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Special Project

Special Project
From the 7th Annual Shorty Awards

Sharknado 2: The Second One

Finalist in Integration with Live Television


Sharknado 2 was designed to build on the success of the original movie, with the hope to strengthen the future of franchise, build the profile of the network to consumers and industry, and further distinguish ourselves as leading our competitors with the ability to tap into and exploit the social zeitgeist.

The first film was a cultural phenomenon in 2013, and capturing lightning in a bottle twice is no easy feat. It was a delicate balance to provide the fans with just enough to feed their frenzy, without seeming to steer the conversation.

Creating interesting, sharable and scalable conversations requires a balance of art and science, and a healthy mix of good, old-fashioned social skills—tone and manner—and smart social media analytics. It boils down to this: Be interesting to the people who are predisposed to be interested. And enable participation.

Strategy and Execution

After last year's highly successful and socially buzzed-about Sharknado, Syfy took on its follow-up film Sharknado 2: The Second One with social buzz in mind. The first film proved that our audiences had a big appetite for bite-sized, humorous memes and other shareable assets that many enthusiasts created themselves. For the sequel, Syfy wanted to build on the original film's organic social momentum in a “nudge don't shove" approach. The goal was to encourage viewers to engage with and spark discussion through a bevy of shareable social assets with which the audience could really have fun.

Syfy involved viewers early and often. The initial social push was a Twitter contest to find the sequel's name. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram accounts were established to share custom content for the movie in the form of GIFs, memes, image macros and videos. During the premiere, we live tweeted and GIFed from Tumblr to maximize touchpoints on popular platforms. We also aired “What the Shark" bumpers that featured live tweets during the premiere. And of course, we supported numerous promotions for the film, creating copy and social assets for partnerships like Joe's Crab Shack and Universal Studios.

Sharknado 2: The Second One achieved unprecedented success in the social arena and is now the most iconic example of how technology has fundamentally transformed how consumers and media can interact.

The success can be acutely measured, with more than 1 BILLION Twitter impressions. During the premiere, Sharknado had all ten US trending topics and five out of ten globally. There were more twitter mentions than Miley Cyrus on VMA day, Kim and Kanye on their wedding day, and the Game of Thrones “Red Wedding" episode (their largest social interaction to date). The chatter beat out blockbuster feature films including: The Lego Movie, Transformers 4, 22 Jump Street, and Godzilla.

As for ratings-Sharknado 2 was the highest rated original movie in the network's history, with over 16 million viewers. It was the highest rated cable movie of the evening, as well as the week.

We completely blew past any internal ratings and viewer goal we set. Sharknado premiered on July 11, 2013 to 1.4 million. The sequel almost tripled that number by launching to 3.9 million.

The brand awareness to Syfy is invaluable. Millions of eyeballs came to the network and sampled promotion for upcoming programming, with a terrific halo effect, bumping adjacent programming upwards of 20 to 30%.

By any measurable account, the Sharknado franchise has been a huge win for the network. The movie has aired in more than 100 countries, and its success reinforced the strength of the network as well as the brand of the movie. A highly anticipated sequel is planned for July 2015. Social media is already buzzing, with rampant chatter about where it will take place, and who will be in it.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Syfy, MXM


Entry Credits