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Special Project

Special Project
From the 7th Annual Shorty Awards

Lessons in Technology Upgrades with AT&T’s Chris & Kristine

Entered in Animated GIFs


Business-to-business communication, even on social, can be stale and techy. So when AT&T prepared to launch its Network Suite offering for businesses, the company worked with FleishmanHillard on a social strategy to communicate the product features without falling into standard B-to-B conversation patterns. "Chris" and "Kristine," two fictional comic strip characters, were born out of this strategy, providing product information in a relatable, digestible manner. The team leveraged Google+ and Twitter's new GIF functionality to bring Chris and Kristine to life, with a little humor. The comic series, "Networking with Chris & Kristine," was one of three social content pillars – standard social, wordplay, and GIFs/cartoons – used to launch Network Suite. The GIFs were shared across AT&T's business-focused Twitter and Google+ pages. For channels that do not fully support GIFs, supplemental comic-strip-style cartoon images were shared. In terms of total social impressions, the "Networking with Chris & Kristine" series outperformed the other two social pillars with more than 48 percent of the total social impressions.

Strategy and Execution

GIFs are not new, but the manner in which the team used them for this campaign was unique. Instead of the traditional looped meme, this campaign leveraged GIFs as an information-sharing tool. The team highlighted the Network Suite product features that the target audience would find most tangible and beneficial. Those features, combined with comical and stereotypical office scenarios, resulted in the highest-performing content of the overall product launch campaign. They provided humor to those familiar with the technology, and a subtle wake-up call to those in need of a technology upgrade.

The three cartoons developed spoke to "always on" connectivity, mobile technology consolidation, and network security, which has been top of mind this year due to an increase in cyber-security breach coverage. The campaign launched in July 2014 and was most heavily promoted through August. Some of this content is still in circulation.

The use of the GIFs and supplemental cartoons to tell a full story, versus a fraction of a story, is what makes this campaign unique. And with 359,500 total impressions (more than 14,000 per week), this approach was successful and exceptional.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

AT&T with FleishmanHillard