TikTok Reflects: The Difference In Taking The Road Not Traveled

As we began to reflect on 2020, our usual approach of looking back at the successes and challenges didn’t pay homage to the year the way it deserves. As a community, we all experienced the weight of 2020 in different ways. This year isn’t about crisp and tidy highlights with key takeaways and perfected copy points. So instead, I’ve written a poem to try and capture the spirit of what we experienced this year at TikTok, as individuals, and as a marketing community. May we all support one another while we build toward a new future together in 2021. 

 
 

fire

 

The Fire for Realness

 

 

One year prior, things were on the surface, 
Light, lovely, picture-perfect 

People sharing a life that was not quite genuine
Producing posed moments—lights, camera, action 

Then, the throes of COVID brought world despair
Blurring all sense of the future, don’t dream…don’t dare. 

An unclear path for ourselves and humanity
A lack of protection, for people, community 

Continued heartbreak marked the year
Sparking action, highlighting injustice, shedding tears

The planet shifted to a mindful place,
Granting a moment to contemplate for the entire human race 

With our collective behavior turning towards change,
We entered a brand-new era on the global stage 

And as we slowly pushed on through
We found ourselves in a world anew 

Bonding, connecting from around the globe
Sharing laughter, understanding, pain, hope 

And a spirit of openness, breaking down walls
To carry us forth from winter through fall 

Now winter again, and we’ve changed as a community
As we worked to embrace this unique opportunity 

We learned how to be open, vulnerable, fragile,
And revealed that the human spirit can be agile  

We judged—both ourselves and others—much less
Change was a mandatory part of enduring this test 

Our generation has never been more real
We’ve evolved so much, and we’re growing still 

More understanding, more whole, and for the first time ever,
A new shared perspective to bind us together 

And as everything shifted, brands had to change too
Embracing the reality of what we’ve all been through

To take risks in sharing what we’re really about,
Building courage to work through our shadows of doubt

We are starting to heal, even through the pain 
But like a scar to the skin, we’ll never be the same 

We are more resilient now as we forge ahead
Through the unknown together, we stand in good stead 

As we look to tomorrow, to 2021
One community, one team, beating one drum 

Building our character, from wherever we stand 
The silver lining for both people and brand 

A shared desire to fulfill the core human need
To be understood, to be heard, to be seen 

And out of the ashes of this world in stillness,
We sparked a flame that fuelled the fire for realness 

Carrying forward this authentic new start  
With creativity and joy sitting right at the heart 

Yes we changed in the pain but as we should, 
To build a community, for tomorrow, for good. 

 

—Katie Puris

As we began to reflect on 2020, our usual approach of looking back at the successes and challenges didn’t pay homage to the year the way it deserves. As a community, we all experienced the weight of 2020 in different ways. This year isn’t about crisp and tidy highlights with key takeaways and perfected copy points. So instead, I’ve written a poem to try and capture the spirit of what we experienced this year at TikTok, as individuals, and as a marketing community. May we all support one another while we build toward a new future together in 2021. 

 

 

 

The Fire for Realness

 

 

One year prior, things were on the surface, 
Light, lovely, picture-perfect 

People sharing a life that was not quite genuine
Producing posed moments—lights, camera, action 

Then, the throes of COVID brought world despair
Blurring all sense of the future, don’t dream…don’t dare. 

An unclear path for ourselves and humanity
A lack of protection, for people, community 

Continued heartbreak marked the year
Sparking action, highlighting injustice, shedding tears

The planet shifted to a mindful place,
Granting a moment to contemplate for the entire human race 

With our collective behavior turning towards change,
We entered a brand-new era on the global stage 

And as we slowly pushed on through
We found ourselves in a world anew 

Bonding, connecting from around the globe
Sharing laughter, understanding, pain, hope 

And a spirit of openness, breaking down walls
To carry us forth from winter through fall 

Now winter again, and we’ve changed as a community
As we worked to embrace this unique opportunity 

We learned how to be open, vulnerable, fragile,
And revealed that the human spirit can be agile  

We judged—both ourselves and others—much less
Change was a mandatory part of enduring this test 

Our generation has never been more real
We’ve evolved so much, and we’re growing still 

More understanding, more whole, and for the first time ever,
A new shared perspective to bind us together 

And as everything shifted, brands had to change too
Embracing the reality of what we’ve all been through

To take risks in sharing what we’re really about,
Building courage to work through our shadows of doubt

We are starting to heal, even through the pain 
But like a scar to the skin, we’ll never be the same 

We are more resilient now as we forge ahead
Through the unknown together, we stand in good stead 

As we look to tomorrow, to 2021
One community, one team, beating one drum 

Building our character, from wherever we stand 
The silver lining for both people and brand 

A shared desire to fulfill the core human need
To be understood, to be heard, to be seen 

And out of the ashes of this world in stillness,
We sparked a flame that fuelled the fire for realness 

Carrying forward this authentic new start  
With creativity and joy sitting right at the heart 

Yes we changed in the pain but as we should, 
To build a community, for tomorrow, for good. 

 

—Katie PurisRead MoreLatest News – Ad Age

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