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


Gold Honor in Instagram


“Secrets are buried within the marsh.” We needed to stoke intrigue for the upcoming theatrical release of Where the Crawdads Sing and invite fans to solve a mystery planted in their very own social feed. 

Further adding to the mystic of our movie, was Taylor Swift. So moved by the book herself, Taylor signed on to personally write a song for the film, entitled Carolina. In true Taylor Swift fashion, her melody and lyricism captured the essence of Where the Crawdads Sing, making it the perfect launching pad for our ticketing release. 

With such natural synergy between the movie and Taylor, we sought to focus on the impact of the movie’s Instagram handle during this synchronous moment when Taylor Swift released the song Carolina and we launched tickets on sale. 

Our intention in this campaign was to channel Kya and Taylor, and drive home the movie’s positioning as an entertaining yet haunting mystery with a deep gratifying movie-going experience.

Make it beautiful. Make it mysterious. Make it rewarding.

Strategy and Execution

The aesthetic and mood of Where the Crawdads Sing made Instagram a perfect focal point for our social campaign. The beautiful grid layout offered an ideal tool for us to introduce fans to the world of Kya and her marsh in a visual-forward way. We knew Crawdads fans loved seeing all the gorgeous illustrations and production details from the set. We worked with production and our own team of artists to port Kya’s visual art to Instagram. Then we layered in more and more detail to make each frame an immersive treat, steeping with secrets to steadily build interest. 

Each frame sat like a puzzle piece in our grid. We nested clues and details to paint a captivating portrait of Kya’s world. With each post, we used the same caption but strategically capitalized one letter with a stylized font. When put together, the letters spelled “This Thursday” in true cryptic Swift fashion. These Easter eggs drove the Swiftie sleuths to solve the mystery of our ticket messaging while simultaneously pushing out our release date and title awareness..

Eagle-eyed fans who first solved the puzzle were rewarded with insider info on a special event. Fans connected to both the music and the movie as they speculated on the song and movie ticketing release. The conversations about her single were firmly centered on our movie and our Instagram grid. 


Our campaign was a wild, grassroots success. Overall engagement on our Instagram handle doubled exactly at the time when we wanted fans to take action and buy tickets. 

Our grid saw one million impressions on the platform, but the reach went far beyond Instagram. Thanks to a deluge of earned media, our swift secret stunt became one of the most talked about Instagram moments of the year. The Instagram grid went viral on TikTok as fans uncovered the hidden message. The campaign garnered national press attention from editorial outlets like Billboard, Oprah, Variety, Seventeen Magazine, The Today Show, The Wrap, Bustle, Vulture, and Paper Magazine. Thanks to our intentional messaging, the movie and our call to action to get tickets was infused in all coverage about Taylor’s new single. 

Taylor Swift’s Carolina became the Where the Crawdads Sing anthem and buying movie tickets was their vote of fandom. Fans were enchanted with the release of Carolina while also deepening their bond with the movie. 

Instagram came to life. To further illustrate the long-lasting effect and fanfare of this monumental campaign, the Instagram grid artwork garnered well earned attention and was selected and used as the vinyl cover for the movie’s soundtrack record. For the first time, a movie's social artwork went from in-your-feed to in-your-hands. 


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Sony Pictures Entertainment


Entry Credits