TikTok looks back at best-performing brand campaigns of 2020
In a tough year for many brands. TikTok not only prevailed, it thrived—being named Ad Age No.1 Marketer of the Year. With 100 million active users in the U.S., the platform has continued to attract brands looking to reach young audiences.
On Wednesday the platform revealed the best-performing brand campaigns—those that embody its own marketing brief: “Don’t Make Ads, Make TikToks.” It’s the first time the platform has released such a list and comes a week after it published its second annual “Top 100” list, highlighting top creatives, trends, challenges and hashtags of the year.
"We're thrilled to debut our first-ever 'Year on TikTok' spotlighting brands that showed incredible perseverance and their ability to make an impact on culture and with the TikTok community in 2020,” Katie Puris, managing director of global business marketing, wrote in a blog post. “These campaigns brought much-needed joy and levity to TikTok and into our homes during a challenging year and truly exemplified the power of authenticity in marketing."
TikTok zeros in on five top-performing “unique” campaigns grouped in each of 10 categories: Hashtag challenges, hashtag challenges using music, creatives from the “For You” feed, branded effects, “Editor’s choice,” top viral videos, brands that built a community, innovative brand accounts, small businesses and top #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt videos.
A TikTok spokesperson said campaigns were selected based on metrics including video views, likes, engagement and follower growth. The brands span beauty, entertainment, food and consumer packaged goods, and include industry heavyweights L’Oreal, Pepsi, Warner Bros., the National Football League and Lysol, as well as small businesses including Designs by Donnie and Pounce Cat Café.
Some brands appeared in more than one category. NYX Professional Makeup’s #ButterGlossPop challenge appears in “Top hashtag challenges” and “Top Hashtag Challenges that moved us through music.” The campaign challenged consumers to show how they applied the brand’s Butter Gloss with the hashtag and original song #ButterGlossPop for a chance to win $1,200 in makeup. Videos with the hashtag have been viewed more than 11 billion times.
EA Games’ #PlayWithLife hashtag challenge is featured under “Top hashtag Challenges” and “Top branded effects.” The campaign allowed users to virtually try on their own “Plumbob” and show how they would dress as a character in “The Sims.” Videos with the hashtags received more than 15 billion views.
Several featured brand campaigns focused on the pandemic. L’Oreal’s #LetsFaceIt challenge, which has garnered nearly 17 billion video views, aims to destigmatize mask wearing by encouraging TikTok users to show themselves wearing and rocking their masks. Recognized under hashtags challenges using music, Safeguard’s #SafeguardSplash challenge encouraged people to show off their handwashing dance moves with the brand’s hand soap. The brand created a custom song and videos with the hashtag were viewed 1.8 billion times.
"People come to TikTok not just for entertainment, but for education, inspiration, and a sense of community,” Bryan Thoensen, head of content partnerships, wrote in the blog post. “Meaningful connection was more important in 2020 than ever before and, looking back, we've seen partner brands in nearly every vertical bring our community together through authentic, unforgettable, and inspiring TikTok videos."
TikTok shared an infographic with all of this year's picks: