13th Annual Shorty Awards Categories

The Shorty Awards honor the talented agencies, brands, and industry leaders behind the best and most innovative work on social media and digital channels, campaigns, websites and applications.

From the 12th Annual Shorty Awards

Big in Japan

Gold Distinction in Creative use of Technology

About this entry

The music scene in Japan is known for a unique phenomenon: Rock bands from North America and Europe become big in Asia before they’re popular in their own countries. That phenomenon came to be known as ‘Big in Japan’ and the actual hit music – originally recorded by Queen, Cheap Trick, Deep Purple and The Runaways – would become our campaign soundtrack.

While searching for other insights unique to Japan, we discovered something else that’s huge in Japan: QR codes. Although rarely used in North America, QR codes are entrenched in daily life in Japan as a way to access information and interact with brands. Since SingleCut’s new release would be starting with absolutely no consumer awareness, adopting behaviour familiar to our target would quickly establish relevance and gain attention.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

Developed for a mobile-forward audience, BIG IN JAPAN IPA reimagined basic QR codes on its packaging to create the first Spotify-enabled beer. Four distinct QR codes were designed and illustrated to deliver visual clues for classic rock songs that were literally big in Japan, turning each can into a Name That Tune game. Scanning the codes led consumers to Spotify, where the answer to the game was revealed, bringing SingleCut’s unique marriage of craft beer and classic rock to life.


Big in Japan’scontent-driven approach delivered on SingleCut’s big ambitions.  


Video for Big in Japan

Produced by

Zulu Alpha Kilo, SingleCut Beersmiths


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, YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, TikTok, Snapchat, and the rest of the social web.

winners will be announced in may. follow us to be notified!