Gabrielle Union fronts TikTok’s North American brand campaign honoring diverse creators

Effort follows global push that debuted in August

Published On
Mar 15, 2021

Editor's Pick

TikTok puts the spotlight on diverse creators in its new North American brand campaign fronted by actor, producer and entrepreneur Gabrielle Union.

The campaign, titled “Heads Up,” follows TikTok’s global “It Starts on Tiktok” brand push that debuted last August. Union tees up the ad in one scene stating, “Well, things are rough,” acknowledging all the turmoil the world has gone through over the past year. 

A diverse lineup of "TikTok Trailblazers," the title the brand has given to influential diverse creators, then appears. They include Black creators Kissy Duerre (@kissyduerre), Fatina Ahmed (@iconicgreen1) and Shirley Raines (@beauty2thestreetz); AAPI talents Linda Dong (@yoleendadong) and Newton Nguyen (@newt); LGBTQ+ influencers Boman Martinez-Reid (@Bomanizer), Cristian Dennis (@cristiandennis), and Sarah Lugo (@shreksdumpster); Latinx creators Adam Ray (@adamrayokay) and Zachary and Patrick Valentine (@zachv_pat); and up-and-coming Indigenous Canadian TikTok personality James Jones (@NotoriousCree).

"You are realness, and weirdness, chaos and hope," Union points out about all the makers who helped to pull us through the year. And though everyone’s now talking about the “good things to come,” those good things are already here—the creators themselves.

"The 'Heads Up' ad “continues our celebration of TikTok creators and the impact they’ve made on TikTok and in broader culture by highlighting their continued resilience and optimism for today and the future,” says TikTok Head of Global Marketing Nick Tran. “The spot turns the camera back on the community, showing the emotions we’ve all collectively experienced throughout the past year—from frustration to joy, and happiness to pain—and everything in between. Despite it all, creators have been this fun, creative beacon of light that has brought levity and connection to people around the world during a difficult year for all. So, for many, joy and creativity starts on TikTok.”

The spot is running during March Madness on broadcast and digital on Hulu, Spotify, Discovery and TLC, among other outlets. 

It also follows the brand’s U.K. “Sea Shanty” ad that debuted earlier this year and continues the brand’s global rallying cry around the ”It Starts on TikTok” theme. It was created out of Hecho Studios, while TikTok’s in-house brand marketing team led the creator strategy and concept development. Publicis’ Zenith Media led the media buy.