UPDATE: October 25, 2019: Less than 24 hours after Kind Snacks launched a hashtag campaign on TikTok, the brand had tallied 18 million views, Jessica Goon, VP of digital marketing, told Ad Age. The cost of the effort was kept low because the brand has an in-house team to create social content and because TikTok is still a relatively young ad platform, Goon noted.
- Snack maker Kind is promoting Simple Crunch Bars with its first campaign on TikTok, the video-sharing app that's popular with U.S. teens. Kind created a branded hashtag challenge that urges users to post videos of themselves highlighting the sound of its "most crunchiest bar yet," per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Kind is offering a free trip to New York and a year's supply of Simple Crunch Bars to the TikTok user whose video is played the most. The videos must include the hashtag #kindsimplecrunchcontest, as shown in a TikTok post from Kind's founder and executive chairman Daniel Lubetzky.
- To promote the challenge, Kind partnered with influencers Zach King, Rachel Ryle, Kombucha Girl and Oven Mom to create posts that include the #ad hashtag to indicate they're sponsored. The @kindsnacks account also has several videos with narration and soundtracks that TikTok users can use in their own posts for the challenge.
Kind's first branded hashtag challenge on TikTok aims to reach younger consumers who have embraced the video-sharing platform and who tend to be more difficult to target through traditional channels like TV. The campaign highlights the importance of partnering with relevant influencers to extend the reach of the campaign and drum up user-generated content. For example, Zach King, who became a star on YouTube and Vine with videos of humorous magic tricks, received 1.7 million likes and almost 18,000 shares of his sponsored TikTok video for Kind as of press time.
TikTok last month was the most downloaded social media app worldwide with 60 million installs, per an estimate by researcher Sensor Tower. It said it has more than 500 million users worldwide, but doesn't disclose details about its audience demographics. Researcher GlobalWebIndex found in a global survey of digital consumers that about 40% of TikTok's users are 16 to 24 years old. That age group tends to prefer "snackable" mobile videos that can be watched throughout the day instead of sitting down to view longer content at once, pointing to additional insights into how brands can effectively create content to reach this age cohort.
TikTok, which is owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, helps to drive viewership of branded hashtag challenges like Kind's by featuring them in its feed of trending videos. From there, users who feel inspired to participate can create their own videos that spread Kind's branding and may drive sales of the bars. Kind's hashtag challenge is another sign that major brands are getting on board with TikTok. American Eagle Outfitters, Chipotle Mexican Grill, the NFL, Ralph Lauren and Walmart are among the first major brands to create similar campaigns on TikTok.
Kind's product extension enters a market dominated by traditional brands like Nature Valley, Kellogg's Special K and Nutri-Grain. Sales of cereal and granola bar brands fell 3.7% in the year through August, according to Nielsen data cited by The Wall Street Journal, while U.S. snack bar sales rose 3.2% last year on the strength of healthier nutrition and performance bars, according to Mintel data. The nut bar category is growing increasingly crowded, negatively affecting Kind's sales, the Journal reported. With younger consumers showing a preference for healthier foods, Kind can reach that target audience with campaigns tailored to these consumers' mobile habits and platform preferences.