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Special Project

Special Project
From the 11th Annual Shorty Awards

theSkimm: No Excuses. Vote.

Entered in Social Good Campaign


theSkimm is a membership company that makes it easier to live smarter. We want to help female millennials make more informed, confident decisions in their lives, and voting is one of those decisions. In 2016, theSkimm launched its nonpartisan "No Excuses" platform to inform and mobilize its highly engaged audience on the issues and candidates running for office. As part of this effort, theSkimm registered 110,00 people to vote, 95,000 of which were women.

Following the inauguration, theSkimm's first and third party research on female millennials found that 73% of millennial women were dissatisfied with the direction of the country, but just 46% of female millennials were "absolutely certain" they would vote in the midterm election, which is lower than all other demos. For the 2018 midterms, theSkimm launched a 360 degree campaign to empower its audience to participate in the midterms and activate them by building a digital platform and grassroots movement to bring people together and get them to the polls. The goal was to go beyond registration and get 100K people to actually vote on Election Day.

At the heart of this campaign were more than 30,000 Skimm'bassadors, loyal brand representatives, that were tasked with mobilizing their local communities to get registered, informed, and to the polls on Election Day.

Strategy and Execution

theSkimm's multi-platform campaign allowed its audience to get registered, informed, and to the polls with features including:

-theSkimm brought together 30 Vote Captains--women from across the country and both sides of the aisle--for a 2-day Captain Conference in NYC. This nonpartisan, grassroots campaign bootcamp taught them how to get their communities registered, educated, and to the polls. After the conference, captains tabled and canvassed at local universities and coffee shops, hosted voter registration events, held "Lunch & Learn" events, and more. Captains also helped us host more than 50 National Voter Registration Day events across the country and wrote Letters to the Editor urging their communities to vote.

-theSkimm's microsite was a one-stop shop to help our audience get registered, informed and to the polls on Election Day. The microsite allowed users to check registration status and register to vote and then move on to breakdowns of the most important dates and deadlines by state and nonpartisan primers on key races, issues and candidates. User's had the ability to build a personalized ballot cheat sheet to take with them to the polls. Many of the site's tools were available in Spanish to encourage female millennials to galvanize their communities.

-theSkimm invested in out of home advertising with billboards in cities across the country, animated projections in Chicago and NYC, and took out an ad in the New York Times as a CTA to defy stereotypes around millennial voting.

-theSkimm partnered with Shondaland on a video series debunking common excuses millennials use not to vote and empowering them with solutions. Talent from Grey's Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder tackled excuses like "I don't care about politics" and "I'll be out of town." Karla Souza's video was released in English and Spanish, marking the first time theSkimm produced video content in Spanish.

-theSkimm released Skimm'splainer videos around voting, a video series called Back to School where teachers "Skimm" topics you learned in middle school. theSkimm also worked with influencers like Amy Schumer, Liza Koshy, and Kumail Nanjiani on social videos to demonstrate that we all have the right to vote and that vote matters.

-theSkimm launched a free Primary Election Calendar with information on issues and candidates to keep users ahead of important dates. Throughout the campaign, theSkimm's audience was invited to Text theSkimm to receive personalized responses about voter registration deadlines, down ballot positions, and important issues. In the two week lead up to Election Day, theSkimm released two "Special Midterm Edition" evening newsletters with the latest on the midterms to urge subscribers to vote.

-theSkimm collaborated with five female-founded brands on limited edition, custom No Excuses branded jewelry and apparel. In February, theSkimm announced "Millennial Takeover 2018," a partnership with The Hive and SurveyMonkey on an initiative that traced the interests and likely impact of female millennial voters.

Through the combination of a grassroots movement and multi-platform campaign elements, theSkimm was able to reach this audience where they already were and ultimately re-energize a traditionally disengaged voter demographic.


theSkimm activated more than 200K people to vote on Election Day, more than doubling its original goal. In addition, more than 45K people joined theSkimm Squad, by committing to vote with theSkimm and urging their networks to do the same. No Excuses was launched around a genuine belief that there's 'no excuse' not to be an engaged citizen and that voting is not only a coveted right, but a responsibility. theSkimm tailored its No Excuses platform and experience to its predominantly female millennial audience by creating efficient, easy to use tools and relatable content. This allowed theSkimm to ultimately more than double its original goal.

In addition, nearly 3 million users visited the theSkimm's No Excuses microsite, a one-stop shop to get registered, informed and to the polls, since it launched in September. After Election Day, the site was updated to reflect the results, recap what happened and what those results mean for the issues voters care about most. Users engaged most with the My Ballot feature, which allowed them to see what their individual ballot would look like, plan their choices and take their ballot with them to make their trip to the voting booth more efficient and informed. Overall, more than 450K people looked up their ballot cheat sheets using the site and spent an average of 3:26 engaging with the feature. Nearly 100K people looked up their ballot cheat sheets on Election Day.


Video for theSkimm: No Excuses. Vote.

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