The Holmes Report has awarded Merck a 2019 Innovation SABRE Award – North America in the category of Employee Engagement for its Opportunities & Challenges animation series.

Merck partnered with Gagen MacDonald to help reimagine its internal communication strategy as a means to increase employee engagement and improve employee understanding of the company strategy. Through internal research, Merck identified a need to provide employees clarity on how the company’s strategy was designed to respond to market shifts and how leadership decisions targeted the company’s success in an evolving landscape. The team agreed the key ingredient to promote a greater understanding of the strategy was transparency, focusing on the “why” behind the company’s strategic choices.

So the idea of the Opportunities & Challenges animation series was born – a series of nine videos that would candidly reveal to employees how market factors, opportunities and specific industry challenges drive Merck’s strategic decisions daily. Communicating complex information simply in a fresh and engaging way, the series enabled employees to see clearly how their work contributes to Merck’s success.

From its debut at a senior leader summit, Merck and MSD leader and employee audiences were continuously engaged in the animation series. The videos fueled new conversations and fresh thinking around the company strategy. With record views and heightened employee engagement, this series became a foundational component of the strategy work the organization is continuing to build upon today.

The Innovation SABRE Awards recognize superior innovation in experiential marketing, earned media, social media and community management, and brand content. According to The Holmes Report, a record number of entries made this year exceptionally competitive. Winners were selected by a jury panel from proven innovation leaders including eBay, Pinterest, Facebook, and PayPal, and were announced on Wednesday, February 13 at the JW Marriott in San Francisco.