In November of 2019, TikTok hit 1.5 billion downloads. Mostly used by millennials and young people, TikTok is an internet phenomenon. Advertisers are constantly looking for new ways and new platforms to engage with their audiences. TikTok represents an unparalleled opportunity for online advertisement by allowing for potentially billions of impressions to be generated. Weekly.

TikTok’s ad motto is “connecting the brands of today with the consumers of tomorrow”. TikTok ads allow agencies to reach incredibly diverse audiences through a network of fast-growing mobile apps in currently 20 of the world’s markets. TikTok hosts a suite of full-service marketing tools to control and measure your campaign in fine detail while building a relevant brand in 2020.

In this article we’ll sum up a few successful ad campaigns on TikTok.

the house with a clock in its walls
Credit: Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

In September of 2018, Universal Pictures created a campaign to raise awareness for their upcoming film “The House with a Clock in its Walls”. The goal of the project was to engage with users through the theme of ‘magic’ and stimulate their interest to sell movie tickets.

The solution was to leverage TikTok’s users to generate content using the hashtag “#FindYourMagic”. Universal challenged users to interpret the theme in their own way and perform a magic trick on TikTok. The challenge resulted in over 19,000 user replies and 1.3 million likes on user videos. In 6 days Universal Pictures gained over 11,000 followers as well.

5 bottles of face wash
Credit: Clean and Clear

Clean & Clear

This time around the objective was to put a new advertising twist on a product with the debut of a new product “My Swag” in the Indian market. The brand wanted to engage with female teens in India to raise awareness for its product.

The creative solution was a hashtag challenge called “#UnbottleApnaSwag”. It featured 5 packaging styles to match 5 personality types; Fun, Carefree (Bindaas), Studious (Padhaku), Talkative (Bakbak), and Foodie. The brand also partnered with 5 top female influencers to start and promote the challenge. The brand released 5 rap songs and users could choose from one of the songs and generate their own content to showcase their personality. The challenge received over 1.96 billion video views, 2.62 million user-generated videos, and 172 million likes/comments/shares. Furthermore, the brand received more than 10,000 followers online.

a girl in a mascara ad on TikTok
Credit: Maybelline/TikTok/Reiko


This represents the true power of TikTok marketing. Prior to the success of the campaign, Maybelline New York’s mascara was targeted to strong, sophisticated, and mature women since its inception in 2007. The brand wanted to build “girl-friendly” recognition for its product. They elected to use TikTok influencers’ audiences to target younger people.

Maybelline partnered with Reiko, a popular influencer, to promote their product. The campaign was centred around the idea that “just like boyfriends, eyelashes are not always what you want them to be.” (Japan)

The ad featured a customized song that contained lyrics mirroring the feelings of young girls and ended with Hyper Curl mascara promising that it keeps eyelashes curly from root to tip.

The campaign allowed Maybelline to expand the audience of a classic product. In just one day the video received 48,700 liked, 709 shares, and 2907 comments. Brand awareness increased by 80% and brand favourability was lifted by 47.9%. But maybe that’s just Maybelline.

TikTok allows brands to engage with their audiences in ways that speak to them. TikTok ads can make use of influencers, user-generated content, and more to spark truly creative, and highly successful, advertisement campaigns.

As of right now, TikTok ads are not open to just any creator, unlike Facebook and Instagram. TikTok allows only seasoned advertisers to use their platform. Whether it comes down to content moderation or not it means that there won’t be an influx of needy and repetitive ads in the near future, and in a world eclipsed by ads, that is a very welcome thing.