About us

Welcome to What Works

Since 2009, What Works Studio has been creating brands, projects, and campaigns that have become culturally significant movements that capture the attention of the world.

Our work has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in measurable economic impact and ROI, billions of earned media impressions, viral social media events, and global brand recognition for clients seeking to create monumental change at scale.

We have won many awards, including Innovator of the Year and Creative Group of the Year, but our primary focus is on creating big wins for our clients and we have a strong track record of delivering transformational results with global reach.

What Works is led by Brooke Hall Allen (Founder/CEO) and Justin Allen (Partner/COO). The What Works team includes 20+ professionals such as project managers, account managers, social media specialists, content creators, problem-solvers, designers, developers, copy writers, and creative strategists who are uniquely talented at crafting stories that inspire people to action.

As a woman-owned small business, we’re certified by Maryland DOT as Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Baltimore City as Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), WBENC National as a Women Business Enterprise (WBE), and WBENC and SBA as Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB). Learn more about how we can help you achieve your minority participation goals.

We’re the creators of Light City, America’s first large-scale light and innovation festival that has generated over $111 Million in economic impact for Maryland. We developed Light City to position the region as a global hub of innovation, create economic opportunities for innovators, artists, and entrepreneurs, and shift the image of a city in the eyes of the world. In its first year, Light City welcomed more than 400,000 people over 7 nights, and added $33.8 Million to the local economy (a ROI of 956%). To date, Light City has had more than 2.9 Billion earned media impressions.


What Works created the viral internet celebrity, Mr. Trash Wheel, who has become an international icon for ocean conservancy. Mr. Trash Wheel achieved the number one spot on the front page of Reddit during a viral AMA appearance, was featured in National Geographic’s print edition, and was named Discovery Channel’s #1 Story of the Year. After being featured in hundreds of publications globally, Mr. Trash Wheel has become popular around the world.

Before that, we helped raise $5.9 million in a single day on #GivingTuesday for a technology client. The #BmoreGivesMore effort became the largest #GivingTuesday campaign at that time and won Baltimore the title of “Most Generous City in America.” Together with the client, we birthed a movement that was replicated in over 70 cities the following year. Our campaign was featured in dozens of national publications, mentioned in many more online outlets, and is now featured in a permanent exhibition in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

Launched in 2010, we founded What Weekly, an online music, arts, and innovation magazine committed to focusing on positive stories and remarkable artists, musicians, and innovators in Baltimore regularly overlooked by mainstream media. What Weekly rallied hundreds of local contributors to develop thousands of stories, read by hundreds of thousands of people in countries around the world. The award-winning publication has been featured in The Guardian, New York Magazine, and Huffington Post, among others. Many stories that were originated by What Weekly were later picked up by mainstream and national media.


Our work.

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Kaiser Permanente Social Media Operations

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Enoch Pratt Free Library

Video Work

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Sawyer Wealth Management


Hopkins IP

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Outward Bound

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Warnock Foundation

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Green Street Academy

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Bmore Gives More

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Mr. Trash Wheel


Best Social Media Marketing Agencies in Baltimore – 2020 and 2022


Innovator of the Year

The Daily Record

Creative Group of the Year

Baltimore Innovation Week

25 Women to Watch

The Baltimore Sun

Top 40 Under 40

Baltimore Business Journal

Downtown Baltimore Award

Downtown Partnership of Baltimore

Baltimore Transformer Award

Strong City Baltimore

Silo Breaker Award


Mayor’s Certificate of Recognition

City of Baltimore

Best of Baltimore: Light City

Baltimore Magazine

Best of Baltimore: What Weekly

Baltimore Magazine

Brava Top Female CEO

Smart CEO Magazine

Social Innovation Award

Baltimore Social Innovation Journal

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