Fast Horse Snares Another Gold SABRE Award

May 8, 2013
Mike, Alex Jorg Fast Horse SABRE

Mike, Alex and Jörg.

Here’s a window into some of our great work: Fast Horse landed one of the biggest awards in marketing/PR last night.

Fast Horse took home a Gold SABRE in the Real Estate and Building Products category.

The award recognizes our work with Marvin Windows and Doors, the small-town Minnesota company that became a poster child for corporate responsibility and community commitment during the 2012 presidential election.

Jörg, Mike and Alex were on hand Tuesday to receive the award during a gala at Cipriani in New York City. The Holmes Report issues the SABRE awards each year.

This is our second Gold SABRE. We picked one up in 2011 in the “Global Program” category for our work with Coca-Cola on the Expedition 206 campaign.

In 2012, our work with Marvin stood out by miles. Special congratulations to John Reinan, who knocks it out of the park for Marvin on a regular basis.

Another note: Fast Horse was a finalist in three other categories:

  • Superior Achievement in Reputation Managment — Marvin Windows and Doors for “A Window into the Presidency”
  • Public Affairs — Jefferson Action for “Reclaim November, Ohio”
  • Food and Beverage — SweeTango for “Sweet Success for SweeTango”

So how did we score so big for Marvin? Here’s the introduction to our winning entry:

A Window Into the Presidency: Marvin’s 2012 Campaign

As President Obama kicked off his re-election campaign with a major speech on the economy, a Minnesota college student sent a surprised tweet: “Did Obama just mention Marvin Windows from Warroad Minnesota???”

The president didn’t simply mention Marvin Windows and Doors. He used the company’s story as the emotional climax of a highly anticipated address that set the economic themes of his 2012 campaign. Obama held up Marvin as an example to the nation.

Telling how Marvin refused to lay off workers in the depths of the recession as competitors made deep cuts, he said, “That’s how America was built. That’s why we’re the greatest nation on Earth. That’s what our greatest companies understand.” But the tale doesn’t end there. Obama returned to the Marvin story repeatedly during the highest-profile moments of the 2012 presidential campaign: in his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention; in the first presidential debate; and, finally, in his victory speech on Election Night.

His opponent, Mitt Romney, also praised Marvin in a high-profile, final-week campaign appearance at one of the company’s manufacturing facilities in the key swing state of Virginia.

How did a family-owned company in a tiny, northwoods town five miles from the Canadian border become one of the recurring touchstones of a presidential campaign? It didn’t happen by chance. It was the result of strategic efforts to promote Marvin’s 100-year heritage of family ownership, community involvement and product innovation as a competitive differentiator and reputation enhancer — and then making a concerted effort to fan the flames started by each presidential spark.