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Creative TikTok

How to bring brands to life on TikTok: hitting business objectives creatively

By Guan Hin Tay

February 8, 2021 | 11 min read

The first in a two-part series, BBDO Singapore's chief creative officer, Tay Guan Hin, and associate planning director, Naomi Lam, offer advice on how brands can hit business objectives by being creative on TikTok.


Even if you are not a TikToker yourself, you must have heard of the business potential of this fast-rising short-form content platform. TikTok is a great tool for brands to connect and collaborate with their consumers directly. It has been designed to enable everyone to be a creator on the platform, meaning consumers can be more than just viewers of branded content, they too can join in and create their own version of the content or share their ideas for the brand using TikTok.

Although it’s tempting to quickly hop on the bandwagon, as brand marketers and owners, we must root our TikTok ideas in strategic business thinking. What is the marketing objective you’re trying to achieve? Which specific TikTok trend or product is most effective for your objective? Or, if your TikTok campaign is part of an integrated campaign, how does it synergise with other campaign components?

If you are asking these questions yourself, read on.

Learning from some of the most successful TikTok campaigns, we have summarised four simple strategies that brands can use to achieve different business objectives using TikTok creatively.

Drive awareness by turning your consumers into your brand storytellers

What better way to drive brand awareness than getting your consumers to do it for you?

A perfect example of this is Snickers’ last Superbowl campaign. While they launched the ‘Fix the World’ TVC declaring “the world is out-of-sorts” and Snickers is the quick fix to all of our problems, they also launched a TikTok Challenge inviting consumers to create their own version of the TVC with an issue the consumer deemed urgent to be fixed.

The campaign got over 18M total impressions, 2B video views and 1.3M video submissions from consumers.

Here are their 30s TVC and some of the best TikToks created by their partnered creators Adam W and Ross Smith.


Create new brand and product experiences using TikTok Branded Effects

During social distancing, brands go out of their way to get consumers to experience their product remotely as a way to create interest in their new product launches. TikTok Branded Effects provided a tool for brands to create virtual experiences that simulate the actual product and brand experience.

Halls and Vinamilk, a chewing gum and ice cream brand respectively used TikTok Branded Effects to bring the sensation and flavours of their new products to consumers through their phones.

While Halls got 17M views in total across all content created using its branded effect, Vanamilk garnered 194M views in total.

Check out their brand effects on this video with user Dina and Linh Barbie.

Another great example of how to use TikTok Branded Effects is by Lazada. To show consumers the fun of capturing the best 11.11 deals on Lazada, the e-commerce platform created a mini-game using a TikTok branded effect.

The brand has garnered more than 14.7M views around Single’s Day shopping season.

Check out their fun and creative branded effects with honglingg_ and Benjamin Tan.

Uniqlo on TikTok

Demonstrate product features by adding a brand twist to TikTok Trends

To drive consideration for your product, showcasing unique product features is key. Instead of the traditional educational product demo, a startup footwear brand, Vessi leveraged the popular ‘duet’ trend on TikTok to create ‘duet product demos’ highlighting its shoes’ waterproof feature.

Check out how they use TikTok’s split-screen function creatively in a Duet video with James Charles and Toto Supreme.

To promote Uniqlo’s ‘UT t-shirt’ collection which was designed in a reflection of the brand’s philosophy of ‘self-expression’, the brand created #UTPlayYourWorld TikTok challenge to invite consumers to show off the UT t-shirt and dance moves that best represent their unique personalities.

Uniqlo received more than 710M views across all content submitted for the challenge on videos on its TikTok channel.

Create a product ritual through TikTok Challenge

Many marketers think TikTok is just a platform for boosting awareness but when it’s used strategically, TikTok can also help brands boost sales. Some of the most successful brands on TikTok smartly created TikTok Challenge campaigns that were centred around a fun product ritual. The result? Consumers going to the stores to buy the products just to join in the fun TikTok Challenge.

Check out this case video to see how Chipotle created a TikTok Challenge that led to the fast-food chain’s record-breaking daily digital sales.

Another example is the #PlayWithPringles campaign which challenges consumers to find creative ways to play with Pringles packaging. Check out some of the creative submissions here by Paula Turani and Jokah Tululu.

If you’re interested in knowing more about using TikTok to grow your brand, stay tuned for part two of our ‘How to Bring Your Brand to Life on TikTok’ series where we will break down our TikTok campaigns creative process!

Tay Guan Hin is CCO, BBDO Singapore and Naomi Lam is associate planning director, BBDO Singapore.

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