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

Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards

Sesame Street Vertical Originals

Finalist in Vertical Video


TikTok and Instagram are Sesame Street’s fastest growing channels, and our strategy on both platforms relied heavily on vertical video. We knew it wasn’t enough to crop horizontal 16x9 videos—in order for our content to feel authentic, we needed video that was specifically shot for a vertical aspect ratio. We also wanted to seize the opportunity to create a new kind of content for our adult-focused channels, that combined the laughter and learning fans have come to expect from Sesame Street with topics and themes that are eminently relatable to adults in 2023. 

Strategy and Execution

We planned and executed two dedicated video shoots, including one on the iconic Sesame Street set itself. We also evolved long-held tradition on set, integrating vertical video into the filming process for the Sesame Street show for the first time, capturing dedicated social content featuring celebrity guests for our channels. Finally, we worked with a team of freelancers to explore innovative new media for our videos, from animation to textiles.

These originals not only captured the charm and positivity of the Sesame Street Muppets, but channeled popular trends and user behaviors as well: 


Sesame Street Vertical Originals quickly became our top-performing content vertical in 2023, across both TikTok and Instagram Reels. While they made up 14% of our total videos, 9 of our top 20 Reels and 10 of our Top 20 TikToks were vertical originals, and the strategic shift helped drive a 448% increase in video views across both platforms, from 25.4M video views in 2022 to 141.7M video views in 2023. 


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Sesame Workshop


Entry Credits