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Special Project

Special Project
From the 10th Annual Shorty Awards

Strong Opinions Loosely Held

Entered in Branded Podcast


Last year Refinery29 wanted to further expand its cross channel reach in the podcast space, translating our mission-driven content for women beyond our existing distribution channels. We saw opportunity through audio storytelling for our feminist franchise, Strong Opinions Loosely held, after success of its first season, leading to sponsorship from Lean Cuisine. The podcast analyzes and attempts to solve the mysteries of our modern popular culture by engaging in dialogue with tastemakers, rule breakers, and experts in a variety of fields. Lead by executive producer and host Elisa Kreisinger, the podcast considers questions such as: Is Instagram making us all into Betty Draper 2.0? Why are selfies seen as an inherently narcissistic and feminine when more men actually die taking them? Why is Kim Kardashian everywhere if no one is watching her show? Are there women on death row? Is virality a science or a spiritual connection? Why do we keep glorifying the 90's? Outperforming our high benchmark download metrics to prove continued success was top priority as we embarked on season 2 production.

Strategy and Execution

Strong Opinions Loosely Held takes pop culture zeitgeist and injects it with a liberal arts education, harnessing important societal issues and making them more accessible to the public with an entertaining format. Strong Opinions Loosely Held relies heavily on mixing academic research with pop culture samples, enabling deeper understanding of theory and practice. For season two, we leaned into society's hunger for answers to questions related to gender parity on the heels of The Women's March, pinpointing unique examples that showcase the state of feminism as it exists today in the United States.

Refinery29 supported the podcast through a robus cross channel social campaign, creating platform optimized content for Instagram, Instagram stories (8mm total reach) and Facebook via native video (10mm reached). The episodes were embedded on-site in editorial featured articles (reaching 45mm monthly users) and received placement in our weekly newsletter (reaching 4mm). We furthered our network by partnering with NPR One for distribution as well as Spotify and iTunes.


Within the first 72 hours of launch, Strong Opinions Loosely Held ranked above TED Radio Hour and Modern Love on iTunes. Within a week, Strong Opinions Loosely Held was ranked top 10 in Society and Culture on iTunes and in the top 20 podcasts overall on iTunes. To date, it has a 4.5 star rating on iTunes with over 375 positive reviews, and over 1mm downloads


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