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Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Holiday Home Animation with Johns Hopkins APL

Entered in Medium-Length Video


At the end of each year, social media channels are packed with holiday wishes, yearly recaps, and thankful messages. These messages, which often feel compulsory, can create impersonal greetings that may not resonate with followers.

In 2022, the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) decided to do something different. The objective was to create a message that stood above the rest while also establishing a connection with followers who typically turn to the Lab’s pages to learn more about recent scientific discoveries. The goal was to create a video series that invited our audience in and gave them a chance to feel a part of the APL experience without creating a message that looked the same as everything else on our followers’ feeds. This is exactly how our 2022 holiday video was created.

Strategy and Execution

Rather than simply “tip our hats” to the holidays, APL decided to tell a story – one that fit within the Lab’s brand and also nodded toward the kind of work done throughout our campus. Through an animation produced in-house, the APL team created a video that underscored some of the most important moments of the holiday season.

From the front stoop lined with pumpkins for Halloween, to the dinner table at Thanksgiving, into the cozy living room for the winter holidays, and finally, outside to celebrate the New Year, APL invited the audience into the celebration for the holiday season. By highlighting spaces that feel comfortable and familiar to the audience, we invited our followers in and helped them feel that they are a part of the APL experience through a small moment of joy around each post.

The animation, which took viewers on a journey through APL’s proverbial holiday home, was then distributed on the Lab’s social media channels through short reels posted during the holidays.

This one-of-a-kind animation was designed by one of APL’s animators who took careful consideration to make it feel as real as possible. From texture, to lighting, to ambient sound (which transitions from scene to scene with the visuals), every part of this video’s experience has been carefully cultivated to create a journey for the viewer.


The campaign was immediately successful with APL’s audience as it quickly eclipsed the views and engagement of the Lab’s past holiday posts. The timely but simple and quick videos helped to elevate the Lab’s brand while also creating multiple opportunities for followers to connect with APL.

This was evident in the metrics of the campaign as well – when looking at the numbers of all posts combined, the video received over 55,000 impressions, an average engagement rate of 4.1%, and more than 20,000 views.


Video for Holiday Home Animation with Johns Hopkins APL

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Johns Hopkins APL

Entry Credits