Cybersmile’s Modern Witch Trials Campaign Sweeps Telly Awards with 10 Wins


The Cybersmile Foundation’s “Modern Witch Trials” campaign has taken home 10 awards at the 45th Annual Telly Awards. Launched in February, the campaign aimed to address the weaponization of social media and the increasing problem of mob harassment.

Developed in partnership with JOAN London and Chromista, Darren Aronofsky’s production company, “Modern Witch Trials” draws parallels between the 17th-century Salem witch trials and today’s online harassment. Tom Ghiden, Managing Director at JOAN London, expressed pride in the collaboration, saying, “We love the work Cybersmile has done, and we are extremely proud to have worked with such a brilliant extended team to tackle this very complex and polarizing issue.”

The Telly Awards celebrate excellence in video and television across all platforms. This year’s winners included big names like Adobe, Calvin Klein, ESPN, LinkedIn, MTV Entertainment Studios, NASA, the LA Clippers, and PlayStation Studios.

Directed by Emmy Award nominee and Venice Film Festival winner Eliza McNitt, the campaign’s short film received international acclaim, with over 5 million views sparking significant online discussion. High-profile supporters such as Star Trek’s William Shatner, WWE’s Nicola Glencross, actress Katie Cassidy, and soccer player Jordan Henderson helped amplify its impact.

Scott Freeman, CEO of The Cybersmile Foundation, expressed his gratitude: “We are thrilled that the value of our Modern Witch Trials campaign has been recognized by industry leaders with such a deep history of excellence.”

This year’s Telly Awards introduced categories focusing on Public Service & Activism, Generative AI, Brand Collaboration, Use of Data Visualization, Thought Leadership, and Accessibility, reflecting the industry’s push towards innovative storytelling and technology.

The campaign earned Tellys in several categories including: Social Video – Public Service & Activism, Online Commercials – Advocacy & Causes, Social Video – Social Responsibility, and Social Video – Lighting, among others. These awards underscore the campaign’s impactful and creative approach to addressing the issue of online harassment.

Amanda Needham, Managing Director of the Telly Awards, highlighted the quality of this year’s submissions stating: “Our industry is experimenting with new technologies like never before, crafting truly compelling stories to draw attention to some of the world’s most pressing issues.”

The competition was fierce, with nearly 13,000 entries from around the world. The winners were selected by the Telly Awards Judging Council, comprised of industry leaders like Nathalie Van Sasse Van Ysselt from MSG Sphere Studios, Barry Christie from Meta Creative Shop, Farihah Zaman from Brown Girl Doc Mafia, Aiden Darné from Shutterstock, and Malinda Wink from Minderoo Pictures.Since 2010, Cybersmile’s initiatives have garnered numerous international awards, including recognition at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, Shorty Awards, Campaign Big Awards, The One Show Awards, The Clio Awards, and MM+M Awards.

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