The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project
From the 9th Annual Shorty Awards

Channel Zero: Magic Eye GIFs - GLOW, Syfy

Finalist in GIFs


Nightmares don't come from just anywhere. They come from Channel Zero. To launch Syfy's new horror series, the GLOW social team developed custom animated GIFs mimicking the Magic Eye images popular in the 80s and 90s to immerse fans in the world of Channel Zero, sparking anticipation and gamifying fan experience with the series leading up to premiere.

Strategy and Execution

While Magic Eye images are traditionally static, the GLOW creative team elevated the Magic Eye format to an animated series that revealed custom messaging and 3D imagery. This feat required not just traditional 3D skills, but also the development of custom software that was written in-house specifically to encode the 3D models and messages into animated static images that were then composited into retro TV-frames before being released socially. The creative content directly related to the theme of the show in which children watched static TVs and hidden in the noise saw the Candle Cove show.

This creative combined two core themes of the horror genre - nostalgia and mystery - that successfully compelled fans to engage deeper with show content and spark social conversation pre-premiere.


This fresh twist on GIF content stood out on fan feeds, surprising and delighting followers and placing them into the environment of the show, and giving them the opportunity to personally try out what they saw in the show. Fans were immediately intrigued and actively looked deeper to find out what message was beneath the static, commenting and tweeting about what they found, even assisting one another with tips on how to view the hidden messages.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

GLOW , Syfy Network


Entry Credits