Most Innovative Marketing Program

2013 Crystal Achievement Award Winners


Large Manufacturer

"We're for the visionaries" Consumer Campaign


Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co. Inc.

Wausau, Wis.

A long-time manufacturer of premium quality windows and doors, Kolbe has enjoyed a solid reputation among builders and architects, but its direct outreach to consumers has been limited. With customers becoming increasingly involved in all phases of the purchasing process, the company decided it wanted to expand the brand’s legacy from the trade audience to the consumer. In order to do so, it developed a multifaceted consumer campaign that included advertising to build consumer awareness, a new website, an online co-op marketing program, literature, public relations and social media to cultivate product consideration, and a channel engagement program to help close the purchase cycle.


Kolbe products are generally used in high-end projects, which meant the campaign had to reach a very specific target: a small percentage of wealthy homeowners. Before developing campaign components, syndicated research determined the target audience, including their age demographics, characteristics, media consumption and buying behavior. In addition, the audience was psychographically defined as being unique, knowledgeable and savvy when it came to purchase decisions.

Targeting affluent consumers, magazine ads, as well as other campaign elements, depicted beautiful products, a personal aesthetic and a high-end lifestyle.  

To reach Kolbe’s discriminating and affluent consumers, it was clear that both messaging and brand imagery had to evolve. To create an upscale consumer face, tone and experience, Kolbe took advantage of its lack of consumer recognition, and positioned itself as exclusive, unknown to the masses, professionally preferred and not for the mainstream. This approach played into the audience’s desire to be unique and knowledgeable by implying that Kolbe should be considered by savvy consumers who demand the best for their homes. This resulted in the brand’s new theme line, ‘We’re for the visionaries.’

This theme was reflected throughout the campaign, including print ads, online ads, a consumer brochure and a website, by depicting beautiful products, personal aesthetic and a high-end lifestyle. Kolbe’s advertising approach zeroed in on affluent homeowners who were in a purchase consideration mindset by reaching them via exclusive media. Magazine ads were placed in publications that best fit Kolbe’s audience, had content related to home and lifestyle, and showcased Kolbe within an elegant environment. To reach the consumer in the digital space, Kolbe implemented search engine marketing, an enhanced social media program and online banner ad campaigns. The national online banner ad campaign targeted the audience demographically, behaviorally and contextually. The online program also served the company’s dealers particularly well.

In-depth interviews prior to the start of the campaign revealed that dealers were looking to reach consumers directly, particularly online; however, most didn’t know where to start. In response, Kolbe created an online co-op advertising program that not only helped leverage the new consumer campaign, but strengthened its distributors’ marketing efforts. Kolbe made its new banner ad for the national consumer campaign available to dealers to promote their specific business. Each ad was beautifully designed to appeal to Kolbe’s targeted affluent consumer, and though it promoted the Kolbe brand, the dealer’s name was incorporated. When consumers clicked on the ad, they were directed to the dealer’s website. The program resulted in a win-win situation for all involved, as it not only built brand awareness, but also drove leads and sales for Kolbe dealers.

The popularity of the Kolbe campaign among our Crystal Achievement Award judges this year is evidenced not only in its recognition as the winner in the Most Innovative Program category.  The "We are the Visionaries" consumer brochure was selected in the Best Product Literature category and its redesigned was selected as Best Industry Website category.  As one judge stated, "The Kolbe materials were exceptional. Kudos to their team. Integrated. Beautiful. On target. Fresh. I loved them."

Animated online ads were created for dealers to leverage the campaign and bring leads to their own sites.



Small/Medium Manufacturer


Radio Campaign


Mathews Brothers Co.

Belfast, Maine

Despite a 159-year history of making windows, Mathews Brothers never “branded” its products or the company. Consequently, it has long been relatively unknown to both the trade and to consumers. The result of this lack of name awareness was that, when builders, remodelers or homeowners went into a lumberyard and saw Mathews Brothers products, the typical response was, “I have never heard of them.”

  The campaign looked to gain name recognition for the company and each ad ends with these two tag lines.

To overcome this problem, the company began a radio advertising campaign specifically designed to raise brand awareness. The commercials were also meant to tie in with the manufacturer’s product branding, which is more formally—and seriously—laid out in its brochures. Since the company only had a small budget to run the radio campaign for a limited time, it opted for two 30-second spots in the morning drive time and two 30-second spots in the afternoon drive time, three days a week, on three stations that covered 80 percent of the population of the state of Maine.

The goal of the program was not to sell products, but to gain name recognition for the company. In order to do this, the commercials had to be memorable. Often taking a tongue-in-cheek approach, the manufacturer decided to drive home two messages: the correct spelling of its name (“Mathews Brothers, with one ‘t’”), and its place in history (“America’s oldest window manufacturer”). The end result of the program, if successful, would be measured by how many people remembered either of those two tag lines.

  Video versions of the radio ads can be accessed through manufacturer's Facebook page.

Shortly after the campaign started, the manufacturer started getting a positive response from its dealers. They were hearing the commercials, but more importantly, their customers were hearing the commercial. Now, people were going into the lumberyards, seeing the company’s windows, and saying “Mathews Brothers, with one ‘t.’”

Meanwhile, most of the manufacturer’s employees never had the opportunity to hear the commercials, since they were working when the spots ran. Mathews Brothers decided to put them on its Facebook pageto provide employees better access. However, since Facebook doesn’t support audio files, video versions of the commercials had to be created. Initially, the videos were photographs or other graphics with the audio running in the background. Soon, though, requests began coming in to make the “video radio commercials” more like real videos. At this point, the project started to take on a life of its own, eventually leading to the Mathews Christmas Chorus.

The online videos proved to be popular, but more importantly, the radio campaign proved to be an overwhelming success. Mathews Brothers has since expanded it to the rest of its market area, which encompasses all of New England, and many more people know which company is the nation’s oldest window manufacturer.



  An introductory brochure highlights the unique logo and brand identity of the Genius window design.

Industry Supplier


Genius Ultra-Performance Window Launch


Deceuninck North America

Monroe, Ohio

When it developed the Genius Ultra-Performance Window, Deceuninck North America saw it as a dramatically different product that provided a quantum leap in performance. As a result, the company and its agency, Elias/Savion Advertising, didn’t want to take a traditional approach to launch the product. Instead, they developed an innovative strategy to talk directly to architects and provide them the first peek at an entirely new window category.

A single-product booth was developed for its debut at the 2012 AIA show.

The program used a number of innovative marketing avenues. First and foremost, a logo and brand identity was developed to pique architects’ creative side by using the unique motion of the window as a central element. Deceuninck also selected the 2012 American Institute of Architects exhibition as the debut event. It developed a unique, single-product booth design for Genius that featured interactive iPad controls, hands-on product demonstrations, an open flow for architects, and a Genius bar to showcase the product and its attributes, all with clean sightlines and crisp detail.

  A press conference at the AIA show gained even more attention for the new window.

Architects were invited to the show with a themed invitation and a series of email blasts, along with a news conference. More than 800 media placements resulted. Other elements in the program included a targeted microsite, created expressly for architects. The site provided a glimpse into the features offered as well as a Genius gallery. Architects could register online to get updates on Genius as it was being readied for production. In this way, Deceuninck compiled an excellent list of professional contacts to leverage as the product became commercially available.

A microsite was created to compile a list of architects interested in the product.  

In coordination with the graphic theme of the trade show booth, invitation, logo and microsite, an introductory Genius brochure was developed to provide a design overview of the new window, its primary attributes and a sense of its appeal in the market.

Speaking the architects’ language with their sense of design and performance, the goal was to leverage the influence and opinion-leading power behind the architect to create a unique “pull” for the product in the industry. The result created an extensive buzz for the product and put it on the radar for architects across the country. Architects’ interest sparked a large number of inquiries from fabricators and distributors looking to be first to add the product to their portfolios.




Other 2013 Crystal Achivement Award Winners:




Most Innovative Window

Large Manufacturer
VSS No Leak Solar Powered Fresh Air Skylight
Velux America

Small/Medium Manufacturer
Hybridex and Tri-Bridex Windows with 5 Seal Defense System
Durabuilt Windows & Doors



Most Innovative Door

Large Manufacturer
Lemieux Torrefied Door Collection
Masonite International Corp.

Small/Medium Manufacturer
Series 9600 Four-Track Sliding Vinyl Door
MGM Industries


Most Innovative Component

Solutions by Veka USB Charging System
Veka Inc.

Z-Series Articulating Cap Sill
Endura Products Inc.

Glass/Glazing Component
View Dynamic Glazing
View Inc.






Most Innovative Plant

Solar Innovations


Most Innovative Machine

IG Production/Glazing
Erdman 400 Series Spacer Applicator
Erdman Automation Corp.

Frame/Sash/Door Fabrication
SMI-LP-DM90-F Automatic Double Miter Saw with Inline Fabrication
St├╝rtz Machinery





Best Product Literature

Large Manufacturer
"We're for the visionaries" Consumer Brochure
Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co. Inc.

Small/Medium Manufacturer
Product Brochure
LaCantina Doors

Industry Supplier
Product Literature Overhaul
Phantom Screens


Best Industry Website

Large Manufacturer
Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co. Inc.

Small/Medium Manufacturer
LaCantina Doors

Industry Supplier
Deceuninck North America



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