This past Sunday the 2015 Television Academy’s Emmy Awards returned to the living rooms of television lovers across the country. Ahead of the awards, each celebrity makes their debut on the red carpet. Meanwhile, fans watch the live coverage awaiting and expecting to discuss and judge the level of “fab” or “drab” of each gown. This ceremonial discussion is prompted
by the ancient line, “who are you wearing?”

However, this year Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls Organization saw an opportunity to promote their cause. Instead of asking simply who each woman was wearing, they sought to ask thoughtful, stimulating questions through the #SmartGirlsAsk campaign. The organization challenged Twitter users to ask questions that would allow the talented women of Hollywood to show off their brains, not just their beauty. The questions were posed by everyone from the average twitter user to Hillary Clinton. Even top fashion industry professionals such as Nina Garcia joined in, showing the power this campaign held. The very industry propelling beauty as an identifier felt compelled to weigh in on the conversation in order to avoid possible criticism.

#SmartGirlsAsk was one of the most successful discussion provocation campaigns we’ve seen in a long time. The campaign completely took over both on air and off air in the social media world. Everyone from the people watching the Emmy Awards to those who did not even know the Emmy Awards aired on Sunday were forced to ask themselves why we ask who people are wearing and why don’t we ask, “what qualities should girls be looking for in their role models in the media?” or “how did you start believing in your own work and talent?” Thanks to Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls Organization, we got to hear answers to those questions.

The campaign was successful because they saw an opportunity where others didn’t. They were strategic in pinpointing when people would pay attention. By taking something so dry and expected and throwing in a twist, they captured the attention of thousands. The element of thoughtful surprise put female empowerment at center stage.

And the Emmy goes to Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls Organization.