The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

AARP TikTok Channel

Finalist in Community Management


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:

As a brand most often associated with older adults appearing on a platform best known for its youthfulness, our goal was not only to reach and engage Gen X, but to do so in a new and creative way that would make the audience view AARP in a new light.

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. Putting aside what works for AARP on other social channels and 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.

Our voice on TikTok is:

And more than on 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 approach to community management on TikTok is unique among AARP’s social media channels, and the risks we’ve taken in developing the edgier, wittier voice that defines us on this platform have paid off:

It is through our community engagement efforts that we see most clearly our success in building brand affinity among Gen Xers. The proof is in the comments and positive sentiment as users find joy in discovering an unexpected side of AARP:


Entrant Company / Organization Name



Entry Credits