entries for the 11th annual shorty awards are open now enter!

11th Annual Shorty Awards Categories

See below for official categories. The regular entry deadline is February 7th, 2019.

The Shorty Awards honor the talented agencies, brands, and industry leaders behind the best and most innovative work on social media channels, campaigns, websites and applications.

From the 7th Annual Shorty Awards

A Salute to Small Business Owners Who Shed Their Clown Suit #sadclown

Finalist in Financial Services

About this entry

Our objective was to create a video to associate our brand with small business owners and their passion for their business – we wanted to connect to the fact that a lot of small business owners have left 9-5 jobs to pursue their dreams. So we created a video with Puddles the Clown singing, 'The Corporate Side of Life," to the tune of "Keep On the Sunny Side of Life," which shows common office frustrations — broken fax machines, bad coffee, cubicles with fluorescent lighting, etc. Puddles the Clown is an online character who regularly sings sad versions of popular songs – he is well-known for his version of Lorde cover, which received 10 million views. We felt by leveraging him, it would help the video spread on YouTube and social channels. We tied our video to a three-week social media campaign with #sadclown images, highlighting funny corporate scenery and quotes to create our own 'meme' images. We would create memes for users who Tweeted their story at us using #sadclown. Our entire campaign was tied together with the #sadclown hashtag because it was relevant to the sad clown in our video, but also the popular terminology of how people use 'sad clown' to reference things that are ironic and sad, like stereotypical corporate situations. We asked people to share their #sadclown story with us about when they shed their corporate clown suit and started their own business.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

This entry deserves to win because it was edgy for a financial services company to poke fun at corporations – since most financial companies are large corporations and banks. We felt Kabbage was uniquely positioned to do this since we are a startup ourselves that was started by two people who wrote their dreams on a napkin and then created their company together. We also deserve to win because of the engagement and views we received on a very scrappy budget = $50K to produce the video, with a small budget to promote it. To date, the video has over 200K views and still continues to gain views, comments and shares without any additional promotion.

In getting our objective across of Kabbage being in support of all small business owners who were brave enough to leave their job, we tied this sad clown to sad clown ideas and images of corporate life. All social media messages had a leading message with the video and posts, "Forget the 9-5, Kabbage salutes small business owners everywhere who shed their corporate clown suit & work for more than just a paycheck." Even though we were poking fun at corporate jobs, we wanted to associate the video and campaign with the positive feeling that business owners work for more than just a paycheck, and we salute their hard work and commitment to their business.

We started the campaign by teasing "clown" treatments to our images on social media of funny/sad corporate office situations such as a guy in his cubicle wearing a close nose and shorts with the copy, "Yay. Casual Friday." We also updated all of our social branding and imagery/avatars to include balloons.

The point of these teasers was to get people engaged with our brand around #sadclown and corporate imagery before we launched the video on October 30th – this was our attempt to build buzz, pre-campaign. Then we moved into images of Puddles the Clown with quotes from our video, and finally wrapped up the campaign with images of business owners' shedding their 'clown suit' (a suit or corporate office clothes) and asking them to share with us how they started their own business. We received comments & Tweets with business owners' stories on how they shed their corporate suit to start their own business and featured two of our favorites on our blog: https://www.kabbage.com/blog/two-entrepreneurs-tell-us-shed-corporate-clown-suit-start-business/

We measured engagement of our social community with this content, and total YouTube/Facebook video views to track effectiveness of the content. We received more than 200K views on the video, and all of the posts were our top-performing content on social media for October & November, during the campaign. Our biggest win of this campaign is that Guy Kawasaki shared it to his community as something small business owners needed to watch: https://plus.google.com/u/1/+GuyKawasaki/posts/BeGPCNnByaJ. We also received earned media from AdWeek, who featured the video on their site.


Video for A Salute to Small Business Owners Who Shed Their Clown Suit #sadclown

Produced by

Kabbage, Inc, breensmith, Tacklebox Films & Masch Dixon, Puddles the Clown


Entry Credits

About the Shorty Awards

The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media.

Millions of people participate in The Shortys to recognize individuals and organizations producing great content on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitch, TikTok, and the rest of the social web.

The Regular Entry Deadline is February 7th, 2019