Shorty Social Good Awards are open for entries! ENTER BY AUGUST 2ND

2nd Annual Shorty Social Good Awards Categories

Entries for the Shorty Social Good Awards are open now! Official categories listed below.
The regular deadline is August 2, 2017

From the 9th Annual Shorty Awards

Hawaii VR: Let Hawaii Happen

Winner in Travel & Weather Apps

Entered in Travel & Tourism, Emerging Platform, Virtual Reality, Creative use of Technology

About this entry

Hawaii Tourism Authority's primary objective was to find innovative ways to let potential visitors experience and learn about the variety of activities and unique personalities of each island. Our key challenge was to create awareness about the unique experiences each Hawaiian island has to offer. Consumer insights showed us that many who have never been to Hawaii before thought of it as one destination and were unaware of the variety of activities, the local flavors, and cultures of each island. At the same time, we knew that virtual reality offers a powerful platform to showcase travel destinations, but most VR travel experiences out there were limited to 360 videos.

Our focus was to present a local's perspective of each island and to capture their personal narrative by utilizing the medium providing the best accessible form of immersion and presence available today. At the same time, we wanted to give the user a fun and imaginative way to navigate the islands and discover their beauty.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

Our learnings with VR told us that consumers were ready for more interactivity, rather than passively looking around, and giving the user agency in the experience was key for a long lasting and memorable impression. Visiting Hawaii as a tourist is great, but with a local as your tour guide, it's a totally different, and more genuine, experience. We partnered with popular local influencers, from musicians to surfing legends, and we created a four-island series where they shared their inside tips and personal stories about their home. We shot on-location on four islands, and worked with the developer to create a virtual world you could fly around in.

The interactive game experience begins by floating above Hawaii on a paraglider. Grab the handles and choose an island by moving your head and focusing your gaze on the island you want to visit. You're able to control the paraglider on the descent, and when you land, the experience transforms to a live action tour guided by a local. Activities include a jam session on a catamaran in Kauai, surfing in Waikiki, a hike through Maui's captivating waterfalls, and a hula ritual on an active volcano on the Island of Hawaii.


Since launch, the experience has reached VR enthusiasts around the globe. Over 20K virtual travellers downloaded the app, and over 2000 live event participants flew to their favourite Hawaiian island. Hawaii VR is not region-locked, allowing downloads in all territories the platform allows. We observed the major interest and the most downloads from US (mainland), Europe, and Asia (China and Japan). With VR devices being a popular holiday gift, we saw spikes in downloads on all platforms at the end of December.

Produced by

OMD, Hawaii Visitor & Convention Bureau, Hawaii Tourism Authority


Entry Credits

About the Shorty Awards

The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media.

Millions of people participate in The Shortys to recognize individuals and organizations producing great content on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, YouNow,, Vine and the rest of the social web.

The Shorty Social Good Awards will be held October 2017 in NYC, Date to be announced shortly.