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

Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards


Winner in Single Post or Activation

Gold Honor in Meme & GIFs


Spider-Man: No Way Home was one of the most anticipated films of all time. It was also the most top-secret movie with no detail more confidential than the return of Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire to join their fellow Spider-Man Tom Holland. Three Spideys! One movie! No way… hold up. Where have we seen this before? Ah-ha! The Pointing Spider-Man meme! 

From the moment it was revealed to movie-goers, there was no other fan request more vocalized. Please, recreate the Pointing Spidey meme.

During the theatrical marketing window, we set a precedent for breaking the internet with each major announcement. For our Home Entertainment announcement date, our goal was to match the excitement that fans had felt in movie theaters. 

Strategy and Execution

Engagement and conversations swelled through the theatrical window, but we needed to sustain engagement if we hoped to deliver on second-window sales. We also knew fans had been very loyal to Spider-Man and we wanted to reward them for their enduring spirit that made our unprecedented movie’s success possible. 

The meme is perfect. Fans would die to see it. But we couldn’t spoil the spoileriest movie in spoiler history. With great power, comes great responsibility. We had to wait till the right moment when our movie was heading out of theaters. 

With a theatrical release, we need to show why people should take a chance on our movie. But with home entertainment, especially with a movie so beloved as No Way Home, we were able to double down on why the movie was worth watching again and again. With our film on firm footing critically, we had the latitude to dig into the positioning of the third film in the franchise as “made by fans for fans”. And our meme photo did just that. 


On Feb 23, 2022, without warning, we dropped the meme and promptly broke the internet…again. We released the photo first with Spider-Man himself. Tom Holland’s 60+ million followers got the first look. Then we followed with the release through our official movie and studio social channels. The photo went viral. Earned media headlines blasted in perfect J. Jonah Jameson hyperbole, “Spider-Man Breaks the Internet”. 

Most importantly, fans loved it. With an already beloved franchise, we were able to actually increase brand goodwill. Our social listening indicated that the meme sparked positive conversations and genuine excitement to bring No Way Home to their homes. 

The photo has earned over 27 million likes across all Instagram accounts. When Tom Holland debuted the meme, it became the #6 top-performing post of all time on the platform. We also saw some of the highest organic social reach ever with over 2.2 billion impressions. It created a tsunami of earned media headlines that swung our web-slinger meme to every corner of the internet and back. In every article that spoke to the trend of the photo, there was mention of the movie’s upcoming digital release.

We weren’t just in the zeitgeist, for one magical day we were the zeitgeist. And the numbers showed. Spider-Man: No Way Home at-home sales surged, reaching our best numbers ever and was the #1 biggest digital Home Entertainment release of all time. 


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Sony Pictures Entertainment


Entry Credits