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From the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

LinkedIn: Avoid the Awkward

Gold Honor in Short Form Video


In 2023 Brits were 13% unhappier than they were last year, the largest decline globally out of any nation. But these hard times aren’t felt equally. Under-represented groups and diverse communities bear the brunt of these uncertain times, including in their careers. It’s never been more important to talk about DE&I, yet it’s one of the things that scares us most. In the UK, 55% of people are still too scared to talk about DE&I (1) for fear of getting things wrong. LinkedIn’s social video series ‘Avoid the Awkward’ looked to face this head-on, by working with established creators on the platform to spotlight their experiences and open up these conversations in the workplace. We chose short-form video as a medium that’s increasingly favoured by our core audience, and is an effective vehicle to deliver impactful, complex creative.

LinkedIn’s research found that Gen Z workers are looking for employers who value development and diversity, and are 17% more likely than Gen X to prioritise inclusive workplaces with professionals with diverse backgrounds (2). The goal of our short-form social series is to approach difficult conversations around DE&I in the workplace, while educating and 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. Right Track Learning Poll, 2021

2. LinkedIn’s 2023 Future of Recruiting Report.


Strategy and Execution

At work, it’s normal to worry about getting it wrong, and 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. Normalising these vulnerabilities, and helping people speak out through honest but light guidance can 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 has the credibility and the tools to help people understand each others’ stories and spark positive, constructive conversation. The platform has a legacy of being, trusted and credible (‘Most Trusted’ social media platform for three years in a row (3)) - a place where conversations are built on mutual respect. 

Working with our media partner, we were able to determine that short-form video would be the most effective way to engage our Gen-Z audience - in a world where we are bombarded with information we wanted to create and that was easily digestible, entertaining and ultimately informative. 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 through. 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. 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 short-form video 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.

3. 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 (on average 49s) creative messaging lifted visitation intent +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. Between all of the videos, the best performer in terms of engagement was the shortest video (Luke’s video; 49s), showing that the use of shorter creative enabled us to land our messages simply and impactfully. In that same vein, results showed that the retargeting 12s video was the best performing, showing the importance of running multiple placements and shorter videos to achieve efficient video performance. The campaign reached over 3m users, with 1m thruplays, a testament to the stories within our creative. 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