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

Mardi Gras at MCO: Bringing Beads to Orlando International Airport

Entered in Event & Experiential


People dread the airport. From long checked bag lines (and those pesky checked bag fees) to taking off your shoes for security and forgetting to wear socks to that Olympic sprint to a connecting flight have all made air travel a slog. For the majority of our domestic and international guests, they funnel through the Orlando International Airport before getting to Universal Orlando Resort. The question came up as to after all of that tedious travel, how could Universal get to its guests before baggage claim? The solve? Bring the park to them.


To continue to elevate and create excitement for Universal Mardi Gras: International Flavors of Carnaval at Universal Orlando Resort, the Social Media, Content Innovation, Creative, and Entertainment teams came together to develop a plan to bring "biggest party outside of the bayou" to travelers at the Orlando International Airport. The goal was to bring all of the excitement of Mardi Gras to the airport, which included a festive second line band, stilt walkers, and, of course, beads, and generating owned and earned media through social media shares and local media storytelling.

The entire execution was carefully planned out with the MCO Airport Social Media and Marketing Team to ensure all safety and security measures were met. The partnership lead to the takeover of the new Terminal C with our Entertainment team leading the festivities with music, dancing, and interactions with travelers.


We earned those beads! The results of the Mardi Gras moment at MCO (Orlando International Airport) were spectacular. Earn media from web, social media, and television drove over 3.5M impressions with 1 millions views across our social channels (+500K on Instagram Reels alone).

But, there was something more to this activation. Beyond the numbers were the reactions of travelers caught up in the Mardi Gras revelry. We measured success in smiles, in dancing, in bead-catching. In that stark-white, sanitized, and static terminal, we brought a piece of our brand - something colorful and vibrant that perfectly embodied the spirit of good times and great people.


Video for Mardi Gras at MCO: Bringing Beads to Orlando International Airport

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Universal Destinations & Experiences


Entry Credits