Best of the Internet January 17, 2019

Webby Underdogs: 9 Up-and-Comers That Took Home Big Webby Wins

A celebration of the moments when a "Webby underdog" beat out big-name brands and companies for the Webby in their categories.

Every year, Webby Winners span the full Internet spectrum: from major global enterprises to startups to individual creators. That’s because all it takes to win a Webby Award is to make truly creative, amazing work on the Internet.

In that spirit, we’re calling out some Webby Underdogs: Up-and-coming companies that were up against some serious competition in recent Webby Awards and went on to win the Webby glory. (Like the System Era Softworks, pictured.)

See their work below, and enter your own in the 24th Annual Webby Awards before the Extended Entry Deadline on Friday, February 7th! 

Webby Underdogs

A celebration of the moments when a "Webby underdog" beat out big-name brands and companies for the Webby in their categories.

Underdog 1: System Era Softworks

2019 Webby & Webby People’s Voice Winner for Astroneer

System Era Softworks was up against pretty stiff competition in the Games categories, which included the teams behind games like HellbladeFlorenceFortniteThe Walking Dead: Our World, and more.

Underdog 2:

2019 People’s Voice Winner for The Future of Cancer Research

Longform in Branded Entertainment is a tough category to win, especially with competition like Final Cut, production house Even/Odd, Adobe Creative Magazine, and Sephora in the ring. However, Freethink’s touching story of an Intel employee’s journey battling cancer, while looking for a cure using Intel technology, touched the hearts of Internet users everywhere.

Underdog 3: Oh She Glows

Every year, The Webbys’ Food & Drink category is packed with Internet heavy hitters. This year was no different, with nominees including top brands like SweetgreenEpicurious, and Yummly. The Oh She Glows Plant-Based Recipe App brought an inclusive and necessary perspective to the world of recipe apps, landing it The Webby Award over its competition.

Underdog 4: O Positive

2019 People’s Voice Winner for The Whopper Detour

It’s hard to cut through on social platforms—unless you are making top-notch work. Canadian Production Company O Positive and their team knew just how to with their film “The Whopper Detour,” featuring an experiment that turned over 14,000 McDonald’s locations in Burger King restaurants, selling Whoppers for one penny.  It resonated with the Internet, and took home the 2019 People’s Voice Award for Experimental & Innovation in a category that included leaders in social like R/GA and BBDO New York.

Underdog 5: Medium Maze

2019 Webby Winner for My Dad Wrote a Porno

Medium Maze’s podcast My Dad Wrote a Porno is hilarious. Creator Jamie Morton discovers a “dirty book” that his father wrote, and with the help of his friends, reads one chapter every week. Although it was up against popular programs like Ear Biscuits, The Oval Office Tapes, and Hannibal Buress: Handsome Rambler, it still took home the 2019 Webby Award for Comedy in Podcasts.

Underdog 5:

2016 Webby Winner for Distiller

It’s hard to cut through the noise in food and drink apps. But, Seattle-based company Distiller did just that with their mobile site that reviews spirits.

The app was named a 2016 Webby Winner for Food & Drink in Mobile, alongside household names like EpicuriousTastemade, and NY Times.

Underdog 6: PRX

2018 Webby Winner for Ear Hustle

PRX’s podcast Ear Hustle is full of heart. As a program made by prisoners about the multifaceted lives of the incarcerated population, it captivated the Internet enough to win the 2018 Webby Award for Documentary in Podcasts, proving a small team is deserving of a place next to industry giants like Frontline PBSSlate, and Google Brand Studio.

Underdog 7: Playdead

2018 Webby Winner for INSIDE

Many of the best games are being designed by small-but-scrappy teams. Last year’s Webby and People’s Voice Winner in Best Visual Design, Playdead is a shining examples of that fact, rising to the top in a category with well-established games like Monument Valley 2 and Two Dots.

Underdog 8: SoulPancake

2018 Webby Winner for Tell My Story

Digital platform SoulPancake is known for making “stuff that matters,” and their video series “Tell My Story” is no different. It’s smart, interesting, reveals our biases—and it took home the 2018 Webby Award for Culture & Lifestyle in Video in a category that included media giants like Viacom and VICE.

Underdog 9: Max Stossel and Sander van Dijk

2017 Webby Winner for The Panda is Dancing

Independent creators are no strangers to pushing the boundaries of an art form. Spoken-word artist Max Stossel and animator Sander van Dijk displayed that by creating The Panda is Dancing, a multimedia film commenting on how technology is impacting our attention spans.

They took home a Webby Award for Art & Experimental in Video, in a category that included National Film Board of CanadaSquarespace, and Eko.

Ready to join the best of the Internet? The Webby Awards Extended Entry Deadline is Friday, February 7th. Enter now at