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

Ally Tip Off

Finalist in TikTok Partnership, Financial Services


We saw an opportunity to tap into a cultural moment (March Madness), in a unique and disruptive way that embodied our core values as a brand. Tip off was a tangible approach to showcase how we’re all better off with an ally, while also driving awareness and visibility for the brand in a way we never had before on an emerging platform - TikTok.

Strategy and Execution

The pandemic caused a lot of hardship for small businesses, especially those in the service industry. We saw this as an opportunity to give back to staff who’ve struggled to keep their community spirit alive, while also tapping into a major cultural moment - March Madness. We’re also locked out of most media coverage for this live event, so we set out to take over the social conversations instead. While people ignored their commercials and scrolled on TikTok- we were there showing up in a contextual way to the content they were engaging in. We enlisted the help of four popular TikTok creators who specialized in giving back or basketball related subcategories. We sent them to four college towns of teams who were in the Elite 8 to “tip” the staff of four restaurants/bars $50,000! To make sure, the patrons who are the foundation of local establishments benefited too, the creators announced that Ally was going to cover everyone’s tab in attendance. From there, each creator edited their footage into a TikTok video that published on their own channels, supported with paid media from the Ally Handle. This was our opportunity to be an ally in a very tangible way. Our entire campaign idea is “we’re all better off with an ally” and this is the perfect example to show what means.  

Logistics and authenticity were the two biggest mountains to climb to make this campaign a success. 

  1. Logistics proved to be difficult. We worked diligently to start outreach in any college towns with a chance to make it to the Elite 8 to get ahead of the game. We did copious amounts of research to lock-in the 4 bars/restaurants we’d be tipping at and started coordinating with owners to bring the activation to life. We had to get our tippers into the establishment along with a small crew and often to capture content, while ensuring the staff was surprised. All elements eventually came together in a very successful way and was all worth it in the end to give back to these communities. 
  2. We learned early on that authenticity is key when creating content for TikTok, especially to be prioritized in the algorithm. It was pertinent that we select the right creators to bring this activation to life for it to properly resonate with their audience and still tie in the ally brand in a unique way. Once we had our creators, we worked together diligently to make sure the activation was authentic to their style (& followed best practices to be prioritized on the for you page), while showcasing the heart and core values of our brand. It was striking the perfect balance between leaning into the creators’ style and platform strategy, but also giving direction on how to best represent Ally. 



We saw staggering results with the launch of our TikTok first campaign that proved the value of the platform. Ally Tip Off remains the highest ever in engagement (likes, comments, shares, etc.) across all Ally social channels. In just 4 days, we drove a 728% increase @allydoitright followers increasing from 5k to over 41k. Meanwhile, we maintained our highest ever positive/ neutral VOC at 98%, even with the highest engagement of all time, proving how well-received the content was by the TikTok community. We also had great success in both local and national PR with over 130 placements in outlets like NBC and MSN, generating over 628 million earned impressions, our highest-ever for an integrated campaign.

Tip Off is considered one of our greatest social successes and continues to be utilized as a benchmark for other campaigns. Not only did we see positive results, but we had strong learnings that influenced our go to market strategy on the fastest growing social platform, TikTok. We learned the importance of authenticity, especially coming from a brand, and the benefit of leveraging established creators paired with strategic media targeting. We continue to refine and improve our strategy as social is ever-changing, but Tip Off will always represent the start of our success on the platform and the value of creative, media and PR working in tandem.


Entrant Company / Organization Name



Entry Credits