- TikTok is helping raise money for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) with an influencer campaign. The social video app will donate $1 — up to $75,000 — for every video that U.S. users post to its platform with hashtag #PetBFF by today (Aug. 22), according to a company announcement.
- TikTok and ASPCA enlisted pet celebrities like Bruno the rescue pup that appears in the Emmy-nominated Netflix series "It's Bruno," and several animal-loving influencers to support the campaign against animal cruelty.
- Animal shelters and rescues that join TikTok during the promotion period, which kicked off on Aug. 16, are eligible to receive personalized support about account creation and best practices, in addition to involvement with TikTok creators, per ASPCA.
TikTok's collaboration with ASPCA comes as the social video app also works with World For All, a Mumbai-based nonprofit that promotes animal adoptions, on a viral promotion that used the same #petBFF hashtag. The campaigns appear to be drumming up significant engagement. Videos with the #petBFF hashtag received more than 523 million views, making it one of the most popular inspirations for videos, per TikTok's "trending videos" page.
The campaigns demonstrate the viral power of TikTok, whose popularity since its launch a year ago is partly attributed to features that urge creative collaboration among users and high-end artificial intelligence (AI) that identifies fun and quirky videos to share.
TikTok's parent company ByteDance aims to monetize the app by ramping up its marketing efforts, such as those by ASPCA and World For All. Not only has ByteDance advertised heavily on rival social networks to lure away users and drive TikTok app downloads, but it's also poaching their employees by recruiting marketing talent from rivals like Facebook, Google, Snapchat and Twitter. TikTok's key challenge remains growing its advertising sales while maintaining an audience that largely consists of fickle U.S. teens.
Collaborations with ASPCA and World For All are well suited for TikTok's audience of young adults and teens who tend to show greater affinity for socially conscious brands. Brita, Chipotle, Nestlé's Poland Spring water brand and Nike are among the brands weaving causes into their recent marketing campaigns to win over consumers. Despite the popularity of cause-driven efforts, they may not be breaking through with most Gen Z consumers. Just 12% of people in the age group have a "top of mind" association between brands they know and a social cause, a study from consulting firm DoSomething Strategic revealed, pointing to why brands are deploying the efforts on popular social media apps like TikTok.