Shorty Awards: Which Facebook ad campaign was the best in 2013?


As the Shorty Awards (Monday, April 7), draw closer, one of the most competitive categories is the race for the best Facebook ad campaign of the year. Among the nominees are Pepsi, the University of Phoenix, Game of Thrones and Nissan.

Greg Galant, Co-Founder and Executive Producer of the Shorty Awards, described to Inside Facebook the importance of Facebook in today’s marketing ecosystem:

Brands are embracing new platforms such as Vine and Instagram video at a rate that’d put even a tech-savvy teenager to shame. We’re excited to honor the best in the industry and to have Unmetric return as our partner recognizing the top Facebook campaigns from 2013. Facebook has become a vital part in every marketing strategy and this year’s finalists showed that innovation and originality still exist on the decade-old platform.

Here’s what each campaign was about:

Brand Blurb
University of Phoenix  

Between Jan 1 2013 and Jan 1 2014 , the University of Phoenix encouraged engagement on their Facebook Wall by posting a combination of career topics to debate and original motivational quotes. As a result, they had a growth rate of nearly 90%, tripling their fans to over 1.7 million.


Smashbox invited its fans to create designs through an app, and gained 67,339 Facebook fans (over 10%). The app had 136,303 total page views in just 3 weeks,  averaging an MAU count of 45,815.

Human Rights Campaign  

HRC engaged its supporters in a digital campaign of solidarity, asking them to change their social media profile photos to a red-tinted version of HRC’s ubiquitous “equality” logo. Within 24 hours, HRC’s post on Facebook in support of marriage equality appeared over 18 million times in Newsfeeds, created millions impressions worldwide, and inspired countless memes.The red marriage equality logo transformed from a single post on HRC’s Facebook page to the most viral campaign in the history of Facebook.

Game of Thrones  

HBO and Definition 6 created the Join the Realm sigil creator which allows users to create their own coat of arms.The app received over 1.2 million visits and flooded social channels with over 750k sigils.


Pepsi set up a vending machine outside a Beyonce concert, where users could receive a sample by liking the brand’s Facebook page. The post announcing the Like Machine received an engagement score of 707.

Alex & Ani  

Working with eBay Enterprise & Kenshoo social, the brand transformed their digital marketing to begin optimizing and measuring Facebook ads driving sales to an unprecedented 4388% boost between June and December. From the period between Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday 2013, Facebook ads drove a staggering 1.6 million dollars in revenue.

Banana Republic  

One of the first companies to celebrate the Supreme Court’s ruling moving California forward on the road to marriage equality, Banana Republic invited fans to celebrate the historic decision and participate in the #BRLove4All contest .The post announing the sweepstakes received an engagement score of 875,and the brand received 1,100 total photo entries.


The campaign “Make it with Creative Cloud” and the hashtag #MadeThis turned students into stars and their work into the brand’s advertising. The campaign generated more than six million earned impressions in the first 6 weeks alone, in addition to over 4 million impressions from media partners.


For their “Passion Genome” campaign, using Facebook Connect in a radical and innovative manner, Nissan brought together people with similar interests.The brand received over 76k visits to their site and created 17.6k portraits.


Mentos Arabia created content and memes around the campaign hashtag,#GiveThemAMentos, resulting in 11,818 new Facebook fans which was a 44% growth rate and a total of 43,010 page shares in 8 weeks.

And here’s a look at how each campaign appeared on Facebook, including performance, courtesy of Unmetric (click to enlarge):

Unmetric Best Facebook Campaign

Readers: Which campaign do you feel was the best?

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