TikTok Advertising: The All-in-One 2021 Guide (with Ad Examples)

TikTok Advertising: The All-in-One 2021 Guide (with Ad Examples)

From banana bread to Tiger King, 2020 has been a year filled with activities centered around being at home. We baked at home, shopped from home, and of course, worked...

From banana bread to Tiger King, 2020 has been a year filled with activities centered around being at home. We baked at home, shopped from home, and of course, worked from home. But one platform has managed to keep all of us on our toes and connected across the globe. 

TikTok, since its 2016 launch, has found a way to be the next biggest thing in the world of social media, especially in 2020. In a tough year for many brands. TikTok not only prevailed but it also thrived—being named Ad Age’s No.1 Marketer of the Year. Not only are individuals using it for content creation- but it has sparked a new era of influencers, shopping, and even news updates. TikTok’s increasing growth has made it one of the rivals of Snapchat, Facebook, as well as the new social media for marketers to master.  With over 2 billion downloads and 100 million active users in the U.S., the platform has continued to attract brands looking to reach younger audiences.

Similar to Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat- brands, businesses, and individuals have the opportunity to use TikTok as a means of advertising their business. Companies across the globe have already begun to take these strides in 2020- finding unique ways to show their creative side, show off new collections, and even provide more transparency into their organization.If you’re looking for some help getting started on TikTok we’d love to talk about your goals and how we could help your brand grow!

This blog breaks down our top 10 favorite TikTok ads of 2020 and gives you a look into using TikTok advertising.  After all, a new year means new ads!

Who is Using TikTok Advertising?

Although influencers like Charli D’Amelio and David Dobrik have taken the TikTok world by storm- companies from all industries have found ways of promoting their brands across the globe. From the newest collections at Paris fashion week to your local pop-up shops- TikTok advertising allows companies of every type an opportunity to show their products. Luxury industries like Burberry, Gucci, and YSL have showcased their luxury in addicting bite-sized bits for us to lust over. 

The fast-food industry has taken speed and savings to a new level. Using TikTok advertising, companies like McDonald’s, Chipotle, and Wendys have found unique ways to connect with customers and turn up the cravings around new product launches. Tech companies have also found their way into TikTok advertisements. Apple’s iconic keynote featured a product release of a whole suite of their products- now a quick 30-second clip when you open the Tik Tok app. 

We’ve seen a lot of brands and companies find unique ways of honing their voices and product lines during this year- but TikToks have just been the start:

How to Use Tik Tok Ad Manager

Check out these simple steps to get started with your TikTok business account:

  1. Create your TikTok business account by going to TikTok Business Center. By clicking sign up in the top right-hand corner you can create up to three accounts in their respective time zones.
  2. Add your users and members through email or send them a link using the feature labeled “Members”. They can have two access points: General Business account and Ad account access. Within these two layers come additional restrictions that can be customized to your team.
  3. Manage your assets and Tik Tok Formats through the “Ad Account”. You will have to set-up a new Ad account and add your business account information. As a user, you may have to inform your administrator and have them approve your request.
  4. Create your ads and start engaging your audiences! Once you’re all set, make sure to explore Tik Tok’s community and see how you can leverage various formats to support your growth!

What are the TikTok ad formats?

How exactly do you start advertising on TikTok and which is the best way to do so? TikTok offers a variety of ways to spread the word about your product, brand or service and have users engage with it. We’re breaking down all the ways you can start-

Brand Takeover- an ad is shown on the app launch screen. Prior to landing on your “For You” pages and starting your daily scroll, you’ll be greeted with a short and sweet ad. These will  either be a 3-second static image or a 3-5 second video without audio. Given the format, these ads are best suited for awareness campaigns but advertisers should expect to pay premium prices for this spot especially since TikTok will only show one Brand Takeover Ad to a user each day.

TopView ads– The easiest way to think about TopView ads is just as a slightly delayed Brand Takeover Ad. They are 60-second videos designed to target your audience in the most effective way possible. These placements are guaranteed to be the first thing your user sees and will most likely interact with. 

In-Feed Ad- similar to ads you’re familiar with on Facebook or Instagram, but they’re a part of your daily “For You” feed. This ad format can run up to 60 seconds of video with sound and blends seamlessly into your scrolling and exploring.

Branded Hashtag Challenge- The TikTok staple that has people trending and using products in more ways than ever. This format encourages user-generated content. Users actively participate in creating themed content that incorporates the branded hashtag. This content is then compiled in a hashtag challenge page and can be viewed by others. This feedback loop has been a great way to create community and build an average engagement rate of 8.5% for this ad format. Tik Tok will even help get you started if you’re interested in launching one for your brand. 

Branded Effect- Similar to Instagram filters and Snapchat lenses these visual stickers, filters, and special effects are created for users to engage and use them on their own feed. Branded effects are accessible on the first page of the effects panel for three days at a time and available to search even beyond that time frame.

The wide variety of ad formats allows your brand great creative flexibility and room for experimentation. Other brands have already created powerful and engaging TikTok ads that have significantly increased their visibility on the platform. Let’s have a look at them now.

Top Brand Ad Campaigns of 2020

December is always a month of “Best Of” lists and this year TikTok hopped aboard the trend, highlighting brands and campaigns that inspired them in 2020. One standout snippet from the report: “43% of heavy Tik Tok users feel that the advertising on TikTok seamlessly blends in with the organic content enjoyed on the “For You” feed.” The platform prides itself on their “Don’t make ads, make Tik Toks” ethos, and it’s clearly paying off as the platform is one of the best at ad integration.

Meaningful connection was more important in 2020 than ever before, and looking back we’ve seen partner brands in nearly every vertical bring our community together through authentic, unforgettable, and inspiring TikTok videos.

~ Bryan Thoensen, Head of Content Partnerships at TikTok

Pepsi 

Pepsi’s #ThatsWhatILike campaign ushered in a new decade by encouraging consumers to unapologetically do what they enjoy, even in the face of others’ judgment – whether it’s clapping at the end of a movie, wearing an over-the-top costume for the fun of it, or simply enjoying a Pepsi. The campaign resulted in over 13 billion views and expertly played into the TikTok ethos by encouraging a barrage of silly videos that usually included Pepsi in some way. At the core of any good hashtag challenge is free advertising and Pepsi won big on this one.

L’Oreal

L’Oreal’s #LetsFaceIt campaign aimed to de-stigmatize mask-wearing this summer by reminding us that looking and feeling your most beautiful is never out of style, even while wearing a mask. Given the thriving ecosystem of beauty/makeup in 2

@jena

My look isn’t complete without my mask #LetsFaceIt #LorealPartner

♬ Baddie – Lillian Hepler

Bagel Bites

Bagel Bites #BagelBopsContest offered up a chance to win $10,000 for people who made videos featuring an official audio clip the brand commissioned about pizza being the perfect food for anytime of day. The contest encouraged users to “remix”- sing, lip-sync, or dance to the official audio and use the hashtag for a chance to win. The contest drew a total of 3.6 billion views over its 1 month run time.

@motokimaxted

#ad I ain’t never seen two pretty best friends until pizza + bagel came along #BagelBopsContest @bagelbitesofficial See www.bagelbops.com for rules.

♬ Bagel Bites Jingle – Bagel Bites

Gushers

In addition to having a great organic presence on the platform, Gushers TikTok ads are some of the best. They really take the mantra of “Don’t make ads, make TikToks” to heart. Their first ad featured a boy fishing with Gushers captioned “Worms catch fish… Gushers catch friends?!” made a big splash and blew up their comments section. Users were asking if the video was even an ad because it looked like a post that would be on the “For You” page organically.

Cheetos

Similar to the Pepsi campaign above the Cheetos #DejaTuHuella campaign encouraged users to show the world “what they are fuego ????” at, whether it’s “film, fashion, art, dance, or food.” The campaign surrounded Cheetos’ new product releases focused on their iconic, finger-staining, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. The campaign hashtag translated literally into “leave your mark” or “leave your heat” and was accompanied by a Bad Bunny song right on the tailwinds of him being announced as the most listened to artist of 2020 according to Spotify’s year end Wrapped streaming report. The campaign is still relatively new [as of 12/16] but has 120 million views and growing. Earlier in the year Cheetos also ran the #CantTouchThisChallenge which gave users a creative outlet to showcase their best “Cheetle” covered fingers rendition to the TikTok community.

@devonrodriguezart

Drawing is how I leave my mark, & I enjoy #Cheetos when I’m doing it. How are you leaving yours? #DejaTuHuella #ad

♬ Yo Visto Asi – Bad Bunny

Bumble

Working closely with TikTok, Bumble created an entirely new, always-on acquisition channel with significant scale, using clever TikTok-style direct response ads. The brand also worked with notable Creators, such as David Dobrik and Brittany Broski, to build native video content that seamlessly blended into “For You feeds”. By tapping notable creators with significant organic followings Bumble successfully leaned in to the “Don’t Make Ads, Make TikToks” and served relevant, relatable content to an engaged audience. The campaign is listed as a case study on the TikTok site along with the results of the campaign – 5X increase in App Install Volume along with a 64% decrease in cost-per-registration.

Bumble TikTok Ad

NYX Gloss

NYX Gloss partnered with TikTok to develop the #ButterGlossPop Branded Hashtag Challenge. This premium branded campaign was specifically designed to have viral impact and inspire content across the platform. The #ButterGlossPop challenge prompted the TikTok community to apply Butter Gloss with their own personal flair to be entered into a sweepstakes for a chance to win $1200 in NYX Makeup. The campaign was a knockout success because of an original, high energy catchy song and clear instructions made it easy for creators to release their creative potential. The campaign resulted in 2M+ user-generated videos and over 11B+ video views along with 42% lift in brand awareness.

In addition, the campaign included an integrated shopping experience that positioned the easily accessible product line directly in front of an engaged and interested audience, inspiring lower funnel action.

@avani

1..2..3.. lip gloss lowk poppin ☺️???? #ButterGlossPop @nyxcosmetics #ad

♬ Butter Gloss Pop – NYX Cosmetics

ASOS

ASOS leveraged a Branded Hashtag Challenge Plus for the brilliant #AySauceChallenge. It invited the community to “channel their ASOS vibe” and show off their three best outfits with a series of outfit changes over the course of three weeks in the U.K. and U.S., set to bespoke music and an interactive augmented reality Branded Effect.

The Branded Hashtag Challenge Plus also included a spot on TikTok’s trending hashtags list and a bundle of additional ads—TopView, One Day Max and Brand Premium In-Feed Ads—all of which turbocharged exposure for the campaign and pushed users to the central challenge page, where all UGC entries were housed. ASOS also worked with 28 popular U.K. and U.S. Creators to kick-off the challenge and provide inspiration for users to follow while also building the credibility of ASOS’ brand presence on the platform. Using Creators allowed ASOS to tap into an enormous combined following, paving the way for almost 500k videos created and 1.2B+ video views in just 6 days.

Simmons

Simmons Mattresses, working collaboratively with agency partners and TikTok, launched the #Snoozzzapalooza Branded Hashtag Challenge, one of TikTok’s premium Branded Solutions that is specifically designed for virality. This Hashtag Challenge encouraged the quarantined community to literally stage dive into a bed over the summer festival season without any live music due to Covid-19.

Simmons partnered with comedians, dancers, athletes, and celebs to cast a huge net and inspire as much of the community as possible to participate. Each of the creators uniquely imagined the challenge, transforming their rooms and creatively using the platform to showcase their vision of the ideal at-home music festival. To drive maximum participation and awareness, Simmons equipped the #Snoozzzapalooza Hashtag Challenge with a fun, upbeat original track that got the community moving.

The campaign resulted in 2M+ videos, amassing six billion total views, and an engagement rate of 20%. The six-day campaign boosted brand engagement through creative participation, raised brand awareness among Gen Z on the platform, and spurred a +107% increase in traffic to Simmons.com week over week.

@jameshenry

One festival isn’t canceled this year, join #Snoozzzapalooza from the comfort of your bed! #sponsored

♬ #SNOOZZZAPALOOZA – Simmons

Overall, we know that everyone has been counting down the days of 2020 and TikTok has been no exception in making this year unique. Brands and companies all over the globe have been able to creatively engage users, create content, and advertise their companies in new ways during this unprecedented year.

TikTok’s various ad types have allowed brands to leverage and target their audiences creating a community like no other and continue to set themselves up for great success. Looking to leverage your social media and content in new ways? Our team of experts is here to help you grow.


Alek Prus
Alek is a passionate learner who loves reading newsletters, listening to podcasts, and browsing Product Hunt to stay up to date within the marketing space. He specializes in social media and brand building taking a logical product-oriented approach always starting at the core of the problem. Outside of work, you’ll find him rock climbing, cycling, or dancing at a concert or underground techno show [doing “research” for his music blog, Natural Music.


1 Comment

Running an ad on digital media with precision is very important. I am glad that I have found your blog. Thanks for sharing this blog with us. After reading this blog now I am sure that I can run an ad on tiktok. thanks for sharing.

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