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Special Project

Special Project
From the 2nd Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

Full Frontal: Not The White House Correspondents' Dinner Campaign

Winner in Real Time Response


The President spurned this year's DC 'Nerd Prom' aka the White House Correspondents Dinner (maybe 2011's beat-down is still too painful?), and so did we. On April 29th, Full Frontal and TBS held Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner: A party to celebrate the free press, while we still have one. This year's alternative event, taped live, then telecast on TBS that evening, answered the Beltway's question, "What if Washington D.C.'s annual nerd prom were hosted by a lady nerd and had way more curse words? Also, what if it actually honored a free press and gave the finger to those who would try to diminish it?" Samantha Bee and the Full Frontal team transmuted the President's long-announced rejection of the Correspondents Dinner into a powerful entertainment and media event. Not The White House Correspondents' Dinner shook up a Washington tradition and created massive social engagement and media attention.

NTWHCD campaign (DC wonks love acronyms) included on-air spots, OOH media, social and digital media, all tagged for real time responses with #NotTheWHCD during the twelve hour series of live events on April 29th. We were the first entertainment property to integrate live streamed content (both pre/post show) on Twitter as a wraparound to the telecast. The live stream included a red carpet live TV show with Full Frontal's correspondents. The after party included a photo booth where fans could "drunk dial" their legislators to bring up important causes.

Strategy and Execution

Thanks to the uncensored encore Twitter stream of the special, viewers saw and heard all those curses and fingers. Twitter also served as a hub for exclusive content from the event, including an hour-long red carpet special hosted by Full Frontal's team of correspondents. All proceeds from the dinner were donated to the Committee to Protect Journalists, raising $200,000 for the cause.

The event included twelve hours of real-time social content:

Highlights included the live Red Carpet pre-show with Full Frontal correspondents, celebrities, and journalists, a live Twitter Wall, glitzy White House press room photo booth for NTWHCD selfies, dinner, Full Frontal special event taping, live stream Twitter coverage, and W Hotel after party.

Full Frontal worked with Twitter and Snapchat to co-produce customized content.

Twitter Live Stream: 4/29

Snapchat Live Story: 4/29

A three-week targeted TV, print, digital and social campaign built demand for this live event, including Out of Home advertising in DC, NYC and LA. Five days of activations at Washington DC's Newseum created locally tagged social content – featuring games of Spin the Fake New/Real News Wheel. Everyone was a winner - correct guesses won NTWHCD T-shirts, incorrect answers won a copy of the First Amendment. Promotional partnerships helped drive attention to the event on Saturday April 29th. Content partners created custom content to amplify the event included Refinery 29, CNN, Snapchat, Twitter, Vulture, NY Magazine, and the Newseum.


A whole lot of friends joined us: 600,000 Instagram Views, 18M Snapchat views, 5M Facebook Interactions, and 853M Twitter Impressions. And, Not the White House Correspondents Dinner special drew 1.3M Total Viewers to the TBS telecast, posting a top 5 Adults 18-49 rating which out-performed the actual White House Correspondents Dinner telecast. Fourteen NTWHCD content pieces added 9.4M Youtube cumulative views.

NTWHCD combined politics and pop culture, commentary and comedy for a unique media mélange – and press coverage reflected this irresistible mashup. Feature stories included NY Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Politico, the Atlantic, New Yorker, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Rolling Stone, Variety, Vanity Fair, Vulture, Cosmo, Jezebel and hundreds more.


Video for Full Frontal: Not The White House Correspondents' Dinner Campaign

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