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Enter the 14th Annual Shorty Awards

The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. See categories below. The early entry deadline is on December 9th, 2021.

From the 11th Annual Shorty Awards

Kneading Dough

Entered in Branded Series

About this entry

When it comes to financial education, statistics in the U.S. are quite alarming. Over half of the population says the most difficult topic to discuss with others is personal finance, and they would rather discuss death, politics, or religion. Additionally, 85% of Americans are anxious about their finances.

To address this dilemma, "Kneading Dough" was created with professional athletes, having them become unexpected messengers to deliver financial education content in an entertaining and fresh way.

"Kneading Dough" helps normalize conversations about money and creates awareness about the importance of financial education. Thus, the series not only aims to captivate and engage audiences, but also, it inspires consumers to take action when it comes to managing their personal finances.

Most people think professional athletes have endless amounts of money and don't struggle with finances; however, they do. Many come into money suddenly at a young age and aren't experienced or educated about financial topics. The idea was to conduct one-hour video interviews with five top athletes, discussing the topic of money. Interview questions were research-based and focused on distinctive aspects of the athletes' lives.

Creative objectives included capturing relatable, authentic, entertaining and insightful stories from athletes about how they navigated their personal financial journeys and careers and build a bridge with everyday consumers. For example, Serena Williams talking about how she tried to deposit her first big check ($1MM) at a drive-thru teller is both entertaining and poignant.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

UNINTERRUPTED partnered with J.P. Morgan Chase, and we selected athletes to participate in "Kneading Dough." Selection criteria included professional athletes that are well-known with large social followings and have unique backgrounds, positive public perceptions and the ability to articulate stories in a way relatable to the mass consumer. Diversity of sport, gender and stage in one's career was also considered when choosing athletes.

The brands crafted tailored interview questions based on:

To create programing continuity, athletes were asked a set of standard questions during their interviews so the brands could compare and contrast responses, as no two individuals think about money in the same way.

In post-production, the brands extracted the most authentic and insightful themes from the interviews that could link to financial education content in a relevant and entertaining way.


"Kneading Dough" has changed the way consumers talk, think and learn about money by creating content that's entertaining, captivating, empowering and above all, relatable. The series received buzz-worthy media coverage and engaged mass consumers.

Prior to the launch of each episode, social teasers generate excitement. Full episodes are released across digital and social channels as well as the athletes' platforms, with each episode reaching a minimum of 50MM unique viewers per month in 2018. Additionally, the launches of each episode were timed to align with a relevant cultural moment, such as the NBA playoffs.

Once released, the episodes were distributed and amplified by a comprehensive mixed media social strategy. Editorial partnerships were also created with the likes of Bleacher Report, Forbes and NowThis to further distribute and promote the content as well as establish longer tail audiences in Sports, Finance and Business.

"Kneading Dough" was covered by 40+ outlets, and 100+ press articles generated over 1-billion earned media impressions in 2018 alone. The series reached expanded audiences and drove consumers down the funnel to begin taking charge of their finances. Over 165MM individuals watched "Kneading Dough" videos across digital channels. The series ignited over 6MM conversations on social media about money, and millions furthered their education by reading financial content on the Chase website.

Overall, the candid, relatable look into athletes' lives helped normalize conversations about money. In turn, the brands have inspired consumers to reconsider conventional attitudes around money conversations, promoting a culture of asking questions and seeking advice.


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