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8 Exceptional TikTok Ad Examples for Your Next Campaign

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8 Exceptional TikTok Ad Examples for Your Next Campaign

TikTok is a social media platform that’s full of energy, creativity, and authenticity. It’s a place where brands can push boundaries they wouldn’t touch in traditional media. 

It’s an exciting place for a marketer to be. Many brands have shared entertaining yet low-cost ads that stay true to their core personalities. Whether it’s working with influencers or from within your own team, you can create content that draws both attention and conversions. 

In this article, we will cover some of the best examples of TikTok ads in 2023. 
 

Breaking Down 9 Examples of Successful TikTok Ads

 
Many brands are finding success advertising on TikTok using video ads, spark ads, video shopping, influencer marketing and hashtag challenges. Here’s a look at a few of the best ad creative examples on TikTok today:
 

1. e.l.f. – Driving Sales with In-Feed Ads

 
This branded post from e.l.f. Cosmetics is the definition of effective TikTok advertising. It has lower production values than most YouTube ads, yet shows off the brand more effectively thanks to the combination of slow motion, zooming in, sparkles, and fantastic original music. It’s beauty boiled down to the basics.

 

Credit: @elfcosmetics TikTok

 

“We are proud to force multiply with Tinuiti, who continues to help us grow and reach new audiences on TikTok. Together we have been able to test and learn on the platform and create a winning formula. Helping us consistently reach out to the TikTok community has allowed us to reach new customers and enabled us to efficiently test our messaging to ultimately drive down acquisition costs.” (Source)

Patrick O’Keefe, VP Integrated Marketing Communications at e.l.f. Cosmetics

 

2. Guess Jeans – Leveraging Influencers & User Generated Content

 
The #InMyDenim hashtag challenge was one of the first of its kind on TikTok in the US, and is still one of the best. The challenge encouraged users to post videos of themselves initially wearing ratty clothes, and then transforming into fashionable outfits that included–you guessed it–Guess-branded denim products. The campaign lasted 6 days and included prominent TikTok personalities like @ourfire and @madisonwillow. 

 

Tiktok ad example for Guess Jeans with influencer wearing denim

Credit: @ourfire TikTok

 

3. Kung Fu Tea – Hashtag Challenge

 
Hashtag challenges are unique to TikTok and encourage user-generated content. The concept is simple: Users are encouraged to create themed content that incorporates the branded hashtag. This content is then compiled in a hashtag challenge page. TikTok has reported an 8.5% engagement rate for this ad format, making it a popular choice among advertisers.

Kung Fu Tea’s Boba Challenge is the perfect way to execute a Hashtag Challenge. In these short videos, customers are shown attempting to poke a large boba straw through their tea while keeping their eyes closed. The challenge is simple but entertaining, prompts genuine reactions, and is unique to the brand’s identity and product.

The challenge is so easy and inclusive that anyone can do it. The video looks like it could’ve come from your friends, so viewers are drawn in almost immediately. The result? A viral TikTok ad!

 

 

4. Liquid IV – Playing with Spark Ads

 
Spark Ads are a native ad format that allows brands to boost the organic content of other creators as In-Feed Ads.

Tinuiti and Liquid I.V. launched an always-engaged strategy on TikTok, leveraging a mix of standard In-Feed Ads and Spark Ads to reach TikTok users who could help save the planet while maintaining their hydration.

Working with popular creators such as Kristen Tellez and Sydney Bast who could help tell their brand story in a uniquely TikTok way allowed Tinuiti and Liquid I.V. to efficiently scale their spend by more than 700% from June to October. Thanks to the combination of In-Feed Ads and Spark Ads from TikTok creators, Tinuiti and Liquid I.V. saw a 48% increase in ROAS from Q2 to Q3 of 2021.

 

example of a Spark ad on Liquid IVs TikTok's page.

Credit: @liquidiv TikTok

 

5. Ralph Lauren – Integrating Social Commerce with Hashtag Challenge Plus

 
Fashion brand Ralph Lauren was one of the first brands to try out TikTok’s Hashtag Challenge Plus offering. The #WinningRL campaign featured actress, model and influencer Diana Silvers and challenged users to share a time they won a real-life challenge. This challenge was timed to coincide with the US Open tennis event, and so the top three challenge winners received official Polo Ralph Lauren US Open apparel. 

In addition to the additional publicity, Hashtag Challenge Plus allowed TikTok users to access a Ralph Lauren-branded store within the TikTok app and could purchase products directly from the company. 

Example of Ralph Lauren Branded Hashtag Plus TikTok ad

Credit: @ralphlauren TikTok

 

6. Lemonade Insurance – Spark Ads to Decrease CPL

 
Lemonade is a digital insurance company, a pioneer in the field, with more than 1M customers in the US.

Leveraging TikTok best practices, they developed a variety of brand-new content pieces and ran them with the hashtag #lemonadepetinsurance which according to the case study, reached more than 4M views – from 20K views in March 2022 to 4M views by June 2022.

Lemonade’s new content strategy was able to help drive more cost-efficient results, with a 42% increase in CTR compared to the former strategy. Overall, Cost per lead decreased by 79%, and purchase costs decreased by 53%!
 

7. Tanologist – Sold-Out Products with TopView Ads

 
TopView ads are 60-second videos that run immediately after opening up the app. Their strategic placement guarantees that users will see whatever ad you run in this space and are an effective and reliable way of reaching your target audience.

To drive brand awareness, Tanologist selected TopView as their ad type of choice and featured 9 creators in a montage where they showed off how to use the Self Tan Drops. As a result, the ad (combine with additional TikTok efforts) drove 70M impressions, 3% ride in intent and a 15.7% lift in ad recall.

 

8. Too Faced – Driving Awareness with Brand Takeovers

 
A brand takeover ad is shown on the app launch screen. These ads are fast; either a 3-second static image or a 3-5 second video without audio.

Aiming to cut through the noise and inspire Gen Z females to ‘shop the look’, Too Faced’s Brand Takeover ad (as seen below) garnered an incredible 7.6 million impressions, 2.54 million unique, in just one day. It gained 1.3 million clicks to the product page, earning an 18.38% click-through rate – exceeding the benchmark for the UK market.

Example of a brand takeover TikTok ad from TooFaced.

Credit: @toofaced TikTok

 

9. Revlon and Megan Thee Stallion – Boost Beauty with TopView Placement

 
As we mentioned, TopView ads are videos that last up to 60-seconds with the sound on and appear when the app is opened, guaranteeing 50% Share-of-Voice of all users on the date they are reserved. We had to give another shoutout to international beauty brand Revlon for their ColorStay Satin Ink Liquid Lipstick product in partnership with Megan Thee Stallion.

Revlon saw statistically significant Brand Lift results, primarily within Ad Recall and Brand Association. The campaign (coordinated with Tinuiti) drove a 4.9% ad recall lift—28% higher than Kantar norms across 48 beauty studies—and Ad Recall was 48% stronger than a separate Revlon TikTok campaign in 2021 that leveraged just in-feed video without the additional TopView ad. The campaign also drove significant lift in Brand Association for Revlon’s key product message as a differentiator from competitors in the category.

Example of Revlon's TikTok ad with influencer Megan Thee Stallion

Credit: @revlon TikTok

 

Conclusion: Are TikTok Ads Worth It?

 
In a recent interviewJoshua Bloom, TikTok’s Head of Global Business Solutions in Canada says:

“It’s typically when people dive into the app that they realize there is content that’s appealing for everyone, whether you like sports, DIY, fashion, comedy, dance. The TikTok community is pushing the limits of creativity, and for brands that open the door to try something new.”

As experts, what we’ve found is that TikTok is a great place to discover content that’s both fun to create and fun to make. Marketers are no exception. The more fun you have making your TikTok ad, the more successful it will probably be. Forget stuffy corporate branding for a minute. Connect with your inner performer, and you’ll have a better chance of connecting with your TikTok audience. 

Ready to start producing compelling creative for your TikTok strategy? Get advice from our seasoned Social, Creative, and Influencer experts and sign up for our new webinar, A Comprehensive Guide to Launching a TikTok Campaign.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2020 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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The Future of Content Success Is Social

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The Future of Content Success Is Social

Here’s a challenge: search “SEO RFP” on Google. Click on the results, and tell me how similar they are.

We did the same thing every other SEO does: We asked, “What words are thematically relevant?” Which themes have my competitors missed?” How can I put them in?” AND “How can I do everything just slightly better than they can?”

Then they do the same, and it becomes a cycle of beating mediocre content with slightly less mediocre content.

When I looked at our high-ranking content, I felt uncomfortable. Yes, it ranked, but it wasn’t overly helpful compared to everything else that ranked.

Ranking isn’t the job to be done; it is just a proxy.

Why would a high-ranking keyword make me feel uncomfortable? Isn’t that the whole freaking job to be done? Not for me. The job to be done is to help educate people, and ranking is a byproduct of doing that well.

I looked at our own content, and I put myself in the seat of a searcher, not an SEO; I looked at the top four rankings and decided that our content felt easy, almost ChatGPT-ish. It was predictable, it was repeatable, and it lacked hot takes and spicy punches.

So, I removed 80% of the content and replaced it with the 38 questions I would ask if I was hiring an SEO. I’m a 25-year SME, and I know what I would be looking for in these turbulent times. I wanted to write the questions that didn’t exist on anything ranking in the top ten. This was a risk, why? Because, semantically, I was going against what Google was likely expecting to see on this topic. This is when Mike King told me about information gain. Google will give you a boost in ranking signals if you bring it new info. Maybe breaking out of the sea of sameness + some social signals could be a key factor in improving rankings on top of doing the traditional SEO work.

What’s worth more?

Ten visits to my SEO RFP post from people to my content via a private procurement WhatsApp group or LinkedIn group?

One hundred people to the same content from search?

I had to make a call, and I was willing to lose rankings (that were getting low traffic but highly valued traffic) to write something that when people read it, they thought enough about it to share it in emails, groups, etc.

SME as the unlock to standout content?

I literally just asked myself, “Wil, what would you ask yourself if you were hiring an SEO company? Then I riffed for 6—8 hours and had tons of chats with ChatGPT. I was asking ChatGPT to get me thinking differently. Things like, “what would create the most value?” I never constrained myself to “what is the search volume,” I started with the riffs.

If I was going to lose my rankings, I had to socially promote it so people knew it existed. That was an unlock, too, if you go this route. It’s work, you are now going to rely on spikes from social, so having a reason to update it and put it back in social is very important.

Most of my “followers” aren’t looking for SEO services as they are digital marketers themselves. So I didn’t expect this post to take off HUGLEY, but given the content, I was shocked at how well it did and how much engagement it got from real actual people.

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

Writing a book is a gargantuan task, and reaching the finish line is a feat equal to summiting a mountain.

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Being position-less secures a marketer’s position for a lifetime

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Optimove Positionless Marketer Optimove

On March 20, 2024, the Position-less Marketer was introduced on MarTech.org and my keynote address at Optimove’s user conference.

Since that initial announcement, we have introduced the term “Position-less Marketer” to hundreds of leading marketing executives and learned that readers and the audience interpreted it in several ways. This article will document a few of those interpretations and clarify what “position-less” means regarding marketing prowess.

As a reminder, data analytics and AI, integrated marketing platforms, automation and more make the Position-less Marketer possible. Plus, new generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Canna-GPT, Github, Copilot and DALL-E offer human access to powerful new capabilities that generate computer code, images, songs and videos, respectively, with human guidance.

Position-less Marketer does not mean a marketer without a role; quite the opposite

Speaking with a senior-level marketer at a global retailer, their first interpretation may be a marketer without a role/position. This was a first-glance definition from more than 60% of the marketers who first heard the term. But on hearing the story and relating it to “be position-less” in other professions, including music and sports, most understood it as a multidimensional marketer — or, as we noted, realizing your multipotentiality. 

One executive said, phrasing position-less in a way that clarified it for me was “unlocking your multidimensionality.” She said, “I like this phrase immensely.” In reality, the word we used was “multipotentiality,” and the fact that she landed on multidimensionality is correct. As we noted, you can do more than one thing.

The other 40% of marketing executives did think of the “Position-less Marketer” as a marketing professional who is not confined or defined by traditional marketing roles or boundaries. In that sense, they are not focused only on branding or digital marketing; instead, they are versatile and agile enough to adjust to the new conditions created by the tools that new technology has to offer. As a result, the Position-less Marketer should be comfortable working across channels, platforms and strategies, integrating different approaches to achieve marketing goals effectively.

Navigating the spectrum: Balancing specialization and Position-less Marketing

Some of the most in-depth feedback came from data analytic experts from consulting firms and Chief Marketing Officers who took a more holistic view.

Most discussions of the “Position-less Marketer” concept began with a nuanced perspective on the dichotomy between entrepreneurial companies and large enterprises.

They noted that entrepreneurial companies are agile and innovative, but lack scalability and efficiency. Conversely, large enterprises excel at execution but struggle with innovation due to rigid processes.

Drawing parallels, many related this to marketing functionality, with specialists excelling in their domain, but needing a more holistic perspective and Position-less Marketers having a broader understanding but needing deep expertise.

Some argued that neither extreme is ideal and emphasized the importance of balancing specialization and generalization based on the company’s growth stage and competitive landscape.

They highlight the need for leaders to protect processes while fostering innovation, citing Steve Jobs’ approach of creating separate teams to drive innovation within Apple. They stress the significance of breaking down silos and encouraging collaboration across functions, even if it means challenging existing paradigms.

Ultimately, these experts recommended adopting a Position-less Marketing approach as a competitive advantage in today’s landscape, where tight specialization is common. They suggest that by connecting dots across different functions, companies can offer unique value to customers. However, they caution against viewing generalization as an absolute solution, emphasizing the importance of context and competitive positioning.

These marketing leaders advocate for a balanced marketing approach that leverages specialization and generalization to drive innovation and competitive advantage while acknowledging the need to adapt strategies based on industry dynamics and competitive positioning.

Be position-less, but not too position-less — realize your multipotentiality

This supports what was noted in the March 20th article: to be position-less, but not too position-less. When we realize our multipotentiality and multidimensionality, we excel as humans. AI becomes an augmentation.

But just because you can individually execute on all cylinders in marketing and perform data analytics, writing, graphics and more from your desktop does not mean you should.

Learn when being position-less is best for the organization and when it isn’t. Just because you can write copy with ChatGPT does not mean you will write with the same skill and finesse as a professional copywriter. So be position-less, but not too position-less.

Position-less vs. being pigeonholed

At the same time, if you are a manager, do not pigeonhole people. Let them spread their wings using today’s latest AI tools for human augmentation.

For managers, finding the right balance between guiding marketing pros to be position-less and, at other times, holding their position as specialists and bringing in specialists from different marketing disciplines will take a lot of work. We are at the beginning of this new era. However, working toward the right balance is a step forward in a new world where humans and AI work hand-in-hand to optimize marketing teams.

We are at a pivot point for the marketing profession. Those who can be position-less and managers who can optimize teams with flawless position-less execution will secure their position for a lifetime.

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