TikTok isn’t just for dancing teenagers anymore. Although it’s definitely, also, still for dancing teenagers, the short-form video app and social media platform took 2020 by storm. AdAge recently declared TikTok the Marketer of the Year, noting the sheer might the platform has for kicking off trends and unexpected cultural moments. (Cranberry juice, anyone?) As the brand itself says, “It Starts on TikTok.”
TikTok Brought Joy And Relevance To Consumers During Difficult Times While Partnering With Powerful Brands
In addition to bringing joy to consumers with fun viral videos in 2020, according to AdAge, “Marketers including Mtn Dew, Hyundai, Procter & Gamble, e.l.f. and Chipotle made [TikTok] a key component in their marketing, issuing popular TikTok challenges; the platform forged deeper ties with influential sports leagues like the National Football League and the National Basketball Association; and TikTok drew interest from Walmart and Oracle as potential buyers,” illustrating the growing trust and reliance from advertisers on TikTok and the TikTok audience. In return, TikTok focused some of their asset development on making TikTok turnkey and “safe” for advertisers. 2020 was the year TikTok grew up and became an important tool for advertisers and an influential platform for young people sharing their views during a tough year.
The sections below summarize previously published DMS Insights articles about TikTok news in 2020.
Using the tagline “Don’t Make Ads, Make TikToks,” TikTok launched its TikTok for Business website in June. TikTok for Business offers digital advertisers an innovative and modern-day approach to expanding audience reach and serves as a hub of advertising solutions and resources – including tips, case studies, access to TikTok ad formats and more – for digital advertisers looking to incorporate the short-form video app into future advertising campaigns.
Like all social media platforms, TikTok has taken its licks about controversial content with advertisers getting edgy about where their ads were landing on the site, especially since TikTok is now a “must have” for many brands. In response, Tiktok considered a curated “ad safe” feed offered as a tab, with user-generated videos still at the heart of TikTok. The ad safe feed gave TikTok the ability to stay true to its user base while offering a safe space for concerned advertisers.
The last year has been hard on people of every age, with younger generations impacted by the loss of normal school life because of the pandemic, the very pressing issues the Black Lives Matter movement highlighted and a contentious election. As future leaders and vocal activists, many young people used TikTok to form “generational solidarity” around these issues, finding the platform a welcoming place to shape their political identities, learn about social movements, find like-minded people and create shareable content within the short-form video platform. For digital advertisers, the evolving use of social media platforms for political expression offered a view into the hearts and minds of younger consumers.
To ban or not to ban, that was the question for the President as he stirred speculation on the fate of TikTok in the U.S. at the beginning of the summer. Rumors of the ban kicked off rumors of a sale and more rumors that the site would be banned as of November 12, which didn’t happen. The situation continues to evolve.
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