CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2016 BRILLIANCE AWARD WINNERS

Wow. You schools and agencies outdid yourselves! The first annual InspirED School Marketers Brilliance Awards for excellence in private school marketing drew entries from California to Mississippi, Wisconsin to Texas, representing small schools and large across the U.S.. The judges were blown away by the quality and creativity of the entries, and competition for the top three awards in each category was fierce. This demonstrates that so many of you are at the top of your game and making an impact for the schools you serve.

We here at InspirED are, well, inspired by the work we’ve seen. We hope you are as well.

InspirED thanks all the schools and agencies who entered, and we invite everyone to enter the bigger, expanded 2017 Brilliance Awards in October. 

We are indebted to the 2016 Brilliance Judges, below, who took their role seriously, gave full consideration to all entries, and volunteered their time. 

THANK YOU, 2016 JUDGES

 

PRINTED VIEWBOOOK

PRESBYTERIAN DAY SCHOOL

Memphis, TN • 2 Years-Grade 6, Boys Day School • Group 500+


SAMPLE JUDGES' COMMENTS

What parent of a young boy wouldn't find the cover both compelling and inviting? The design and photography inside mirror the energy of boys. The copy speaks directly to parents and is unique to their mission. Well done, Presbyterian Day School!

I love this Viewbook. The writing is punchy and clever, accompanied by beautiful photos and crisp layout. This was a very fun (and smart) way to explain their school's philosophy in a very simple way.

They get boys, and everything in the book helps prove that. The typography and graphic treatment of images lend themselves to the bold, straightforward messaging. If I had a boy, and I do, I'd want to visit the classrooms to see the bungee desks and standing chairs. 

SILVER

RAVENSCROFT SCHOOL

Raleigh, NC • PK-12, Coed Day • Group 500+


SAMPLE JUDGES' COMMENTS

Prepare to Soar is a complete, comprehensive package. The strength of the photography and the clarity of the design concept carry the theme. I was uplifted and inspired by this piece.

Though the viewbook has a pretty typical progression (lower, middle, upper, arts, sports...) and occasionally falls back on generic ideas ("everyone is known"), there is enough here that is unusual and distinctly Ravenscroft to enchant. The raven metaphor, which could easily go wrong, works for all ages, and the little raven facts/footprints provide a lovely and theme-appropriate diversion. Special kudos to the well-crafted sidebar stories, which provide proof of what works in tangible, personal, and engaging ways.
 

BRONZE

STOLTZE DESIGN
FOR THE PUTNEY SCHOOL

Putney, VT • Grades 9-12, Coed Boarding and Day • Group Up to 300


SAMPLE JUDGES' COMMENTS

This viewbook succeeds on all levels, portraying an unusual school in just as unusual a manner. The fresh format — three books wire-bound together — conveys gobs of information without feeling overwhelming. The writing — from the title ("here students do") to the body copy to snippets that reinforce the messaging ("the bold and mostly brilliant ideas behind this place") — is direct and delightful. Repeated juxtaposition of seeming opposites (think/do, self/others, yes/and no) is an attention-grabbing and effective way to demonstrate the results of the unexpected program. It's simultaneously witty and serious, pretty and substantive.

Looking at the size of this viewbook was intimidating, but once I opened it, I enjoyed reading from cover to cover. They clearly know who they are and are proud of who they are. I feel I have a strong understanding of the school after looking at this.


PRINTED MAGAZINE

CHESHIRE ACADEMY

Cheshire, CT • Grades 9-PG, Coed Boarding and Day • Group 301-500


SAMPLE JUDGES' COMMENTS

Visuals are stunning, and the art is moving. This is more than an informational magazine, it allows us to dive in the soul of the school itself... simply excellent.

Gorgeous layout and photography, even the class notes are well laid out, you just want to spend time with this. Also, a perfect bind book that doesn't snap shut on you.

Unusual size, nice choice of paper, well-printed, beautiful images, nice use of typography, nice variety of subjects given it's the Arts Issue, this magazine is attractive to anyone — not just people associated with Cheshire. Sophisticated.

SILVER

STOLTZE DESIGN
FOR MILTON ACADEMY

Milton, MA • Grades K-12, Coed Boarding and Day • Group 500+


SAMPLE JUDGES' COMMENTS

Great cover, nice use of white space, good balance of imagery and text, compelling alum stories, nice photos, nice size, well-printed on nice stock, clever back cover, nice energy.

Love the cover! Interesting content as a magazine, not just as a school magazine, covers the ground it needs to cover as an alumni mag but the alumni features are really well done, as is  the on campus news.

Except that the theme is "trends," this issue is equally as successful as its predecessor. [Ed note: see Bronze winner.]

BRONZE

STOLTZE DESIGN
FOR MILTON ACADEMY

Milton, MA • Grades K-12, Coed Boarding and Day • Group 500+


SAMPLE JUDGES' COMMENTS

This magazine is filled with really interesting stories that are not just "news and notables" but clearly reflect what the school values. It has a nice clean, crisp layout with great photos. I knew nothing about this school previously, but it was such a compelling piece that I enjoyed looking through.

Across the board, this is a fine magazine--interesting and attractive, not to mention great marketing for the school. 

Beautiful photography along with well-thought-out content make this magazine one of my favorites. Love the alumni profiles showing leadership in varying fields — and varying ages. 


WEBSITE HOMEPAGE

INRESONANCE
FOR HARLEM ACADEMY

New York, NY • Grades 1-8, Coed Day • Group Up To 300


SAMPLE JUDGES' COMMENTS

From the moment the site loads it explains exactly who the school is and what it does using both bright, colorful and happy images and impactful copy. Scrolling down gets you deeper into the story. It is concise and clear. Compels to support the school. 

Fabulous navigation from the home page with the menu in upper right corner, love seeing the whole site on one page. Graphically, it's beautiful. Use of pie charts for both information and graphic element is really nice. The FAQ page is well done.

The copy does a great job of explaining the thinking behind the education and how the kids get there. Seeing kids on a city street seemed to separate this site from the others, for me. Simple. Sophisticated.

SILVER (TIE)

MISSION MINDED
FOR MARIN ACADEMY

San Rafael, CA • Grades 9 -12, Coed Day • Group 301-500


SAMPLE JUDGES' COMMENTS

I was very impressed by the creativity of this website.

Great photos, love the key questions and the voices of MA, clean and bright.

Interesting navigation. I like that you are taken to the page with options as opposed to an exhaustive dropdown menu. Calls to action within text are nice. Bonus: logo and color scheme are very appealing.

SILVER (TIE)

WOODWARD ACADEMY

College Park, GA • Grades PK-12, Coed Day • Group 301-500 


SAMPLE JUDGES' COMMENTS

Very well done and engaging website. Wordward is setting the bar high for future school marketing endeavors.

Lovely use of video, and great video, unexpected, well integrated. Woodward difference feature is well designed and appealing.

I loved the video on this site. It grabbed me from the minute I started watching. The homepage is clean and the main message points are clearly laid out. Love the simplicity, yet it tells so much.


ENROLLMENT VIDEO

MISSION MINDED
FOR DREW SCHOOL

San Francisco, CA • Grades 9-12, Coed Day • Group Up to 300


SAMPLE JUDGES' COMMENTS

WOW! Audio grabs you immediately upon playing. An entire video of students talking to students. No adults voices and clearly no adult audience considered when making it. Powerful, compelling. I bet they get a ton of positive feedback from prospective students.

This video captured student voices flawlessly. I applaud the videographer for putting students at ease so that the video feels like a conversation. The intentional change of pace throughout kept me engaged. I want to go there!

Like that it’s from the point of view of the kids. It's such a welcoming video — the quality of video is high but it doesn't feel "perfect" or too polished. Great feeling music. Feels like a great community, diverse school, and everyone is encouraged and celebrated to be themselves. 

SILVER

COGNIZANT FILMS
FOR VISTAMAR SCHOOL

El Segundo, CA • Grades 9-12, Coed Day • Group Up to 300


SAMPLE JUDGES' COMMENTS

...Made me wish I could go there. Little details celebrate "real" moments. Compelled me to visit the website and find more information, which is the objective of an enrollment video.

The video gave me a feeling I was in the school working as hard and having as much fun as the students and faculty. Felt like a wonderful community that I'd want to be a part of. It was long but I didn't even notice because I wanted to see more.

This school does an excellent job of distinguishing itself.They do a tremendous job of breaking from the pack of the usual independent school talking points. And it's done with evidence and external validation. The video beautifully and artfully supports the text.

BRONZE

GERMANTOWN FRIENDS SCHOOL

Philadelphia, PA • Grades K-12, Coed Day • Group 500+


SAMPLE JUDGES' COMMENTS

This video is an experience to behold. Not only is it mission driven, but there is no doubt as to the values of this school. I would want to send my own children there.

I love this video. The messaging is very reflective of the school, impact is strong. Very polished. Simply said, the complete package.

Video was short and simple, but so impactful. Loved that it started with the young, sweet voices and ended with the older students. Loved the colors and textures in the imagery.


ANNUAL FUND APPEAL

SEWICKLEY ACADEMY

Pittsburgh, PA • Grades PK-12, Coed Day • Group 500+


SAMPLE JUDGES' COMMENTS

This was a clear winner. What an amazing way to educate people on giving and anticipate questions they would receive from skeptical donors. This is such a fun, clever video that I assume has been very effective in Sewickley's advancement efforts.

Humor and frankness go a long way. Though the video isn't particularly Sewickley-specific and doesn't tug at heart strings, it does get the viewer's attention by addressing the "why give?" question head on and by being different. Having line drawings as opposed to the usual photography contributes to that effect.

Everyone is told what happens if they give but not if they fail to give. Way to illuminate in a creative, non-offensive, informative way! It even acknowledges in the end that taxes are not the compelling reason to give. Tries and succeeds at answering some of the obvious questions of non-givers. Bet they converted a lot of people!

SILVER

FRIENDS SEMINARY

New York, NY • Grades K-12, Coed Day • Group 500+


SAMPLE JUDGES' COMMENTS

The videography work is beautiful in this appeal. I love the involvement of the children and the fact that they share their aspirational goals. The range of children they chose will be sure to reach a wide range of the parent community.

Nice idea to have three videos that track the results of what the kids want to learn. Visually appealing. Not dull at all.

BRONZE

CEH DESIGN
FOR WHITBY SCHOOL 

Greenwich, CT • 18 months - Grade 8, Coed Day • Group 301-50


SAMPLE JUDGES' COMMENTS

This is a very creative approach that breaks readers away from the "same old appeal". The theme seems age appropriate, and the copy did a great job carrying the theme through. Photography could be stronger.

Visuals, text, and even a decodable message carry the "Mission Possible" theme through this appeal. The playful tone matches a K-8 school, and it is different enough from standard appeals to catch the reader's eye.


CAMPAIGN CASE STATEMENT OR MICROSITE

CHENEY & COMPANY
FOR BROOKS SCHOOL

North Andover, MA • Grades 9-12, Coed Boarding and Day • Group 301-500


SAMPLE JUDGES' COMMENTS

This is a comprehensive package. The microsite was well constructed, each theme was fully articulated and each detail was polished. The videography and photography was exceptional.

Well-designed site. The video was particularly impactful. Though the concept for it is not new, the interview content was terrific.

They stated their case in a compelling simple way. It engaged the viewer by telling the Brooks story clearly.

SILVER

MILLBROOK SCHOOL

Millbrook, NY • Grades 9-12, Coed Boarding and Day • Group 301-500


SAMPLE JUDGES' COMMENTS

I really like how Millbrook School showed their school's growth with various infographics throughout the brochure. Their photos are absolutely beautiful, and help the reader have a much more concrete idea of the school's vision.

While presenting in a more traditional format, this case statement was very compelling. The power of photography was at play, and the simplicity of the design furthered the impact.

Very pretty to look at, this is a feel-good report of what has been accomplished at the school, imbued with the feeling of momentum. It does not, however, hit the "why give more?" message compellingly, perhaps on purpose.

BRONZE

CHENEY & COMPANY
FOR THE NIGHTINGALE-BAMFORD SCHOOL

New York, NY • Grades K-12, Girls Day • Group 500+


SAMPLE JUDGES' COMMENTS

Love the campiagn name and how it was tied into every facet of the campaign.

Beautiful, clean design that matched the photography. Video was fabulous. Copy was on point.

Reminiscent of Brooks but missing a bit of the zing of the bells and whistles, this microsite is attractive and makes a good case for school needs.

 

Terms: Submission of entries to the InspirED School Marketers Brilliance Awards acknowledges the right of InspirED to use them for publicity for the purpose of promoting future competitions or the InspirED website. Securing the release for any entries, whether digital or printed, is the responsibility of the entrant. All printed submissions become the property of InspirED and will not be returned. The judges may re-categorize submissions at their discretion. The judges will review all submissions and their decisions on categories and winners are final. Judges will recuse themselves from judging work from their own school or agency.