TikTok's latest drop isn't a groundbreaking tool like the Creator Marketplace, the platform that has changed the game for brand and creator collaborations. Rather, it’s “Made for TikTok: Talking Creative,” a video content series by and for marketing professionals that launches today, Oct. 24, featuring conversations with leading creative industry executives.
Over the course of nine episodes, host Jordan Randall, TikTok’s creative agency partnerships lead, North America, will talk ideating, pitching and producing campaigns that not only shine on TikTok but also spark industry-wide progress and creativity.
“The brands and the agencies that are able to lean into TikTok and really rethink what their advertising looks like are the ones that are currently winning,” Krystle Watler, the platform’s head of creative agency partnerships, said. “We're going through this incredible shift and so it is our job, our responsibility and our privilege to help the industry figure it out.”
Inspiring creativity where the consumers are
Creatives would do well to tune in to the show. TikTok is among the fastest-growing channel for product discovery. Nielsen's Media Mix Model Meta Analyses found that TikTok advertisers drove a 96% higher paid media return on ad spend than all other forms of digital media that were measured, and almost three times the offline sales efficiency. The total sales lift of TikTok campaigns was also impressive; despite having a lower frequency than TV ads, TikTok ads delivered nearly twice the ROAS compared with TV ads.
“If we claim to be consumer-first, we need to listen and be where the consumers are,” Watler said. “That's why we're going to be talking to a lot of these creative agencies and their brands around their TikTok-first campaigns, to inspire the industry at large on how to create for the platform.”
Matt Ian, co-chief creative officer at Deutsch LA and the first guest on “Made for TikTok,” doesn’t see any hesitation for clients in using TikTok. “The platform is well-established, not new and scary,” Ian said. “What is scary, it would seem, is the fear of missing out on it.”
Making magic with creator collaborations
Helping brands unlock their potential on TikTok begins with the right creator to get them in the door. But when the pairing is right, the results can be magical.
One example is State Farm, a high-profile Super Bowl advertiser doing a full TikTok-only campaign this year with Khaby Lame—TikTok’s most-followed creator—based on a pitch from Infinity Marketing Team. The campaign reached all of its KPIs, including a massive 220 million views even before the big game’s kickoff.
Ashley Rudder, chief creator officer at Whalar and another “Made for TikTok” special guest, agreed that finding the right creator and the right angle makes all the difference. She noted the Martha Stewart campaign with skincare and makeup brand Clé de Peau, which did so well (3 billion impressions) because Rudder’s team was keyed into the niche cultural trends in a way that made all the difference.
“We knew that the ‘auntie culture’ of Gen Z was a real thing—that they were looking for that seasoned, 40-plus person in their lives who wasn't their mom and who they could look up to,” she said. “Someone who has vitality and is living life and has mastered it. That’s Martha.”
One brand that Deutsch LA’s Ian works with extensively is Taco Bell. While it’s a cultural juggernaut unto itself, he said one of its biggest assets is not being afraid to engage. A perfect example is the fast-food brand’s award-winning collaboration with Doja Cat, which began when the rapper publicly lambasted the brand for discontinuing her favorite menu item.
“When creators know the platform like this, they can make a big impact,” Rudder noted.
“That insider knowledge is truly pivotal because it amplifies the effectiveness,” Rudder said. “Understanding the culture and how that intersectionality comes together between the community and the platform and the creator—that’s the art and science behind what we do.”
Made for this kind of creative talk
These kinds of stories and insights based on actual case studies are exactly what Watler was looking for when she created the “Made for TikTok” series.
“I come from the industry, so I know what it felt like when other platforms were created and how they engaged us, how they treated us and how that made us feel,” she said. “I intimately remember those days, so I knew exactly how I wanted to approach this partnership role.”
The “Talking Creative” series launches today on TikTok for Business‘s YouTube channel, and this season’s guests, in addition to Ian and Rudder, include creative executives from Kvell, Lululemon and Day One, among many others.
“We want the industry to not overthink TikTok, to not overproduce it, to not overperfect it and to lean in,” Watler said. “And I want them to know that they have a team—quite literally my team—here to support them in their greatness.”