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Special Project

Special Project
From the 10th Annual Shorty Awards

13 Reasons Why

Silver Honor in Instagram Presence


For teens, the loudest, most impactful conversations happen on Instagram. We launched a multi-layered strategy tailor-made for our target's favorite place to socialize, complete with exclusives from Instagram royalty, an authentic in-world feel, and a secret Finstagram with a surprise twist.

Strategy and Execution

First, our EP Selena Gomez drove her 124M followers our way by debuting the series announce on her channel. When fans landed on our feed, they poured over mysterious photos and cryptic text messages. Conversation exploded as fans tried to decipher the posts--rapidly earning us over 30K followers in 24 hours. Hence, we maintained a completely in-world account, featuring regrams and Stories by the characters themselves, as well as videos that disrupted fans' feeds--giving them a seamless look at what scrolling through the character's feeds would look like. Then, we raised the stakes higher. We leveraged a key insight about our demographic: teens compartmentalize their social lives and hide mischief from their parents by creating fake Instagram accounts: "Finstagrams." As soon as fans saw our in-world posts feature individual characters' account handles, they instantly searched for them. They were amazed to find over 20 private character accounts - including one for our doomed heroine, Hannah.


But Hannah's was different--and fans found out why on launch day, when, to fans' shock, Hannah accepted their thousands of pending follow requests. Because her feed had been slowly populated over the course of 3 months, the account had an authentic feel. Her posts mirror her story arc, starting upbeat and slowly turning darker as she deals with bullying, broken friendships, and finally, her breakdown--stopping when Hannah takes her life, a brutal reminder of the series' stakes. Fans excitedly spread the news across all social channels. Since, Hannah's account has 661K followers, with the main show account at a staggering 3.5m.


Video for 13 Reasons Why

Entrant Company / Organization Name, Netflix


Entry Credits