So we attended the 6th annual Shorty Awards on Monday night. We did so not just to honor Sawhorse Media/Shortys founder and friend of the show Greg Gallant’s RSVP, but also to witness what has become something of a cultural institution.
While it’s true that we spent much of the evening hanging out in the press room and nursing a beer or two, we saw enough to believe that a win, nomination or sponsorship would almost certainly be a good thing for any client looking to stand out on social or target that elusive youth demo.
Here are five compelling reasons why (apologies if they closely resemble the reasons to participate in every other awards show).
1. The media exposure:
Of course, since this is now a social world, every brand involved also mentioned the event in some form.
2. The networking:
…and of course there were plenty of real-life journalists around. For example, we can now tell people at parties that we once met Touré.
Did we mention celebrities and their tweets?
3. The influence bump:
While the Shortys won’t provide an Ellen-selfie-sized boost, the event involves a group of people obsessed with social media celebrating others’ achievements in social media.
And yes, they’re all tweeting throughout. It’s a guaranteed boost in followers and mentions by other influencers. Even the sponsors get more attention.
Here’s host Natasha Leggero riffing on that one (and dropping some slightly off-color jokes):
4. The credibility:
Social is, in its way, the great equalizer. Unlike awards for movies or ad campaigns or PR agencies, the winners at the Shortys can be anyone (well, almost anyone) who excels at a certain thing–the more specific the better. No big budget required.
In other words, a win or presence at the event is a great way to make your brand more relevant to the everyman. Call it a different form of “engagement”. It’s also a great way to identify those “influencers” you want to recruit so badly.
Also: lots of old school folks still don’t take social seriously, and the Shortys give the material you and/or your clients work so hard on a little extra legitimacy. We’ll let Jerry Seinfeld explain:
5. The hors d’oeuvres:
OK, this last one is more a statement of personal taste. Just imagine tiny little grilled cheese sandwich slices with caramelized onions and all the Maker’s Mark you can drink without getting blitzed enough to become the meme of the night.
So what do we think of the Shortys?