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

Special Project

Special Project
From the 14th Annual Shorty Awards

Ryan on an Island

Entered in User-Generated Content


The goal was to send every Mint subscriber an actual holiday card in the mail that would generate engagement, stand out amongst all the holiday messaging people get bombarded with and ultimately drive brand awareness, specifically on social media.


During the holidays, everything is battling for shelf space in your house. Elves, woodland creatures, candles, your child’s 2nd grade coloring project. We wanted to enter the ring with our own contender: Ryan on an Island. A play on Elf on the Shelf, we sent every Mint subscriber a holiday card featuring a cardboard cutout of Mint owner/subscriber Ryan Reynolds and encouraged everyone to welcome it as a part of their holiday traditions, décor, etc…


Our main objective of the card was to unleash the huge user generated content potential here. This would not only create further loyalty from our current customers, but also create a massive FOMO vibe for everyone who was not a Mint subscriber, thus making them want to switch and get in on all this fun we’re having.

Strategy and Execution

Would it be too bold to say that our strategy was to create a new holiday tradition for everyone to embrace and welcome into their home? We hope so, because we love being bold. 


Last year, we sent a holiday card from Mint owner/subscriber Ryan Reynolds and received a great response. Subscribers were sharing their cards via social media and commenting on the personal touch that Mint offered with these cards. This year, we wanted the card to be a bit different and include some sort of ornaMINT that could be showcased no matter which holiday a Mint subscriber celebrated. Basically, we wanted to turn Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or anything else you want to observe during this time of year into one, big celebration.


We mailed out the printed holiday card (and posted a teaser about the card on Instagram) to all current Mint users that included humorous instructions on setting up their paper cutout of Ryan on an Island. We then invited people to put it on their kitchen island, like the name suggests. Or break the rules and throw it on a shelf to battle the Elf for holiday dominance.


Well, that escalated quickly. The user generated content exploded onto the holiday scene and showed us first-hand that people were very much okay with making this a part of their holiday traditions. There were even some who never really celebrated the holidays before or had an established tradition until Ryan on an Island showed up and they decided to create one.  


Users literally took Ryan on an Island and ran with it…posing their cutouts in holiday scenes, at work, on actual islands (both kitchen and tropical), even in an airplane cockpit on the way to London (then again in actual London). A couple people tried selling them on eBay for $50 because, of course they did. We reposted or replied to pretty much every single post on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tik Tok and Instagram to add fuel to the Ryan on an Island fire. Other brands jumped in on the action as well…Target (who carries Mint Mobile), posted a photo and caption featuring Ryan on an Island using the self check-out aisle.


People made Instagram accounts for Ryan on an Island and the hashtag #ryanonanisland had hundreds of photos attached to it during the holiday season.


Based on searches of “@vancityreynolds” and “card,” we received 2.6M impressions between November 21 and December 31. Adding in the impressions from our own social media posts supporting the campaign, we ended up with approximately 4.2M impressions, which definitely exceeded our goal for social impressions.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Mint Mobile


Entry Credits