- Clinique, Ford, Gap, Jif and Bissell are among the brands that stood out on TikTok in 2021, according to the social video app's year-end review.
- "Year on TikTok 2021" arrives shortly after the platform's Culture Driver study, conducted with MRC Data and Flamingo, that found 56% of users and 67% of creators on the app feel closer to brands they see on TikTok — particularly when those brands subscribe to the platform's "don't make ads, make TikToks" mantra regarding publishing authentic, unpolished content.
- By showcasing examples of how brands drove business and cultural impact after embracing the platform this year, TikTok can help marketers understand what resonates with users and potentially attract more brand activity as marketers prepare their 2022 plans.
TikTok's year-end review points out top brand moments "that sparked joy and creativity within the community while serving as a beacon for marketers," including examples that range from shopping to creator collaboration and product development inspired by users. The review arrives as TikTok wraps up a banner year with skyrocketing use among consumers and marketers alike.
While brands can't guarantee a campaign or TikTok post reach viral status, many successful moments on the platform occurred because brands capitalized on organic popularity. Gap, for instance, saw online chatter around a vintage brown hoodie grow, with #gaphoodie generating more than 8.9 million views. Gap responded by bringing the hoodie back to store shelves 10 years after it was discontinued, and then let the TikTok community vote on the color of its next design.
At the same time, momentum isn't always arbitrary. Brands that understand the platform and its users and craft content around those insights can gain major exposure that boosts brand awareness or sales. Jif, for example, tapped rapper Ludacris for a #JifRapChallenge to encourage users to share a clip of themselves rapping with a spoonful of peanut butter in their mouth. Brand activations that encourage participation like this can promote user engagement while expanding a brand's messaging.
These activations reflect TikTok's motto of "Don't Make Ads, Make TikToks," and how when advertising and marketing are entertaining, this can help drive results both on and off the platform.
The review of standout brand moments from 2021 points to how marketers can leverage the app to connect with its user base and drive brand awareness among a typically young consumer group that's averse to traditional advertising. The highlights double as a resource for marketers to glean insights about what resonates with users — particularly unpolished content that aligns with TikTok's format.