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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

Ask Pharma

Entered in Twitter Presence, Social Good Campaign, Hashtag, Meme, Creative use of Technology, Non-Profit


Every year, over a million children die of pneumonia and other respiratory

diseases around the world. That's one child lost every 35 seconds.

Pfizer and GSK have a pneumonia vaccine. However, they price the vaccine so

that the countries that need it most can't afford it. And the countries can't even

negotiate because the pharmaceutical companies are completely opaque about

the cost.

Doctors Without Borders (globally known as Médecins Sans Frontières)

needed a way to pressure Pfizer and GSK to reveal their pricing policy,

with the ultimate goal of convincing the companies of the need to lower the

vaccine price.

Strategy and Execution

In the age of the 24/7 news cycle, we had to drive awareness and participation around a complex issue with little time and almost zero budget.

Our solution: focus primarily on one channel (Twitter), create a hashtag that functions as a call-to-action (#AskPharma) and employ a creative device designed to spotlight Big Pharma's lack of transparency (an ASCII symbol that allowed us to hide information in our posts, resulting in the internet's first-ever "Redacted Tweets.")

Through pointed questions around pricing addressed to @Pfizer and @GSK — with key words blacked out — we delivered a simple, effective way to pressure Big Pharma.


In just a few short weeks, our Redacted Tweets/#AskPharma initiative:


Video for Ask Pharma

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Atmosphere Proximity , Doctors Without Borders // Medecins Sans Frontieres


Entry Credits