Introducing the Shorty Industry Awards

Best integration of social media with traditional media

Did you use Twitter or Facebook to amplify the content on your media website? Were you able to use Facebook or Twitter to make your news content readable on the real time web? Do you have a lot of followers and “likes” on your sites social channels?

Overview: Prior to the 2010 Video Music Awards, MTV launched an application called the MTV VMA Twitter Tracker. The web-based visual application displayed tweets and trending topics related to the awards. When the Awards aired September 12, 2010, the application featured a visualization of discussions happening on Twitter concerning the show and the nominated artists. The application showed the top 50 topics related to the awards show, the number of tweets per minute for the topic, and clickable tweets so fans could find out what others’ were talking about. Users could also use the application to tweet about the show with pre-loaded hashtags. The VMA Twitter Tracker connected fans and viewers before, during, and after the airing of the Awards on MTV.

Impact: Millions of tweets and users were cataloged and integrated into the application during the award’s ceremony. Popular artists, including Taylor Swift, were mentioned in more than 3,500 tweets a minute during the show. The MTV Video Music Awards also scored the biggest numbers for any MTV telecast since 2002. The VMAs had 11.4 million viewers and were also the single highest rated program on the network during 2010.


True Blood Season 3

Overview: True Blood is an HBO drama series about vampires created by Alan Ball. For the Season 3 premiere in June 2010, the show’s marketing team launched a digital media campaign centered on “The True Blood Ultimate Fan Experience.” A midnight screening event was held simultaneously in 50 movie theaters nationwide. Fans got a free screening of the Season 2 finale, an exclusive Season 3 sneak peak, and a live simulcast Q&A with Ball and the cast. The only way to get a ticket was through a Facebook application where fans “played” for local tickets overnight from 6:13 p.m. to 6:13 a.m., playing on the 6/13 premiere date. The show’s Facebook page also shared posters, mini-episodes, and behind-the-scenes content.

Traditional media included mobile app takeovers, homepage takeovers, an ad in Wired’s iPad app, and run-of-site banners. True Blood also placed a quick response code in a TV spot during the Lost finale that could be scanned by with a smart phone. The code led to exclusive online content. The campaign also had viral videos and a Snoop Dogg music video, “Oh Sookie.” On finale night, True Blood invited two actors active on Twitter, Kristin Bauer Van Straten and Joe Manganiello, to host a live Twitter chat at On-air promotion drove fans to the microsite to chat live with their favorite characters. True Blood won a Shorty Award for #entertainment last year.

Impact: The “True Blood Ultimate Fan Experience Facebook Sweepstakes” application saw over 750,000 visitors and more than 120,000 game plays with more than four engagements per entrant. More than 45% of participating fans shared or invited friends to play, and 36% sent virtual gifts of True Blood merchandise that was also available for purchase at the HBO online store, driving over $20,000 in sales. The Facebook page now has more than 6.7 million “likes.” The Season 3 premiere pulled in more than 5 million viewers, up 1.3 million viewers from the Season 2 premiere. It also beat FOX and NBC in its time slot.

CNN’s Election Pulse

Overview: For the 2010 U.S. midterm elections, CNN launched “Election Pulse,” a system that can analyze, process, visualize, and potentially forecast voting results in real-time via social media. The system sifted through millions of tweets, organized them by location, timestamp, and conversation. Then it extracted the most common threads or conversations and displayed the results on traditional and new media platforms, primarily television, Web, and mobile devices, including the iPad. On Election Day, CNN Election Pulse visualized more than 1.5 million tweets on 11 hotly contested Senate and governor races. It also reflected the national mood on several key political issues. According to CNN, “Never before has a news outlet analyzed and showcased this much real-time social media data around a major news event in such a comprehensive cross-platform experience.” Throughout the night, anchor John King showed the real-time visualizations and invited viewers to share the experience at home using handheld digital devices.

Impact: CNN’s tool provided insights into the midterm elections. State-by-state analysis showed whom voters were blaming for the recession, what motivated them to vote, and how they felt about the emerging Tea Party. The system also accurately predicted the results of close races in Nevada, Florida, and California.

CNN’s South Africa 2010 Twitter Buzz

Overview: For the 2010 International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) World Cup, hosted by South Africa, CNN created an exclusive, innovative, data visualization called “South Africa 2010: Twitter Buzz.” The visualization curated 11 million World Cup-related tweets every minute. At its peak on June 12 during the England v. U.S. game, the system processed more than 13,000 tweets a minute. Tweets were organized to show which players, teams, and topics had the most buzz worldwide at any given moment. Images moved around the screen and changed shape every few seconds. Fans were able to see the images in real time, or pull back the timeline to view the past few days with a “play” button. Viewers could click an image and read the Twitter debate about that topic or specific player in multiple languages. In addition, they could join the discussion by tweeting from the same page.

Impact: Twitter Buzz was featured prominently on and was also used as a new tool for CNN television anchors who reported on the World Cup. CNN won an award from Britain’s Royal Television Society in the “Innovative News” category for its “South Africa 2010: Twitter Buzz” project.

CNN Heroes Social Suite

Overview: CNN Heroes is an annual television special honoring everyday individuals who make extraordinary contributions to help other people. Each year, 10 heroes are chosen to be profiled on the CNN website and in a television special that airs on Thanksgiving. Anyone can make a nomination using a form. The news channel narrows down more than 10,000 nominees to 10 finalists. The public votes and each finalist receives $25,000, with the winner earning an extra $100,000 to support his or her efforts. During the live television event in 2010, a “Social Suite” set up outside the theater for celebrity guests and performers. Visitors to the suite were given access to computers so they could log into Facebook and Twitter accounts to promote the event, the finalists, and their causes. CNN also created a Facebook page for the event that posted behind-the-scenes information and photos. On Twitter, CNN used the hashtag #CNNHeroes.

Impact: The Social Suite helped pull in viewers, especially younger viewers, with a burst of last-minute social media. The CNN Heroes Twitter account now has more than 10,000 followers and its Facebook page has over 122,000 “Likes.” The television special brought in nearly 16 million viewers over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Traffic to the CNN Heroes content on achieved more than 10.3 million page views, and more than 1.2 million video streams.

Entry Form

Shorty Industry Awards are designed for advertising and web agencies, companies, and social media professionals. Unlike the other Shorty Award categories, there is an entry fee of $299 plus a late fee of $100 (for entries made after February 11, 2011). The submission deadline for late entries is February 25, 2011.

If you haven't already read about the Shorty Industry Awards, please see the Call for entries →.

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This industry category is for agencies, companies and social media professionals. The entry fee is $299 plus a late fee of $100 for entries made after February 11, 2011. You will be taken to Paypal to complete your submission.

We encourage you to also check out the general Shorty categories which are free and open to everyone. There's no limit to how many categories you can enter.