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Special Project

Special Project
From the 16th Annual Shorty Awards


Finalist in Paid & Amplification

Entered in Insights & Trends


Our main objective for this campaign was to assess the feasibility of creating bespoke TikTok content that seamlessly aligns with QuickBook's RTB Performance strategy. So, we used “A Day in the Life POV” trend to speak to content creators directly

We understood that highly produced content lacks the authenticity that people engage with most on the platform. Similarly, low fidelity content that has a DIY feel doesn’t help brands look desirable or aspirational.

We identified an opportunity for QuickBooks to utilize the platform in a way that shares the brand values but maintains the authenticity that people are drawn to on TikTok.

Our goal was to increase awareness of QuickBooks Self-Employed for content creators by speaking to content creators. We tapped into trends and engagement drivers on TikTok and let them guide our creative direction.  

Strategy and Execution

To demonstrate the benefits that self-employed content creators can enjoy using Quickbooks, we used UGC techniques and best practices to create authentic looking footage and effective ad placements. To do this successfully, we had to be thoughtful with every move.

First, we used “A day in the life: POV” to highlight ways that QuickBooks makes life easier and organized for content creators.

To increase retention, we used the “TikTok Loop,” which ties the ending of the video back to the beginning. This is an effective technique already used by content creators on the platform, and viewers often find themselves rewatching the loop simply because they like the way it all ties together.

We were especially intentional with casting.

According to the US Census Bureau, minority owned businesses represent 18.3% of all self-employed individuals — accounting for over $1.4 trillion in annual revenue and employing over 8.7 million people in the United States in 2018. Self-employment is on the rise, and through social listening we found that being self-employed is more common as a goal among Gen-Z and Millennials than other generations. Our casting choices reflected both diversity and a younger leaning audience as per our findings.

It was important to us that we maintain authenticity throughout this whole project by keeping the team very lean. We even made props by hand and sourced others locally.

One big challenge that brands face with bespoke work is approval times. From producing to approving to legal reviews — timelines can quickly stretch. You need to move fast on a platform like TikTok. Even with our lean team, we overcame this challenge by creating a first of its kind process that QuickBooks and their legal team were comfortable with. Saving time, money, and expediting how quickly the work went live. It was highly successful.


From a performance perspective, we broke records on our TikTok averages. Our two creatives ‘Mileage Tracking’ & ‘Categorize’ performed +36% & +55%, respectively, above our 3 month benchmarks for Click-Thru-Rate. Our ‘Receipt Capture’ creative lead with a 27% lower Cost-Per-Click, with an overall 12% MoM improvement in Click-Thru-Rate. This performance indicated to us that continuing to create efficient, meaningful and bespoke creative that fits natively on platform is a high-performing strategic direction for creative. 


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Critical Mass, QuickBooks


Entry Credits