Enter the 14th Annual Shorty Awards

The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. See categories below. The early entry deadline is on December 9th, 2021.

From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

Bringing thinkThin from Niche to National

Entered in Food & Beverage

About this entry

thinkThin is a product brand that sells protein bars for women. They came to us in 2014 to create a social media strategy with the goal of increasing national awareness and driving sales. They had an existing social media presence but it lacked a consistent voice and clear objectives, as well as a strategy for implementing and managing paid social.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

The Challenge
The nutrition bar industry is rapidly expanding and is thus extremely competitive. We needed to find a way to set thinkThin apart from the big name brands and hone in on the right audience. Social is the only media outlet used to promote new thinkThin product lines, so we needed to quickly increase their reach and the level of engagement.

Knowing Our Target
We identified three main audiences and researched the online habits and tendencies of each, providing valuable insights that helped guide our overall strategy and content. We worked closely with thinkThin to define a tone for social that would resonate with our core audience. We reshaped an existing thinkThin user persona, making her more relatable and multi-faceted. She needed to be wise and witty – a trusted advisor that helps her friends be their best selves but also an endearingly flawed human being, just like the rest of us.

Promoting New Products
Social media is the only channel in which thinkThin promotes new products, so there we focused on making a splash. We promoted posts featuring exclusive new product giveaways before fans could buy it in stores. This strategy advertised the release of new products and rewarded loyal fans, working to activate the community and keep fans coming back for more.

Translating a TV Spot to Social
We also used paid social to extend the life of a TV campaign about the fact that women shouldn't have to feel guilty about what they eat. We held several contests and sweepstakes that encouraged fans to share their guilty stories using the hashtag #guiltynotguilty. We rewarded our audience with ultimate guilty pleasures – a SpaFinder gift certificate, tickets to 50 Shades of Grey, and, of course, lots of delicious bars.

This series of interactive posts resonated with our audience, transforming a single-sided conversation into a fun dialogue with our fans. We effectively extending the life of the campaign while gathering generating thousands of likes and shares.

The best part for thinkThin? The investment to extend their TV ad on social barely made a dent in their overall marketing budget.


As part of the brand's national paid advertising campaign, we have greatly increased national awareness and seen a huge rise in sales. The overwhelming success in paid social helped grow household penetration from 1 to 3% in 2014 – the fastest growth in the nutrition bar category.

Other highlights include:

Average weekly reach grew by 5,000%
Number of fans grew by 17% – one of the top fan growth rates in the category
Engagement increased by 2,767.44%

Fan growth of 19.95%
Engagement grew by 900%


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Little Arrows, thinkThin


Entry Credits