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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Impact Awards

Michaela Jae Rodriguez Chosen Name Campaign

Finalist in LGBTQ+

Entered in Financial Services


At Citi, we’ve always been committed to helping drive an equitable and inclusive culture. Citi’s Chosen Name program, originally launched in 2020, gives transgender and non-binary customers the choice to update their eligible Citi-branded cards to match their true identity. Newly expanded to the U.S. retail business in August 2022 gave debit customers the ability to update their chosen name on cards by calling the toll-free number or by visiting a Citi branch.

To communicate this expansion, Citi Chosen Name kicked off a socially responsible campaign to drive engagement and spread the word. Citi partnered with Golden Globe Winner and LGBTQ+ advocate Michaela Jaé Rodriguez to amplify this expansion message. Just as the Chosen Name program has made history, Michaela has, too. As the first-ever trans woman to be nominated for an Emmy Award in a major acting category and win a Golden Globe for her standout role on the show FX Pose, Michaela (with over one million Instagram followers) is deeply aligned with Citi’s mission based on her own personal experiences.

Being called by the right name makes all the difference in the world to Michaela – and the transgender & non-binary community. In this beautifully engaging & emotional spot, Michaela opens up about the meaning behind her name. And how she’s so much more than just the characters she plays on TV. She subtly pays her café bill with the Citi Chosen Name card, bringing this all-important product feature to the forefront.

Strategy and Execution

For the trans community, choosing a name that aligns with your identity is one of the most pivotal moments of their lives. Some institutions, like banks, make it difficult for customers to change the way they’re referenced on accounts, in correspondence, and even on their debit cards. Citi has been committed to breaking down this barrier and making an impact on society – with the Chosen Name Card Program. At Citi, we believe that the recognition of a person’s true identity by others is an important step toward real inclusion for transgender people. The Chosen Name feature will enable our transgender and non-binary customers to use the name that reflects who they truly are. It’s an important way to recognize the importance of identity inclusion.

Launched during Transgender Awareness Week, our spot was created to open up new conversations between trans and cis-gendered people. As part of a multifaceted campaign across PR, social media, OOH, in-branch, and internal/colleague engagement, it gave Michaela Jaé Rodriguez the chance to open up with a large audience on the meaning of her name. Michaela also attended a discussion for Citi employees during the “Citi Inspires Speaker Series” where she talked about finding her voice and paving the way for others like her.


Citi’s partnership with Michaela Jaé Rodriguez earned 14 media interviews, 31 earned media stories and 760.3 million impressions. The video our In-House Agency team created, which was launched during Transgender Awareness Week, received 5.7 million views on YouTube paid media.

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