The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project
From the 7th Annual Shorty Awards


Winner in Large Agency



Co-founded by brothers Gary and AJ Vaynerchuk in 2009, VaynerMedia is a social-first digital agency that helps brands tell their stories. Gary's entrepreneurial past—growing his family's wine store to a $45 million retail giant while leveraging social media—informs our commitment to leading the marketplace with our ideas.


Looking forward informs our hiring, too—as we speak with candidates, we care most about where we see can see them going. Being forward-looking in our hiring has led to diversity gains without specific programs for doing so. We're also beating industry-wide retention by 2x, so our approach is clearly working.


VaynerMedia's gone from scrappy six-person start-up to full-service digital shop of 450. With New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco offices, our 90-brand client roster includes Fortune 200 companies, from consumer packaged goods and sports teams to television networks. Financial growth has followed, with 2014 revenue up 79% over 2013.


At VaynerMedia, you don't get coffee dates and lunches just in the first week—we're social all year long. Humility's another tenet of VaynerMedia. Take VaynerDay 2014: This year on our self-made holiday, we hacked for charity, crafting social media campaigns we gave nonprofits, gratis. Gary wrote the book on gratitude, which powers VaynerMedia as much as our innovative ideas do.


Even as you read this, VaynerMedia's capabilities are growing. This year, we're adding VaynerLive, an experiential live entertainment division, and Wingman, an insights and activation lab. With them, we'll continue guiding clients to what's next while driving business results.

Strategy and Execution

TL;DR—as Gary likes to say: "We prove social sells sh*t."


It's our commitment to excellence that had Ad Age naming VaynerMedia among its "Agency Standouts" this year as part of its Agency A-List Awards (after naming us to their 2014 "Agencies to Watch" list last year). Our nimbleness and ability to scale good ideas fast makes VaynerMedia a preferred partner for the biggest digital platforms and players. Listening to our clients' KPIs and tuning in to their brands' communities is how we create insight-driven content that yields real-world results. Here's just some of the work we did in 2014 that showcases this:

Mountain Dew Baja Blast: The challenge: Mountain Dew tasked VaynerMedia with building buzz for one of its most anticipated limited time offer product releases. Previously only available at fountains in Taco Bell locations, 2014 marked the first year Mountain Dew Baja Blast would be available at retail nationwide. For years, fans begged for the product to be available in stores. Some even went as far as bootlegging the product from their local Taco Bell. The challenge was to ensure Mountain Dew Baja Blast's retail debut was on par with fans' intense passion. Our Mountain Dew infographic shows how "Baja Blast From the Past" delivered just that.

Chrisley Knows Best: The challenge: Build a social presence from scratch and drive tune-in for a new show. We knew generating awareness from potential viewers hinged on introducing Chrisley family members to different demographics who would respond to them. VaynerMedia built a community of engaged fans through tailored promoted content that spoke directly to their interests. We drove growth on Facebook and Twitter with content designed to trigger engagement between fans and the Chrisleys. Capitalizing on Facebook's powerful niche targeting abilities, we crafted customized posts for 16 key markets to drive tune-in and boost Nielsen ratings [see Chrisley creative]. Our Chrisley Knows Best infographic tells the whole story.

General Electric: The challenge: On the heels of last year's groundbreaking #SixSecondScience Fair, continue positioning General Electric (GE) to win on new platforms while captivating a younger audience. Knowing sneaker enthusiasts are part of that demo, we worked with GE to reinvent the moon boot into a modern sneaker we called The Missions, launching a Snapchat campaign around the moon landing's 45th anniversary and getting the space arena's biggest influencer to help us: astronaut Buzz Aldrin. Another opportunity was launching the first-ever Yo account focused on locomotive technology, in which a known GE sub-audience—train enthusiasts—was delighted by messages from actual locomotives. To cap off the year, we developed #EmojiScience, playing again to Snapchat's age demographic by speaking their language (emoji) while deploying a key influencer—Bill Nye, the "Science Guy"—to help us celebrate science. As our GE infographic shows, we more than fulfilled our promise to help GE forge new audience and platform paths.

Sonic: The challenge: Execute a limited-time offer (LTO) of a mystery slush flavor using only social media to drive sales. Leading up to the one-day only offer, we teased Sonic's Snapchat launch and messaged around the LTO across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Tumblr [see our mystery slush video] pushing customers to Sonic lots. Then, on August 21, we exclusively revealed the flavor on Snapchat, using that moment to build an audience on an entirely new social media platform for the brand. Appealing to Sonic's customer psychographic of food adventurer, the campaign made clear that social media drives real-world sales. See our Sonic infographic for proof.


Entrant Company / Organization Name



Entry Credits