TikTok Introduces New Options for Advertisers at its First In-Person NewFront Presentation

By Upfronts/NewFronts Archives
Cover image for  article: TikTok Introduces New Options for Advertisers at its First In-Person NewFront Presentation

Under pandemic conditions last year, social media phenomenon TikTok became a must-catch virtual NewFront attraction through its inventive video demonstrations. With live events back in vogue for this week's NewFronts, TikTok made its in-person presentation debut Wednesday afternoon at The Glasshouse.

The Big Message: Through TikTok advertisers can reach a wide variety of audiences by age, common culture and tastes. "More than a billion people worldwide use TikTok every month -- not just Gen Z," declared one company executive on stage. "We reach millions of Millennials and Gen Xers." Further, millions of users spend "a movie's worth of time," or several hours, watching TikTok every day. The message was clear: People check social media, but they watch TikTok.

Host: Singer/rapper Shuba and actor Chris Olsen, both popular TikTok video makers, shared hosting duties. Both were engaging with each other and the capacity audience on hand. Other TikTok personalities came on-stage for a mini-panel segment midway through the presentation.

What Worked: Inventive, effective usage of the venue to demonstrate the range of TikTok creators (many of whom populate topic-specific Community Toks such as sports, fashion, beauty, food, etc.) and their advertiser relationships. Biographies of individual creators were posted on stands spread around the seating area. After the formal presentation, portions of the room were converted into "Community Tok Showrooms" featuring TikTok creators from those Toks. As some attendees headed for the bars around the room, many others stopped by the community locations for a creator chat, to sample items displayed or to grab some swag.

What Also Worked: Everyone on stage emphasizing the point that TikTok is a video town hall that organizes people by their interests or common social status and creates new communities for users with similar goals.

What Didn't Work: The mini-panel, expected to be spontaneous dialogue among TikTok creators, turned out a largely scripted question-and-answer segment. It could have been more impactful.

Bonus Points: A pair of original songs from TikTok creator Jessia, accompanied by solo keyboards.

Data Points: TikTok viewers are 1.5 times more likely to explore new creator communities during each viewing period. Sponsors using the platform [on average] get a 26 percent lift in brand favorability among users and a 22 percent lift in brand recognition. Sixty-six percent of viewers find TikTok has a big impact on general culture, while a majority of users are inspired to take action to better their lives after watching TikTok videos.

News: TikTok Pulse, a new ad campaign option, will be deployed over the next few weeks. Pulse will place messages next to the most culturally relevant videos in 12 categories from fashion and music to anime and gaming. The messages will show up near the top four percent of videos that go viral on any particular day, as determined by viewer engagement, brand suitability/safety and other factors. IPG Mediabrands will be among the first agencies or media buyers committing clients to Pulse usage on a frequent basis. In a separate move, TikTok will explore a revenue-sharing system where creators with at least 100,000 followers can earn a percentage of revenue from advertiser participation in their videos.

Parting Words: "I filmed this NewFront last year in my living room. This is so much better!" -- Sandie Hawkins, TikTok North America General Manager

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