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11th Annual Shorty Awards Categories

See below for official categories. Entries close and voting ends on February 21st, 2019 at 11:59pm ET.

Brands & Organizations

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


Finalist in Financial Services

About this entry

Food has the power to connect people across borders. All around the world, flavors play a significant role in connecting us closer to home. A family recipe can bring loved ones together, even when they are far apart. It's more than just a recipe; it's a bond that will last forever.

#WUHomeCooked is a heartwarming storytelling video, where Western Union surprises and delights our customers with their favorite meal from home from their families. Food is a connective tissue to a person's family and culture and a popular topic on WU's social channels.

OUR CUSTOMERS are Dual-Belonger's, a term we use to describe our customers who are currently living in one place and from another - their heart feels like it's in two places. Many are pursuing education, career opportunities or simply a better life for them and their family; but with family members and strong ties to their birth country.

A lot of consumers who send money home don't boast about it. Nor do they consider making money to support their family out of the ordinary.

Western Union is a lifeline for these customers, connecting them to their families and friends around the world. We think we can forge an even deeper connection by recognizing these "quiet heroes" and sharing some of their remarkable stories.

OBJECTIVE: Surprise and delight our customers

STRATEGY: Emotionally connect customers with their family, culture and food from home.

OUTCOME: 6+ million views on WU Social Channels, thousands of customers sharing pictures of what they are cooking.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

We built this campaign upon an insight that our customers talked about food a lot on our social channels. We realized that food was a connective tissue to their culture, the family dinner table and their country origin.

This kind of consumer storytelling campaign was unexpected for Financial Services marketing. We created a strong emotional connection with our customers through this video that inspired thousands to share their own stories about what they were cooking in their kitchens using the campaign hashtag #WUHomeCooked.

The logistics of pulling off this campaign was not easy. How did we do it?

We held a customer-appreciation event at our iconic 1440 Broadway retail location where we spoke with customers, gave away branded merchandise and invited our customers to share their stories around food, family and culture on camera.

We were struck by cultural diversity of participants, their strong sense of family and love of native foods. The insight was clear: food is equal parts cultural identity, a link to family and good memories, and tied to the family dinner table. Many positive memories around family, food and culture were shared amongst 23 customer stories.

We were touched by several of our customers stories and we decided to surprise three of them with a surprise meal from their family and in some cases more.

KARLINA from Turkey

QUINETTA from Chicago

ANTUERPIA from Brazil

We worked with leading NY Chefs to create the "home cooked" meals from family recipes:


In addition to the millions of views for this campaign, we experienced social engagement at astonishing rates – people from all over the world sharing pictures of their favorite home cooked meals, recipes, comments, likes and shares.

Some key statistics




Video for #WUHomeCooked

Produced by

Western Union


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, Instagram, Twitch, TikTok, and the rest of the social web.

The Final Entry Deadline is February 21st, 2019