Explore Our Hermes Creative Award-Winning Projects | MJ2 Marketing


Explore Our Hermes Creative Award-Winning Projects

We recently announced that we have been awarded three 2024 Hermes Creative Awards, including one Platinum award recognition. The Hermes Creative Awards, presented by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP), recognizes creative professionals working within the conceptual, writing, and design phases of digital media.  

Platinum Award Winner: Brand Evolution for the Cleveland Pops Orchestra 

We received a Platinum Award for our collaboration with Robb McCormick Photography on our Brand Evolution project for the Cleveland Pops Orchestra. The top-level award was featured in the categories of Print Media, Photography, and Brand Evolution Through Photography.  

As a part of a larger brand identity project, we partnered with Robb McCormick Photography to create a refreshed photography style for the Cleveland Pops Orchestra for all marketing initiatives including website, emails, paid advertising, print, social, and more. 

“I have enjoyed a working partnership with the MJ2 creative team for years and love the collaborative nature in which they work,” says McCormick. “This particular type of photoshoot is my favorite type of work,” he says, “as the combination of music, art, and color, was fun and allowed for a ton of creativity.” – maybe just a quote panel here or remove 

The Assignment 

A New Brand Identity for the Cleveland Pops 

  • As a part of a larger identity project, we were tasked with creating a refreshed photography style for the Cleveland Pops Orchestra to be used for all marketing initiatives including website, emails, paid advertising, print, social, and more. 

Key Findings 

  1. Aging audience – the average age of existing subscribers is over 60. 2/3 of the revenue for the Cleveland Pops comes from show ticket sales, and 1/3 from donors. We were told that ticket revenue is decreasing in relation to the price of the show performance. Creative implication – We need our creative to attract a wider base of customers, especially those younger than our current base (ideal 30 – 60), while not alienating current subscribers.  
  1. Due to lack of marketing, the Cleveland Pops is facing low overall awareness in the market. In addition, they are often confused with The Cleveland Orchestra. Creative implication- We want our brand identity to look recognizably different from The Cleveland Orchestra. 
  1. Find new ways of infusing “delight” with audiences through email campaigns, acquisition campaigns for ticket purchase and annual appeal, social media, etc. Creative implication – Create “thumb stopping” creative for social and digital use so it resonates with younger, mobile audiences. 
  1. The Cleveland Pops needs to update their marketing to help remain a viable organization in the future. Creative implication- A new modern look for the brand, combined with increased hyper focused modernized marketing campaigns will help drive subscribers and donors. A major endowment campaign will benefit greatly from the new branding. 

The Target Audience 

Ideally, we would like to attract the younger or more modern “old soul” (30 – 50) We want to continue to cater to our older demographic, termed “young at heart” who will continue to support the Pops and enjoy the entertainment. (55 – 80) In summary, we want to attract a younger audience to the Cleveland Pops, while maintaining the core (and those approaching the core age) interested in attending and supporting the organization for years to come. 


  • Isolating the musician on color adds energy and excitement.  
  • Capturing movement with a long shutter speed reflects the skill and power of the performance. 
  • Bright-colored backgrounds show the mood and energy of the music. 
  • Contrasting color photography with black and white gives a nice contrast to the layout. 
  • Pick unique angles that add interest and pull the viewer in. 

The Final Product 

Gold Recognition: Website Design for SproutFive 

We are happy to report that MJ2 was also recognized as a Gold-award-winning website design for our work with SproutFive. 

The Assignment  

In an RFP issued in April 2022, SproutFive™, formerly South Side Early Learning, sought proposals to design and develop a new website for the organization during its time of transition from a 100-year-old provider of childcare and early learning at a single location to a nationally recognized leader in early childhood education.   

SproutFive leadership wanted the web presence to help tell the story of early learning distinctively and authentically. To do so, they sought a passionate, innovative, and resourceful partner to work on the web project. One who recognized the value of data-driven decision-making; especially capable of connecting the dots; and values the timelessness of brand assets. 

View our work below: 

Honorable Mention: Print Media, Gatefold Brochure for The Catholic Foundation of Ohio 

MJ2 Marketing also earned an Honorable Mention in the category of Print Media for a gatefold brochure with The Catholic Foundation of Ohio

The Assignment  

The Catholic Foundation launched a new fundraising campaign as part of its “Real Presence. Real Future” rollout and needed campaign collateral to develop the narrative as the development professionals begin to solicit key donors.  

Key Deliverables 

To create the collateral piece, MJ2 went through an iterative process that included design, copywriting, and image selection. Because the timeline to launch was tight, we first developed a ‘sprint’ two-page collateral piece for use during training for the development professionals tasked with soliciting donations prior to the final collateral being complete.  

  • A creative brief and mood board that arranges images, materials, text, and other design elements into a format that is representative of the final design’s style. 
  • The design will feature simple, elevated concise elements throughout, focusing on consistency and imagery that can be repurposed and used throughout the campaign. 
  •  A content outline delineated from the 25+ pages of materials provided by the Foundation to help define the structure and tone of the written narrative.  
  • The collateral copy will include testimonial and storytelling features sourced by our content team and drawn out from the provided content.  
  • Appropriate charts and graphs designed for inclusion in the final collateral piece to help tell the story of the campaign.  
  • Sourcing and editing photos and design assets, including those high-resolution images provided by the Foundation, along with stock images and iconography. 
  • The final 8-page, 8.5X11 accordion-style brochure delivered to the printer.