PPAI is accepting submissions to the 2022 Pyramid Awards through May 7. The annual awards honor creative excellence in the promotional products industry and recognize dependable suppliers, outstanding promotions, creative campaigns and exceptional craftsmanship by its members. To highlight and learn from 2021 Pyramid Award winners, PPB Newslink is speaking with them to learn more about what it means to secure a PPAI Pyramid win. This installment features Hopkins, Minnesota-based distributor Hillary’s, LLC and its silver award in the Self Promotion Campaign category for its submission, “Meaningful Communication in a Pandemic,” and Toronto, Ontario-headquartered business services provider commonsku and its gold award in the Self Promotion Campaign category for its submission “Mystery Box.”

Hillary’s, LLC’s campaign’s objective was to create meaningful and relevant communications during a business disruption while embracing the core values as a company. Using digital and direct mail combined with social media channels, Hillary’s sent out a message of positive energy, being stronger together, staying connected and re-energizing yourself during the 12-week campaign. Its creative newsletters shared recipes and ideas for connecting and caring for each other and inspired recipients during an uncertain time.

“2021 was my fourth submission and fourth Pyramid,” says Hillary Feder, MAS, president of Hillary’s, LLC. “Pyramids are a great way, from an independent perspective, to help you earn credibility within the industry and then use in your marketing. For me, it codifies the work we are doing is meaningful beyond me and my specific client that engaged us.”

Speaking on how they decided which of their programs to submit to the competition, Feder adds, “I look to our work that is different, creative, meaningful, purpose beyond just the product that creates engagement and supports the stakeholder experience.”

Hillary’s, LLC’s campaign resulted in engagement with clients, prospects and industry partners, positive communication and feedback, and a revenue increase exceeding $40,000. As for the award it won, Feder says, “We have used the video on our website, bring it up as appropriate in client and prospect conversations, and have the awards in a prominent place in our office.”

The commonsku Mystery Box was created to deliver a piece of the “skummunity” and event magic during an uncertain time. Partnering with an industry supplier, the creative process for the campaign began with custom tote bags made from previous event banners. Creating a unique, recycled custom tote paired with an uplifting card, the mystery box theme was a simple, bright and fun campaign. Using social media for this promotion, members were enticed by the mystery box theme and continued to a landing page for more information.

“We’ve been submitting commonsku in the Pyramid Awards competition for a number of years,” says Alyson Brunton, senior marketing coordinator. “We love that the awards competition highlights our industry’s best work, and allows us to showcase our favorite programs and successes. This industry is a daily grind, and so, if you’ve never considered submitting before, remember that it’s important to take a step back and recognize how far you and your team have come, and the amazing work you’ve achieved each year. There’s simply no better way to highlight the most successful programs you’ve accomplished from the year than submitting an application to the Pyramid Award Competition.”

Brunton adds, “Ultimately, the programs that we choose to submit in the competition are a combination of those that we’re most proud of and those that have yielded the most success for us in terms of ROI, analytics or whatever success metric we had set for it.”

With promotion through social media directing community members to a dedicated landing page, the campaign resulted in drop-shipping 75 mystery boxes and messages of surprise and support. commonsku also notes that the campaign proves how a great product and campaign can be created out of recycled materials. As for what the company does with its win, Brunton says, “We love using our Pyramid wins to enhance our business both internally and externally. Internally, our success in the Pyramid Awards competition is always great for team morale. It’s exciting to be recognized by our own industry, who know our work best, for a successful program and celebrate the win as a team. Displaying our awards in the office reminds us of what we’re capable of and drives us to work even harder for next year’s programs. Externally, as a software provider for the promotional products industry, our customers are acutely aware of the significance of winning a Pyramid Award. Whether it is for web design, a swag campaign or an educational event, we love sharing our wins with our customers through social media and the commonsku platform.”

For more information and to submit entries to the 2022 PPAI Pyramid Awards, go to www.ppai.org/pyramid. For assistance or additional questions, email awards@ppai.org.