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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

HBO NOW Welcomes You to Adulthood #StartingNOW

Entered in Physical & Digital


For millennials that are entering adulthood, there are many rites of passage that are marked by certain key events – such as graduating college and the day you stop relying on your parents for HBO. Some of these rites of passage are also difficult, and getting your own HBO NOW subscription isn't one of those.

Knowing that millennials are still finding their way into the world and are always in need of a little advice, HBO and 360i devised a "phygital" experience called #StartingNOW and equipped millennials with the advice they need to tackle the challenges the real world throws their way.

To generate awareness among millennials and drive subscriptions around HBO NOW, HBO's new standalone service, the phygital experience utilized the network's most iconic moments to deliver GIFs of HBO-worthy advice and an original line of Hallmark-style audio greeting cards to those in need of advice to get drive buzz around HBO NOW.

Strategy and Execution

HBO and 360i utilized the network's most iconic moments to create a phygital campaign by delivering GIFs of advice and sending physical cards to those most in need… young adults.

To kick off the campaign, HBO released a super-cut made from clips of favorite iconic HBO moments which offered recent grads tongue-in-cheek advice to help ease them into the ins and outs of adulthood. These clips were also turned into individual GIFs for fans hosted on the PopKey GIF keyboard and the #StartingNOW website.

HBO and 360i also created a line of Hallmark-style audio greeting cards, which users could send via the site, along with social content such as GIFs to send advice to their friends. The site also drove to the HBO NOW sign-up page. In conjunction with the launch, the cards were sent to HBO superfans, who created "unboxing" videos of these audio greeting cards, Periscoped their cards in action and sent cards to their followers. HBO shows even got in on the fun, tweeting custom messages to their fans.


In the course of four days, the campaign drove 153MM total impressions, over half a million total engagements and drove over 2K visits to the HBO NOW order page during the week of the activation. 40% of all tweets about HBO NOW were also attributed to #StartingNOW.

Additionally over 20k GIFs were shared and the video generated 500K views across YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. Fans also ordered over 300 audio greeting cards.

The campaign generated awareness for HBO NOW and garnered positive press from Indiewire, Refinery 29 and HuffPost College. But most importantly, #StartingNOW equipped millennials with the advice they needed to tackle all the challenges the real world throws their way.


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