- IPG Mediabrands, the media arm of agency giant Interpublic Group of Companies, entered a partnership with TikTok that deepens brand clients' access to creators on the video-sharing platform, according to an announcement. Mediabrands and TikTok together will design a series of programs intended to "drive brands to the center of culture," the announcement said.
- The three-year global pact includes the formation of a Creator Collective made up of diverse TikTok talent who can provide guidance on engaging users in an authentic and inclusive fashion. Brands will receive feedback on upcoming campaigns and other strategic advice as part of quarterly "Creator Camps" sessions, the first program offered through the deal.
- Mediabrands clients will also get first-to-market access to some TikTok offerings, as well as research and media trial opportunities. IPG joins ad holding rivals, including WPP, in striking deals with TikTok to better navigate trends on the app that's popular with U.S. teens.
Mediabrands is providing clients a direct line to TikTok creators through the new partnership, an attempt to stay on the bleeding edge of a disruptive social media platform. Receiving creator feedback ahead of campaign rollouts, as well as other research and insights tools, could help brands avoid sounding out of touch or tone-deaf with a fickle but increasingly valuable online audience. For Mediabrands, the pact could preserve relevancy and drive new business as demands around digital media shift.
"As audience reach declines in traditional formats, it is critical that client budgets fund new ways to connect with audiences," Dani Benowitz, president of Mediabrands' intelligence agency Magna, said in a statement. "This partnership will deliver incredible value to our clients and, as importantly, will help all of us learn the power of creating content communities at scale."
TikTok has seen its popularity skyrocket during the coronavirus pandemic, particularly with young consumers who often prove elusive on other channels. Creators, influential posters who make the types of videos that drive TikTok's recommendation algorithm, hold considerable sway over the app's users and could be better keyed into what they want out of video content. TikTok has frequently thrown a spotlight on the power of creators in its own advertising efforts.
Diversity and inclusion are heavily emphasized in the multiyear pact, squaring with the social issues that Gen Z and other young cohorts care about. IPG has broadly ramped up D&I efforts on the media front this year, responding to industry-wide calls to address long-standing inequalities. Last month, the agency hosted what it claims was the first upfront focused on equity, with a spotlight on Black-owned and -targeted media. TikTok participated in the event.
Several major ad holding groups are moving to more closely align with TikTok and other emerging digital platforms, girding themselves against further disruption. WPP in February announced a partnership with TikTok centered on advertising, providing clients early access to the social video app's latest ad products and mobile innovations. Omnicom Media Group last month struck a deal with Reddit to receive greater support from the community forum site's creative strategy team, along with access to education and training tools, measurement and data and insights.
A desire for insider expertise on apps like TikTok is reflected on the brand side of the business as well. Nerf, the toy blaster line marketer by Hasbro, is hiring a chief TikTok officer. The temporary position will see one social media savvy fan paid $10,000 per month to develop strategy for the company's new profile on the platform.