The Early Deadline is December 9th! Enter Now!

Enter the 14th Annual Shorty Awards

The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. See categories below. The early entry deadline is on December 9th, 2021.

From the 3rd Annual Shorty Social Good Awards

AARP's Declare a Day Giveaway

Gold Distinction in Contest or Promotion

About this entry

Taking vacation days are beneficial to the mind and body. Studies show that time away from the daily grind can boost overall performance at work and our mental and physical health! Unfortunately, over 200 million vacation days go unused by Americans every year and, while the trends are slowly improving, more than half of Americans are still not using all the vacation time they've earned. Unused vacation affects not only productivity at workplaces but also influences our economy, with an estimated impact of $255 billion per year.

AARP made it their mission to turn this trend around with Declare a Day – an interactive promotion empowering working Americans to take some much-deserved time for themselves, giving them permission to use up their vacations days for a trip away or a local stay. Users learned about the benefits of taking a break from work, tips for asking for time off and the chance to finally take the pledge to use up that vacation time.

Source: U.S. Travel Association, Project Time Off, 2018

Why does this entry deserve to win?

AARP recognizes there are plenty of reasons so many of us are not using our vacation time. Fear of returning to a mountain of work and feeling that no one else can do their job as well are the top reasons people avoid taking time off. Not only this, but planning a vacation from work itself can be incredibly overwhelming. For these reasons, giving users the tools and motivation was key to the success of the program. After visitors registered on the site, they arrived at their Declare a Day hub that immediately served up helpful and engaging content including:

Trivia questions to help shatter the myths surrounding taking a vacation.

Downloadable Time Off Gameplan to help reduce stress around planning their time off.

Poll question asking users to choose if they're planning on going away or staying local.

Photo uploader to share memories of favorite "Time Off Moments" and gallery of submissions.

Users earned sweepstakes entries for a chance to win a $500 gift card to help make the most of their day, inspiring them to dream big for their time off possibilities. Finally, users were encouraged to definitively declare their day, joining others in making a stand and taking the pledge to take time off. Following the conclusion of the campaign, an email was sent encouraging users to share photos of how they spent their vacation, inspiring others and providing great ideas of how to take time away from work.

AARP's Declare a Day served as an enriching and interactive learning experience, providing the inspiration to encourage hardworking people to finally declare a day for themselves.


Declare a Day was a huge success! Nearly 600K visits and 381K unique visitors came to the site, with 127K visitors entering the promotion. In total, users earned a remarkable 1.8M sweepstakes entries and over 4,000 photos were uploaded to the gallery, displaying great enthusiasm for sharing and inspiring. Most importantly, over 46K people pledged to take a day off work!


Entrant Company / Organization Name

HelloWorld, Inc., AARP

Entry Credits