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Special Project

Special Project
From the 10th Annual Shorty Awards

NowThis Instagram Story: Vegas Victims Tribute

Gold Honor in Instagram Story


On October 1, 2017, the most horrific and deadly domestic mass shooting took place in Las Vegas, Nevada during a concert attended by mostly young people. As details of the mass shooting were emerging, our Instagram team knew it was a seminal moment that our audience needed to understand and more importantly grieve with the young victims lost.

Our goal was to give our young audience a way to connect to the people behind the numbers, to celebrate them and give a face to every single one of the 58 victims of this terrible tragedy.

Close coverage of the gun issue has been crucial to NowThis - and we are determined to ensure that our audience does not lose sight of how shocking these events truly are, or of the human implications of these disasters, even when they consistently occur in the news cycle.

Strategy and Execution

Our key goal here was to get our audience to connect with people whom they didn't know, but where they nonetheless felt deeply for their loss.

Our biggest challenge was tonally balancing a tribute to very young victims in a relatable, non-exploitative manner on a platform normally used for posts about food, fun and life. We had to allow our audience to celebrate and mourn at the same time.

Instagram Stories afforded us the unique opportunity to combine both personal portraits of all 58 victims with information about who they are. But we went further - we researched each and every one of their lives in the hopes of telling a more personal story for each, beyond just their name and age. We believed that an intimate fact could instantly humanize the face looking at you. It was powerful, elegant, emotional, celebratory and above all showed that every number in the death toll was a real person with a life, a family, a passion that sadly was now no longer with us.


NowThis received the highest direct messaging on any single day during this Story and the highest time-spent for the year. We were overwhelmed by the reaction and interaction the audience wanted to have with the people affected. We are proud of our coverage, our focus on the personal and how we humanized the victims. #vegasstrong


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