enjoyable. The customers explained how Vermeer equipment didn’t only make them more productive, it also made the process much more gratifying. These stories really resonated with our target audience (current and prospective customers) which explains why the videos have been viewed more than 188,000 times, we’ve obtained over 300 demo requests and converted competitive equipment owners over to owning some yellow iron!

IHYC Rooftop Gardens Name, Logo & Package Design - Meyocks

IHYC Rooftop GardensAs an agency that works with food, health and agricultural brands, helping Iowa Homeless Youth Center grow their Rooftop Gardens project was a perfect fit for Meyocks. Meyocks created a distinct, unique brand identity (demonstrated through the garden name, logo and packaging) to show the project’s tangible value to the community, a critical fundraising component. Plus, Meyocks built a brand that easily connects IHYC and its goals and rallies community support for the projects and the products they will produce.



Insane Impact Promo Video - Principal Charity - Trilix

Insane Impact PromoInsane Impact is modernizing the world of digital mobile signage at events and trade show and in various aspects of the event planning world. As a partner of Insane Impact, Trilix has used their products for other client event and trade show needs to digitally convey the client’s message rather than using traditional static display tactics. Trilix is proud to be involved with a local, innovative company who is making strides within this niche industry. We look forward to partnering with their team in the future as a client and a partner in our business.


Iowa Corn Mobile Education Unit - Lessing-Flynn Advertising

Iowa Corn Mobile Education UnitMost people don’t know there are more than 4,000 every day products made from corn. That’s why Iowa Corn worked with Lessing-Flynn in the summer of 2016, to create the Iowa Corn Mobile Education Unit. Since completing the creation of the trailer, Iowa Corn has traveled across the state to 50 events to garner over 35,000 visitors. With this new game-changing educational resource they will continue to educate corn consumers and ensure future support for Iowa corn farmers.



Makin' Hay Magazine - Lessing-Flynn Advertising

Makin' Hay MagazineSent to Vermeer equipment owners, prospective customers and dealers as a quarterly publication, Makin’ Hay magazine has become a staple news source for many within the hay and forage industry. By developing a solid content calendar, promoting the issues with the Vermeer website, social media and tradeshows booths in 2016 resulted in a 24% readership increase. Makin’ Hay will continue to provide informative content to help operators become more efficient in the field and produce a more consistent and nutritious product yields.







Meyocksgiving - Meyocks

MeyocksgivingBranding and advertising agency Meyocks found that keeping peace at the Thanksgiving dinner table is good advice – and a way to generate media attention. With a nationwide survey asking more than 1,000 Americans about their Thanksgiving traditions as its cornerstone, Meyocks created an integrated content marketing and public relations campaign that drove more than 140 million media impressions. The survey found that Americans give thanks for family but don’t want to talk politics or money with them during Thanksgiving dinner. The moral – talking politics is good in the media but not at Thanksgiving.


Open Enrollment Survival Kit - ARAG

Open Enrollment Survival KitOpen enrollment can be hectic, challenging and exhausting for most Human Resource professionals. As a legal insurance company that provides a voluntary benefit to more than 500 companies across the United States – ARAG understands these challenges and is there for our customers every step of the way. ARAG prides itself on the premier customer service they provide before, during and after open enrollment to help drive the success of our company. The Open Enrollment Survival Kit serves as a thank you and includes playful items that our partners can enjoy as a way to escape the stress of Open Enrollment season.


Predictive Modeling, Short-Term Recovery Campaign - Mercer Consumer

Predictive Modeling Short-Term Recovery CampaignBecause the analytics team used advanced analytic techniques to create a predictive regression model, the direct mail campaign was able to reduce mail expenses by efficiently predicting and targeting the marketing material to those NARFE members more likely to purchase STR. While NARFE is the only client with a STR client-specific model, there is now an opportunity to create a client-specific model for additional clients that need to cut quantity or reduce marketing dollars in future mailings.



Super Duper - Lessing-Flynn Advertising

Super DuperMany consumers go to the gas pump and reach for Super Unleaded — the cheapest and most commonly used fuel in the United States. Lessing-Flynn Advertising, in partnership with the Iowa Corn Growers Association created a campaign to introduce and educate Iowans about the use and benefits of E-15 as an alternative fuel in vehicles 2001 or newer. By launching a catchy animated video and jingle and incorporating these assets into various channel distributions and giveaways, E-15 will forever be known as Super Duper Unleaded throughout the state.

Vermeer - Do A Demo Get A Yeti - Lessing-Flynn Advertising

Do A Demo Get A YetiVermeer data shows that when their target audience demo’s one of their products, there is a significant increase in the likelihood of converting them to a sale. Therefore, the “Do a Demo. Get a YETI.” campaign was created to increase total demo sign ups across North America with the primary goal of increasing retail sales. The campaign resulted in 186 demo form completions, 43 demo’s given by Vermeer dealers and 9 total retail sales —spanning across 35 states.





Vermeer.com Responsive Redesign - Vermeer Corporation

Vermeer Responsive RedesignWith a tough ag economy underway, Vermeer Corporation worked with Lessing-Flynn to create a updated Vermeer.com responsive design that was could be implemented with the internal IT team. The redesign created dramatic results with its focus on increased conversions, improved website structure, updated content, SEO and keyword optimization and a more mobile-friendly user experience. Views of equipment specifications skyrocketed 1,171.55% and video views surged 841.64% making the project an instant success within a tight budget.



Vermeer Dealer Portal Replacement Research - Lessing-Flynn Advertising

Vermeer Dealer Portal Replacement ResearchIn 2016, Vermeer Corporation, in partnership with the research firm of Nucleus Marketing Lab, obtained feedback through an electronic survey of Vermeer Industrial and Forage dealers, as well as Vermeer Corporation employees whose primary roles involve working with dealers. Survey responses helped shape plans, requirements, and functionality for the replacement of the Vermeer dealer portal, as well as future content strategy and audience persona development. The survey feedback also provided valuable demographic insights into dealerships never before available for use in shaping dealer communication strategic plans, and prioritizing phases of the dealer portal build, based on which dealership roles interact most with the portal and Vermeer Corporation. Survey results were incorporated into the 2016 portal platform assessment project, saving the business considerable time by conducting a full-court press to obtain input from dealerships across the globe, and incorporating their input into the planning process, saving months of time and valuable resources.

YESS Duck Derby 2016: What A Duck Can Do - Strategic America

YESS Duck DerbyIn its ninth year, Youth Emergency Services & Shelter (YESS) needed to find a better way to keep its annual fundraiser, the Duck Derby, interesting to the Des Moines Metro community. While the Duck Derby itself is widely known across the Metro, YESS had received feedback that many attendees don’t make the connection between the event and YESS. Strategic America created a promotions plan to show how the donations help YESS by illustrating “What A Duck Can Do.” This theme was woven into three strategies: a social media infographic and video campaign, engaging media personalities through media relations, and encouraging repeat donations via direct mail.





Vermeer National Farm Machinery Show - Lessing-Flynn Advertising

Vermeer National Farm Machinery ShowThe National Farm Machinery Show provided a valuable event venue to showcase Vermeer products and innovations while focusing on their mission to create a relationship with customers and drive product demonstrations. By creating an eye-catching booth showcasing equipment and offering a giveaway, Vermeer created a memorable impression on hundreds of visitors.




I Switched Videos - Lessing-Flynn Advertising

I Switched VideosLessing-Flynn partnered with Vermeer to create a series of testimonial videos that demonstrate the advantages to making the switch to Vermeer hay and forage tools. We wanted to show potential customers that switching to Vermeer could make the haymaking process more convenient, trouble-free and even more enjoyable. These stories really resonated with our target audience (current and prospective customers) which explains why the videos have been viewed more than 188,000 times, exceeding our original goal by over 53 percent.