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From the 14th Annual Shorty Awards

Tech Hard

Finalist in Voice

Audience Honor in Voice

About this entry

Within the technology and computer electronics space, all advertising tends to look and sound the same. Ads with shiny new devices, filled with impressive tech jargon. Line after line of product specs that no one understands. We drove traffic and revenue on with a performance marketing campaign that intentionally ‘zigged’ while all the competitors ‘zagged.’ We showcased tech in its overworked, neglected glory using bold, witty language that brought forward a refreshing dose of reality to an overly tired space. 

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, the Holiday season – every year is a mad rush of mad deals. Lenovo needed to stand out in this crowded promotional arena. But, to do that in a marketplace riddled with deals, discounts, and price drops, we needed to stand for something more meaningful. More tangible. More human. So, we focused on the audience – and what tech has done and continues to do for them.  

Lenovo salutes those who pushed their tech above and beyond for so long with a great deal to help them replace it during the holiday season. We showed tech for what it really is – an invaluable part of our lives the past 18 months – showcasing scenes where we’ve found our tech, used our tech, and worn our tech to the max. Our brand voice flexed an honest tone with humanity at its core instead of spewing model numbers. This scroll & skip stopping Creative spoke to’s human benefits and tech solutions, standing out from the sea of sameness. 

Why does this entry deserve to win?

While most of the tech space focuses on complicated technical specifications and discounts, Lenovo committed to prioritizing audience needs and usage within their communications, by positioning as the premier tech destination to fulfill those needs – with a great deal, of course. 

We leaned into an undeniable truth about the pandemic – it showed how much more we relied on our technology. WFH’ing, gaming, homeschooling, baking, crafting, DIY nails  –  we’ve all beaten the hell out of our tech equipment. By keying in on this common truth and leading with bold, relevant messaging, Lenovo was able to turn our collective dependence on tech into an anthemic call-to-action.  

Our tech products were in their most natural state: the messy, busy, lived-in ways people use Lenovo during the holidays. Our tone of voice embodied Lenovo’s core brand communication principles – being purposeful, unexpected, and brave by addressing topics with frank, simple, and playful language.  

Given the hard-working nature of performance marketing, character counts really do count in these smaller spaces on social. Every line of copy must be impactful, connect quickly, and ultimately land the sale. Having a clear messaging structure is important. For all the prospecting units, our messaging lead first with the human benefit, supported by deal messaging, and ending by highlighting urgency. The upfront creative headline hook spoke directly to our audience to capture attention. By leaning into specific vernacular only certain audiences would know, we connected directly with them. Using over 60 unique lines, messaging was tailored to each of our four core audience segments: gamers, students, small business owners, and general shoppers. Lines like “You won the battle, but lost your WASD keys” leaned into language only gamers would understand…the specific keys on a keyboard that get more worn out from heavy shot firing and player movements. “Your laptop looks like it went down the chimney. It’s time to replace it.” gave an honest chuckle to our shopper segment while still reinforcing the immediacy of the holiday promotional period.  

We strategically leveraged unexpected, high impact ‘Go Big’ social units and wrote unique messaging for each unit with channel best practices in mind. Promoted posts ran on Reddit with a native ‘SPOILER’ label and a ‘NSFW’ Snapchat story warning users of the “graphic” nature of our messy tech hard footage. On Tiktok and Instagram we leaned into social-specific vernacular like emojis and waning laptop battery life icons to infer it’s time for new tech. Our ads acknowledged just how messy the tech got with lines that yelped “yikes” after a big spills on frame. It was a vivid take on a widespread reality. A messy, chaotic, beautiful reality. 


We redefined the performance marketing space.  

It’s a misconception that low-funnel tactics need to be dry and purely transactional. We showed tech taking a hit – and shattered category conventions. Our voice stood out from the rest by leading with real speak about how we’ve been really living the past 18 months. By leveraging this highly relevant and attention-grabbing creative during the most competitively saturated time of year, we drove click-thrus to and increased revenue during the biggest sales period of the year. 

The results prove it.  


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Agency Confidential, Lenovo


Entry Credits