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From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards


Entered in Instagram Presence


In 2015, our goal was to showcase the variety of ways Q-tips can be used every day, driving usage occasions and reinforcing Q-tips position as a household staple.

To do so, our team took a creative interpretation to showcase Q-tips usage occasions, making the product the hero in an unexpected way. To compete with high visual bar of Instagram content, we knew we needed to transform our simple cotton swab into something more by injecting a sense of whimsy and delight into our audience's feeds.

Strategy and Execution

Through a combination of social content created in-house and working with creative Instagram influencers, Q-tips showcased its "quirky" brand personality throughout the year with a vibrant and imaginative aesthetic. Q-tips tapped into peaks in social conversations and trending topics to surprise and delight its followers while organically interjecting product usage tips.

Q-tips kicked off the year by partnering with fashion illustrator Katie Rodgers (@PaperFashion) to recreate the best looks of the Oscars Red Carpet using Q-tips cotton swabs and Precision Tips. The content was posted in real-time to the Q-tips Instagram channel, utilizing both still images and Instagram's hyperlapse video app.

Over the summer, we took followers on a trip around the world with the #TravelingQtip. Similar to the "flat Stanley", Q-tips cotton swabs were photographed at iconic locations across the globe, including Rio de Janerio, London, Amsterdam, New Delhi, and Hong Kong.

To cap off the year, we launched NEW Q-tips Beauty Rounds by tapping into an emerging Instagram trend – creating minimalist art out of everyday objects. The team partnered with an Instagram influencer (@littledrill) to transform the premium cotton pads into items such as emojis, a bicycle, banana slices, and tic-tac-toe. We continued this aesthetic with our in-house content including a tree made of Q-tips cotton swabs to reinforce the product's sustainability and Beauty Rounds as sweater buttons to highlight the product claim of more soft cotton than the leading cotton pad.

Each of these "thumb-stopping" campaigns, as well as ongoing social content, exposed the brand to a whole new creative community – all without paid advertising.


With the introduction of the new Q-tips aesthetic, the account experienced a 10% increase in followers and 152% increase engagements from the previous month on Instagram and the consumer response has been overwhelming positive. The account has received recognition from Instagram representatives and other creative personalities in the field. One creative director on Instagram (@creatively_charged) responded: "I love it when a brand surprises me with a really fun Instagram feed with unexpected creative imagery. @Qtips has done just that. Love this."


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Weber Shandwick, Unilever