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From the 5th Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Defend Different

Entered in Diversity & Inclusion, Financial Services


At PEMCO Insurance, we are proud of our deep history of diversity and inclusion. We are constantly looking for ways to celebrate our people and customers and all the ways we are different. “Defend Different” is PEMCO’s diversity and inclusion pledge to our customers, employees and community. To defend different, we know we must be different ourselves.  

Workplace culture is a living thing that requires active nurturing. PEMCO made the Defend Different music video to reinforce to our employees our cultural commitment to embracing our differences. We tapped into the power of music and the collaborative spirit of local musicians and filmmakers. The video employs a simple but powerful metaphor: how the infinite variety of music can unify us, not by masking our differences, but by emphasizing them. Just as each musician interprets a song in their own unique way, we firmly believe in empowering everyone to be their best selves. It’s about mirroring our community to deliver on our promise to customers. It’s about defending different.  

Originally, we wanted this work to encapsulate for PEMCO employees our diversity and inclusion commitment. But because of more recent events, it became extremely relevant to share it more widely. While we may be further apart in some ways, ultimately, we’re all in this together. We developed a campaign in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic to share the video with our customers and our community.

Strategy and Execution

PEMCO partnered with the creative team at Edelman to create a video to communicate PEMCO’s diversity pledge to “Defend Different” that honors that commitment and our history. We wanted to show what makes us all unique is the way each of us understands and interprets the world in our own way. Different is worth defending.  

For PEMCO, having One Diverse Team matters because everything we do is built on our people – on each of us individually, and together – and when our workforce reflects our customers and community, we're better prepared to engage and support our market place and communities.  

This project brought together a diverse group of Northwest musicians to create something truly special. We wanted to show that what makes us all unique is the way each of us understands and interprets the world in our own way. We visualized this through the expression of music. The exact same notes on a page can be expressed in so many different ways: the twang of a guitar, the swell of an orchestra, the heartbeat of a piano, or the energetic groove of a rock band. The song of life is beautiful, no matter how you play it. 

The way this project came to fruition also reflects the very message it conveys. We brought together an eclectic group of artists with vastly different backgrounds, styles, and personalities — and they gelled immediately. Everyone was thrilled to try new things and work together in service of this important message. 

This video weaves together four musical interpretations of the same section of “Day N Night” by Whitney Monge, which is weighted equally between four scenes, each expressed by a different group of artists. The overarching thread is that we, as individuals, can interpret an idea uniquely, yet through our distinct perspectives, diversity and community, our ideas can soar to new heights. 

The piece kicks off with our solo vocalist before a string quartet, pianist, and rhythm duo reinterpret the melody. In the final segment our vocalist returns with a new band that shows the piece coming full circle and bringing the now familiar song to new heights.  

The theme of diversity and inclusion extended to our crew and locations as well. An all-female creative team concepted the vision and then a person of color as director turned it into reality. We tapped the energy of some of Seattle’s most hallowed musical spaces to record and shoot, including the legendary Robert Lang Studios in Shoreline, Hazy Boy Music -- a new up-and-coming sound studio in South Park, and the Central District’s Washington Hall, which has supported and celebrated Seattle’s Black community for decades. 

For many years we've been communicating inclusion and our understanding of the uniqueness of our community by saying “We are a lot like you. A little different." Today, we do that with our diversity statement: We value you for all the ways you are the same and all the ways you are different. We Defend Different. 


Our goal: Increase awareness of PEMCO as a company that embodies humanity, compassion and empathy, and greatly values diversity and inclusion. In turn this is a company that you want to work for and/or do business with.  

Overall, the results were positive and garnered an organic reach of 2,651 engagements.  

Co-brand content provided additional reach of 1,500 video views and about 50 supportive comments about the musicians.  

Here are some of the results by the numbers:  

Organic Social 

Paid Social Media 

Co-Branded Content (optimized for video views) 


Video for Defend Different

Entrant Company / Organization Name

PEMCO Mutual Insurance Co. / Edelman / All is Well Productions


Entry Credits