13th Annual Shorty Awards Categories

The Shorty Awards honor the talented agencies, brands, and industry leaders behind the best and most innovative work on social media and digital channels, campaigns, websites and applications.

From the 9th Annual Shorty Awards

Mucinex: Let's Skip This

Gold Distinction in Video Pre-Roll

About this entry

Our goal was to cut through the clutter of the cold & flu category, during the height of its season, to make the Mucinex brand top of mind before people needed it.

To do this, we worked to find a new way to insert the Mucinex brand icon, Mr. Mucus, into daily life and culture, knowing that if we could meet the right users at the right place and time, they'd be more likely to hear what we had to say (or in this case, what we didn't have to say).

Why does this entry deserve to win?

Due to the seasonality of the cold and flu category, the market is crowded with brands fighting to gain awareness and consideration each and every year.

Top-of-mind awareness is critical to sales, as 89% of people buy when they are sick. But getting consumers to pay attention to a "sickness" message when they are healthy makes the challenge even more difficult.

Luckily, we had crafted a communications strategy that enabled us to play with media in a way most cold and flu brands couldn't. When we repositioned the Mucinex brand in 2014, we transformed Mr. Mucus from representing mucus in your chest, to representing the misery sickness brings to your life. In our communications, he is the antagonist, dead set on trying to keep sufferers from taking Mucinex.

The "Let's Skip This" videos were the perfect extension of this platform. These charming, engaging pre-rolls feature Mr. Mucus' valiant attempts to dissuade viewers from paying attention to the product message by urging them to hit the "skip" button. He literally points people to the button, ironically ensuring Mucinex grabs a user's attention within the first :05 seconds. A complete first for the category.

The ads ran on TrueView, YouTube's choice-based, pre-roll ad platform. We targeted people ("Healthy Now") who "looked liked" users who had purchased Mucinex in the past ("Fighters When Sick"). Google enabled us to target based on affinity groups and further refine by overlaying WebMD cold and flu data.


The "Let's Skip This" campaign took a medium that is often an afterthought for brands (skippable YouTube pre-roll), and tailored specific creative to it that cleverly played with its functionality in a self-aware, humorous way. The custom creative, combined with targeting affinity groups most likely to over-index on Mucinex, led to great success.

The real proof? People actually SEARCHED for the ads, giving us a 127% lift in search volume.

Additional stats*:

*Source: Think with Google Case Study "Mucinex Finds Cure to the Crowded Marketplace With Breakthrough TrueView Ads"


Video for Mucinex: Let's Skip This

Produced by

McCann New York, McCann Humancare, Psyop, Reckitt Benckiser

Entry Credits

About the Shorty Awards

The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media.

Millions of people participate in The Shortys to recognize individuals and organizations producing great content on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, TikTok, Snapchat, and the rest of the social web.

winners will be announced on Instagram this week. follow us to see who wins!