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Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

AARP TikTok Channel

Finalist in TikTok Presence, TikTok

Entered in Vertical Video


How do you enhance perceptions of your brand and establish a connection with a generation that has often been overlooked?

Once dubbed “America’s neglected middle child,” Generation X has quietly aged into AARP’s 50-plus community. Our challenge: How do we capture the attention of Generation X and establish AARP as a destination for them? To meet that goal, we did something that might make you say, “wait, what?” We joined TikTok.

Our objectives were straightforward:

While TikTok is often seen as an app for young people, we knew that there were more than 7 million users in the United States over the age of 45. Tapping into the opportunity of this new platform allowed us to reach and engage the Gen X community in new and creative ways. And as a brand most often associated with older adults appearing on a platform best known for its youthfulness, our presence genuinely surprises people.

Strategy and Execution

AARP’s TikTok account is personality-driven, starring “AARP TikTok guy” Craig and tapping into relatable experiences of aging with a heavy dose of both humor and nostalgia. Leaning into what makes TikTok unique, we established a brand voice that is witty, a little irreverent, and genuinely Gen X – steeped in ’80s and ’90s culture. It is:

Putting aside what works for AARP on other social channels, we developed an entirely new approach to content creation and community management that fueled our success on TikTok.

More than any other social platform, we know that a brand’s personality on TikTok plays a critical role in how they are perceived – and accepted – by the community. Active community management is key to creating authentic connections, growing our audience and building brand affinity.


Our first year on TikTok has been a success:

We're also achieving our goal of enhancing perceptions and building brand affinity among Gen Xers. The proof is in the comments, which show an overwhelmingly positive sentiment as users discover a new, unexpected side of AARP:


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