LOS ANGELES – Sept. 29, 2009 –Awkward Family Photos (www.awkwardfamilyphotos.com) invites couples everywhere to show the world just how uncomfortable it can be with your other half. The wildly popular website launches its first branded campaign – a contest to find the world’s most awkward couple – sponsored by Universal Pictures’ upcoming comedy COUPLES RETREAT. The film stars Vince Vaughn and arrives in theaters October 9.

Started from a conversation between childhood friends and co-founders Mike Bender and Doug Chernack, Awkward Family Photos became an overnight web sensation by giving users the chance to share their family’s awkwardness with the world. From family, couples and wedding photos to uncomfortably awkward vacation photos, viewers are logging on in record numbers to laugh through the pain.

“There is something universal about the awkwardness of family, and what better way to show that than through the family photo,” said Mike Bender co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com. “Our objective is to keep the site positive and funny without being mean-spirited in any way. We actively moderate the site in order to maintain a family-friendly atmosphere and to create more of a cathartic experience for people who want to share in the oddness of their families. And that’s what we hope the site will be — a communal celebration of awkwardness.”

Since the site launched in May, Awkward Family Photos has received more than 100 million page views and three million monthly visitors and continues to grow organically. Awkward Family Photos’ viral status has already resulted in conversations with brands eager to create custom campaigns.

Ivana Ma, General Manager of AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com, commented, “The COUPLES RETREAT contest represents the first branded campaign for Awkward Family Photos. It’s a direction that we hope to continue in with companies and brands in all verticals who share our sense of humor and see the potential to create targeted, integrated promotions together.”

The COUPLES RETREAT photo contest will run for two weeks and submissions will be judged by the Awkward Family Photos staff who will select the Top 5 entries. For the first time, all contest submissions will appear on the official Couples Retreat Awkward Couples Photo Contest page (www.awkwardfamilyphotos.com/couples-retreat-photo-contest). From October 4-8, viewers will have the opportunity to vote for their top pick among the Top 5. The winning photo will receive top billing, i.e., “ruling the homepage for a day.”

Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Jon Favreau, Malin Akerman, Kristin Davis, Kristen Bell and Faizon Love star in this comedy about four Midwestern couples who embark on a journey to a tropical island resort. While one of the couples is there to work on their marriage, the other three set out to jet ski, spa and enjoy some fun in the sun. They soon discover that participation in the resort’s couples therapy is not optional. Suddenly, their group-rate vacation comes at a price.  What follows is a hilarious look at real world problems faced by all couples. The film also stars Kali Hawk and Jean Reno. www.couplesretreatmovie.com

About Awkward Family Photos:
With more than 4.2 million visitors and 40 million pageviews in its first month of launch, web sensation Awkward Family Photos pays tribute to those uncomfortable moments we all have memorialized in the family photo. Ranging from the traditional family portrait, couples and baby snapshots, wedding and vacation photos to uncomfortably intimate pregnancy portraits and pet poses, AwkwardFamilyPhotos .com is a site dedicated to the communal celebration of awkwardness.

Cited by CNN as one the “10 Humor sites to make you LOL” and listed on ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY’s “The Must List”, AwkwardFamilyPhotos.com has been featured in hundreds of blogs, websites, newspapers and magazines including TIME, ESQUIRE, THE TELEGRAPH, THE BOSTON HERALD, THE GUARDIAN, as well as on television including ABC NEWS NOW, THE RACHEL RAY SHOW and THE TODAY SHOW

Author: Suzanne Philips
Film, TV, Theatre reviewer. Mad Dance Skillz, Crazy in a good way.