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

Poké Palooza

Finalist in Location-Based Experience

About this entry

It's no secret that Pokémon Go quickly became a global phenomenon after its release in early July 2016. Pokémon Go was the top search worldwide in 2016, according to Google. PokéStops appeared at some of the most iconic locations in Las Vegas. As groups of players began to coalesce around the game at impromptu events, Crowd Siren quickly realized that a strategic initiative could be leveraged to build a community around a location-based experience for our client, Grand Bazaar Shops.

We aimed to create and develop a social, location-based initiative for the most famous character in the world, Pikachu. We wanted to ride this phenomenon to mobilize people by bringing the virtual game into the physical realm for an engaging community experience for a retail center.

Grand Bazaar Shops is located at the busiest pedestrian intersection in the city: Las Vegas Boulevard, "The Strip," and Flamingo Road. With 70 stores spanning two acres, and a variety of food, dining and bar venues, Grand Bazaar Shops tenants are distinguished by iconic design features, some are the first of their kind in Las Vegas, the U.S. or worldwide, and others are popular well-known brands.

Grand Bazaar Shops is home to the first Las Vegas Wahlburgers, Sin City Brewing Co., Starbucks, Swarovski, Alex and Ani, Swatch, Superdry and LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

To draw people to this location-based experience, Crowd Siren employed a full-scale approach that included both traditional and new ways to market each of the four Poké Palooza events, including:

- Online event creation on Facebook, cross-promoted on other social platforms

- Social media advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

- Engaging social media polls on Facebook and Twitter

- Social media content creation on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

- Dark social posts by influencers on Facebook

- Traditional press release distribution to local media

To connect with the Pokémon Go players in Las Vegas, Crowd Siren used social media to connect with Facebook group admins and local fans via micro influencers. Through those connections, the Crowd Siren team mobilized a variety of Facebook groups to attend the events. This innovative technique is referred to as "dark social" because the Grand Bazaar Shops Facebook page was not involved in the group-level administration. We know that individuals can sometimes have a larger reach then brand pages alone!

Crowd Siren also launched a series of targeted Facebook, Instagram and Twitter ad campaigns using Grand Bazaar Shops social media to both locals and tourists within a group-target that included:

- Locals in Las Vegas who like Pokémon Go, Pikachu and mobile games

- Those within a geofence of 2 miles of Grand Bazaar Shops

- Use of trending hashtags to jump on-trend within Twitter

- Visitors of Las Vegas from around the world staying on the Las Vegas Strip and any Ceasar's Entertainment property.

Once we drew attendees to the Grand Bazaar Shops for Poké Palooza, Crowd Siren's team brought together various entertainment, promotion and giveaways at each of the four, weekly, on-site events to create a location-based experience, including:

- Music, free temporary tattoos, Pokémon characters and free caricatures

- Activation of Social Media Models, promotional models for the digital age

- Partnerships with local and national brands

- Retailer promotions and giveaways

Our team of Social Media Models hosted the event online, creating a physical and digital community built in real-time. While traditional event hosts are purely one-dimensional, Social Media Models are marketing models who update social media in real time for brands, extending their reach during live events. For each social media check-in presented to the Social Media Models, participants received a free $5 Starbucks gift card.

We secured participation from local and national retailers during the weekly events and even used in-game lures to attract to attract more Pokémon to the property for players to have more interaction. Trainers who presented their Pokédex at participating retailers received discounts and special offers during the event.


Grand Bazaar Shops reached 356,000 people during the 4 weeks of Poké Palooza events.

At the location, the Grand Bazaar Shops connected and engaged with new communities with visits from Pokémon characters, live interactions and temporary tattoos, Social Media Models and social media photo opportunities and exclusive offers and giveaways. National brands such as Starbucks and Alex and Ani participated by providing prizes in exchange for check-ins at Grand Bazaar Shops on social media.

This series of events created a community with the players and built new engagement connection with the retail shops.

As a result, Grand Bazaar Shops saw:

5% increase in foot traffic on days of the event above normal business days

625% increase in Facebook check-ins during the events above normal business days

28% increase in social media Engagement above Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.


Produced by

Crowd Siren, Grand Bazaar Shops


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 in may. follow us to be notified!