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From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

"Smarter in Seconds: Toxic Positivity"

Entered in Animation


Blair Imani is a critically acclaimed historian, author, educator, and influencer. Her work centers around women and girls, global Black communities, and the LGBTQIA+ community. Her Instagram series, “Smarter in Seconds,” educates her nearly half a million followers on intersectional content, using accessible language that encourages young people to get excited about learning. Over the past year, this series received over 50 million views.

But Blair was eager to find ways to make this content even more accessible to her audience and with Holler Studios, this vision came true. In the Smarter in Seconds series, Blair herself plays most of the characters and she recognized that this could be limiting the ability for viewers to see themselves in the content. Holler and Blair worked together closely to create an inclusive animated version of “Smarter in Seconds: Toxic Positivity.” with the goals of:

Strategy and Execution

Animation opens up a world of possibilities where everyone can be included, and Holler Studios holds this value at the core of the studio: diverse voices telling universal stories. 

Before animating, Blair brought in fellow influencers Kellie Brown (@ItsMeKellieB) and Matt Bernstein (@MattXIV) to re-voice parts she had acted out in her original “Toxic Positivity” piece, to further allow different representation on the topic. 

Then, the designs and storytelling brought the story to life in a sweet, fun way that was not preachy but allowed the importance of the point to be delivered. 

Being released simultaneously across platforms allowed us to spread the message across multiple demographics, and that spread and amplified Blair's message beyond her core audience. 

This handmade animated short about a rarely talked about topic, written and directed by diverse voices, makes this applicant extremely unique. 


Over 300K organic views on social media, becoming Holler Studios biggest IG reel, and a breakthrough demographically for Blair, who reached a whol new auidience as intended. 


Video for "Smarter in Seconds: Toxic Positivity"

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Holler Studios


Entry Credits