The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project
From the 13th Annual Shorty Awards

The Power of Us

Entered in PSA


The Ad Council sought to reach Black Americans, which have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, in an effort to inspire the community to help stop the spread of the virus. With over 45,000 Black lives lost to the virus to date, and infection cases rising throughout the United States, a call to action was critical.

To meet this goal and reach the community directly, Ad Council tapped Complex Networks’ primary audience insight research engine, Complex Collective, to launch “The Power of Us” campaign. While the virus has impacted the nation as a whole, the objective of this campaign was to empower the Black community by providing the necessary data and resources to support their communities.

Strategy and Execution

In partnership with the Ad Council, Complex Collective created “The Power of Us” campaign to encourage the social sharing of COVID-19 statistics and resources to motivate the Black community to help stop the spread of the virus.

The campaign launched with an interactive website (, hosting social media assets with safety tips on social distancing, face mask-wearing and personal hygiene. The site also features compelling video spots with culturally influential Black talent at the center, including rapper and actor Bun B and Complex’s “Everyday Struggle” host and executive producer Nadeska. In addition, Complex addressed the financial effects of the pandemic by providing information on free COVID-19 testing.

To further amplify the campaign, Complex created social videos, custom web banners, authentic messaging to resonate with the Black community, and produced a robust toolkit for media partners to support.

Complex Networks also donated $1 million in media as added value, which included a social package, digital donated media and a brand study to measure the advertising’s impact. The social package included organic social posts across Complex's Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, and the donated digital media includes homepage takeovers and video display units across Complex Networks’ properties.


“The Power of Us” campaign exceeded the Ad Council’s expectations and successfully delivered on the campaign’s goals. The custom spectrum outperformed Complex’s biggest tentpole campaigns and reigns as its most trafficked campaign in 2020. Its current lifetime visits are 1023% above the initial 12K benchmark. 

From a social impact perspective, “The Power of Us” campaign provided the Black community with the necessary tools for education on COVID-19 and how to stop the spread. Consumer sentiment was extremely positive, and the brand’s objective of creating engaging content resulted in shares across social media—which allowed extended reach to the target demographic and beyond.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Complex Networks, Ad Council


Entry Credits