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Special Project

Special Project
From the 7th Annual Shorty Awards

Syfy, Ascension

Gold Honor in Instagram


In December, Syfy premiered a three-night television event, Ascension. The series centered around a top-secret space program that was launched in 1963 in response to the Cold War. The American government sent hundreds of people into space on a vessel as big as the Empire State Building for a hundred-year journey as a way to preserve mankind. As part of this premise, the people aboard the ship, even the kids born on board, are living in a facsimile of 1963 America. The first episode begins fifty years into the journey as the mission begins to unravel and people on earth are starting to uncover clues pointing to the existence of starship Ascension.

To help build awareness and introduce the audience to this series and its parallel storylines, GLOW and Syfy decided on a pre-launch teaser campaign based on Instagram. The idea was to create the first-ever holistic Instagram timeline gallery, using the platform not only to showcase arresting visuals but also to tell a compelling prequel narrative.

Strategy and Execution

The Ascension Instagram timeline was groundbreaking. Much like the mission of Ascension, this campaign pushed the boundaries of what's been possible on an existing, popular social platform and created a unique method of storytelling. Instead of posting siloed images that focused on individual posts in the stream, we wanted to expand the vision of Instagram itself to focus on the broader canvas—that is, the mobile profile page.

To that end, images spanned three, four, six, twelve even fifteen unique Instagram posts to create an interactive, scrolling, one-of-a-kind experience. The Ascension profile launched in October, with starter content already posted, and continued until premiere. The timeline told the story of the half-century of life leading up to the start of the series, both on board the spacecraft as well as on earth, charting how each society evolved to bring the audience up to "present day." The Instagram Profile bio included a tune-in message and a link for more backstory on a dynamic timeline on the Ascension website on Each image appeared with captions that were written to tease the story and drive tune-in, including character quotes or famous historical quotes to give context to the times during which the mission launched.

Why this worked:

•A first for Instagram and TV shows on social

•A mobile-first build

•Encouraged users to come back and experience again and again


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Syfy + GLOW


Entry Credits