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From the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

LinkedIn: Avoid the Awkward

Winner in Facebook


In 2023 Brits were 13% unhappier than they were last year (1), the largest decline globally out of any nation. But hard times aren’t felt equally. Under-represented groups bear the brunt of these uncertain times, including in their careers. It’s never been more important to talk about DE&I. But in the UK, 55% of people are still too scared to talk about DE&I (2) for fear of getting things wrong. LinkedIn’s Facebook series ‘Avoid the Awkward’ looked to face this head-on, by working with established creators on the platform to open up these conversations in the workplace. We chose Facebook due the reach the platform offers (to give an important message a fighting chance) and the ability to precisely reach our key audiences. Facebook enabled us to meet our audience where they were, and by following best practices (like centering authenticity and championing creators) we were able to deliver high-quality Facebook-first content. 

A lack of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace (51%) is the biggest ‘red flag’ for Gen Z workers (3). The goal of our series is to approach difficult conversations around DE&I in the workplace, while empowering professionals to create an inclusive environment. The campaign forms part of LinkedIn’s mission to provide equal access to opportunity for every member of the global workforce. Our objectives were to drive brand consideration (what we call ‘visitation intent’) amongst our target audience and position LinkedIn as a trusted community brand.


1. Ipsos Global Happiness 2023 Report 

2. Right Track Learning Poll, 2021

3. LinkedIn’s 2023 Future of Recruiting Report

Strategy and Execution

At work, it’s normal to worry about getting it wrong, but those anxieties only intensify when talking about DE&I. We needed to alleviate the anxiety of ‘putting yourself out there’ as well as the weight and angst of having those hard conversations. We knew that normalising these vulnerabilities, and helping people speak out through honest but light guidance would help to mitigate this fear and make tougher topics feel accessible. 

Conversations about DE&I can be awkward, which means a lot of people won’t engage at all. But if told in the right way, they benefit everyone. We knew that LinkedIn had the credibility and the tools to help people understand each others’ stories and spark positive, constructive conversation. it has a legacy of being trusted and credible (‘Most Trusted’ social media platform for three years in a row (4)) - a place where conversations are built on mutual respect. We ensured our content was crafted with Facebook best practice in mind: with authenticity at the heart of each story and with a more sophisticated, open-ended call to action.

Using the office kitchen as the location for the content, and where passing conversations happen most at work, we want to recreate real, awkward conversations about inclusivity. We worked with three expert voices on LinkedIn (Luke Manton, Laura Mathias and Stephen Adeoye), each was given a brief to create a 60-second spot before a microwave ‘dings’ on a DEI topic that they feel strongly about - based on a real-life scenario they have experienced themselves at work, and posted about on LinkedIn. Launched on Facebook, the 60“ social films addressed three DEI topics: visible difference, neurodiversity and race. These scenarios were brought to life as: 'When your colleague makes an awkward assumption’, ‘When someone has an unhealthy obsession with your hair’ and ‘When someone misinterprets your tics’ bringing our creators' experiences to life in their own words.

Our experts re-created the scenario and played both characters themselves, tapping into the trend where the creator plays multiple roles in the same clip, enabling them to tell their story in a light and non-judgemental way. We chose a playful direction, which plays off “awkward” British behaviour to capture people’s attention on these important topics in unexpected ways.

We didn’t want it to be too earnest or worthy, we wanted the uncomfortable situations to bring lightness and levity to a topic many feel unequipped to approach to begin with. Our CTA “find new ways to talk about inclusivity" then gave our audience access to the tools and resources to confidently navigate (rather than shy away from) important conversations about inclusivity.


4. Business Insider Digital Trust Report


LinkedIn ran a brand lift study through Meta for this specific campaign in order to record its impact on those overall measures. Despite only being live for 4 weeks and having longer video lengths (between 49-60s) creative messaging lifted visitation intent by +5.5pts (industry average +0.8) and ad recall by +3.3pts (industry average +5.4) with a 99.9% chance of positively influencing brand lift metrics. Retargeting via Facebook saw significant results with retargeted audiences responsible for 52% of the total Thruplays, demonstrating efficiency in retargeting our audience via shorter video creative. In that same vein, of the longer videos, the best performing one was the shortest video, Luke – 49s, with click throughs, higher VCR and the most efficient CPTP compared to the other videos, showing that the use of shorter videos improves engagement. The campaign hit over 3m users, with 1m thruplays, a testament to the genuine guidance offered by our creators. Our results indicate that telling DE&I stories with an unexpected creative approach was memorable and drove visitation to the LinkedIn platform, with stories our audience invested in til the end. The campaign showed that sharing diverse, real experiences has the power to help us all grow by being more open and informed. We were able to bring LinkedIn’s diverse community to life and connect with our core segment and - in turn - for them to see the real value of the platform.



Video for LinkedIn: Avoid the Awkward

Entrant Company / Organization Name

VCCP, LinkedIn


Entry Credits