By Awards Analyst | The Drum Awards



TikTok article

July 9, 2021 | 3 min read

TikTok won the ‘Emerging brand of the year’ title at The Drum Awards for Marketing 2021. Here, the TikTok reveal the factors behind their success…

The challenge

TikTok wanted to shift from being simply ‘known’ to being ‘understood and loved’ and, ultimately, to become the most relevant and loved entertainment and culture platform. The primary objective of this campaign was to increase brand likability and relevance amongst 18-35 audience and close the gap in barriers to trial in Europe.

The strategy

TikTok is on a mission to inspire creativity and bring joy to people around the world. To achieve this, we're committed to nurturing an environment where creators' talent and ideas can flourish, both on TikTok and beyond.

Music is a part of TikTok's DNA and a key driver of positive brand perception. For e with Sea Shanty, we wanted to seize this opportunity to build our position as a place of music discovery, and to give creators and music lovers an opportunity to get involved in iconic music moments and emerging music trends.


The activity

2020 was quite the year. We celebrated, cooked, listened, learned, supported, stayed at home together, lifted spirits, celebrated Black History Month, levitated with Dua Lipa, sang of the Sea...and found creativity and joy throughout each twist and turn along the way. The TikTok community came together to share moments of inspiration and positivity, and we saw brands shift in real-time to embrace authenticity and genuine connection.

On TikTok, brands have a platform to create content that's both entertaining and true to who they are and what they stand for. In 2020, we saw publishers, sports leagues and teams, nonprofit organizations, creators, music artists and so many more shape culture on the platform and engage the TikTok community every day, organically generating millions of video views and followers.

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Through it all, creators have used their platforms to spread awareness for social causes, advocate for marginalized and underrepresented communities, celebrate the many cultures that make the TikTok community so special, and help educate people about different viewpoints.

The results

In the past 12 months:

  • TikTok took the first spot in Ad Age 'Marketers Of The Year 2020';

  • Overtook Facebook and became most downloaded app of the year;

  • Sea Shanty TikTok landed record deal;

  • Ocean Spray TikTok video transformed the 90-year-old company overnight;

  • The Weeknd Virtual Concert on TikTok Drew Over 2M Viewers, Raised $350,000 for Equal Justice Initiative;

  • Justin Bieber’s first-ever performance of songs from his 2013 digital-only compilation album, ‘Journals’ drew over 4 Million unique.

This brand was a winner at The Drum Awards for Marketing 2021. Find out which competitions in The Drum Awards are currently open and don’t forget to visit our new interactive calendar.

Modern Marketing Brand

Content created with:

TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video. Our mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy. TikTok has global offices including Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Dubai, Singapore, Jakarta, Seoul and Tokyo.

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