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Special Project

Special Project
From the 6th Annual Shorty Awards

Lydia should have switched to #Truvia #BreakingBad #SweetSwitch

Entered in Real-Time Response


Truvia® natural sweetener is #1 in its category of zero-calorie natural sweeteners in the U.S. and is made with the best tasting part of the stevia leaf. On September 25, 2013 Truvia® natural sweetener launched a new integrated marketing campaign encouraging consumers to switch to Truvia® natural sweetener in their daily sweetening routine. A consistent element of the campaign included the use of the hashtag #SweetSwitch. Days later, following the airing of the series finale of “Breaking Bad," viewers and brands alike took to Twitter to voice their opinions about the lethal role of stevia in the show’s final plot twist. While there was no direct mention of the brand in the show, the Truvia® natural sweetener team crafted one simple tweet aimed to give interested audiences the reaction and viewpoint of a stevia-based sweetener. The tweet resulted in 89 retweets, 35 favorites, 68 replies and 1.38 million potential impressions across the web. The tweet also garnered praise from industry outlets such as Ad Age, Ad Week and Mashable. On the evening of Sept. 29, 2013, the final episode of “Breaking Bad" aired with peaking interest from fans and viewers following the series throughout the five seasons of the show. Within the final plot twists, the main character and antihero Walter White tampered with a packet of stevia, infusing it with deadly Ricin to poison another character, Lydia Rodarte-Quayle. Viewers took to Twitter to express their surprise and opinions on the shocking end of the show’s five-season run. Though stevia is an unbranded ingredient, over 144 tweets from fans immediately began relating the events of the show to existing sweetener brands and makers of products using stevia, including Truvia® natural sweetener. As Twitter buzz continued throughout the night and into the morning, the Truvia® brand saw an opportunity to engage with popular culture that was applicable to the brand, in a timely yet appropriate manner. While a handful of fans tweeted that stevia’s lethal usage in the show could pose negative outcomes or perceptions for brands whose products use stevia, the Truvia® brand felt the opposite. Instead, the Truvia® brand saw the abundance of tweets as an opportunity to add to existing excitement and growing awareness about the use of stevia within popular culture. To acknowledge the abundance of tweets and join in on the conversation, the Truvia® team crafted a cheeky response using hashtags both relevant to the conversation and to the brand itself. The team leveraged language that supported the launch of the brand’s recent advertising campaign, which conveniently launched the week before the series finale. The advertising campaign sought to solidify Truvia® natural sweetener’s position as a natural alternative to artificial sweeteners, using #SweetSwitch to encourage new users to switch to Truvia® natural sweetener. In just one day, @Truvia’s original tweet generated 89 retweets, 35 favorites, 68 replies and 284,297 potential impressions on Twitter alone. Additionally, the tweet received organic coverage in Mashable, Ad Age, Minneapolis/St. Paul Biz Journal and Adweek generating 1.1 million total impressions.

Strategy and Execution

Press: Adweek: Mashable: Minnapolis/St Paul Business Journal: AdAge:


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