WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service recognized industry leaders and stakeholders during the National Postal Forum 2021 Virtual Event held this week. Winners of the annual USPS Next Generation Campaign Awards were presented Tuesday, Sept. 21.

The Next Generation awards recognize innovative and effective business-to-consumer and business-to-business mail that increases engagement. Recipients of the awards showcased creative campaigns to drive open and response rates. Finalists in the Grand Champion and Innovative B2B Campaign categories had the opportunity to speak about their campaigns during the event.

Frintz, a company that prints digital photos from a phone app, was recognized with the Grand Champion Award for introducing a powerful new advertising option. Frintz used a patented process to print and mail high quality photos for free to consumers, along with targeted advertisements.

Gunderson Direct, a direct mail marketing agency, received the Innovative B2B Campaign Award. Its “GunderSmile Happier Holidays Gift Package” was designed to spread positivity, health and happiness. The package contained face masks and leveraged the power of smart speakers by enabling recipients to use a voice command to invoke a seasonal greeting.

Submissions for this year’s awards showcased a multitude of engagement elements and their combinations, such as physical interactivity, multisensory experiences with scents and textures, colorful envelopes, uniquely shaped mail pieces, personalized messages, and keepsakes.

The 2021 winners, finalists and honorable mentions are on display on the contest website, usps.com/nextgenaward/. A new version of the contest will be announced later this fall and updates will be provided on the contest website.

The Postal Service generally receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.