TikTok makes first UK marketing push for the holidays
- TikTok, the social media app for sharing short lip-sync videos, this week launched its first major marketing campaign in the U.K. The holiday-themed campaign will include a series of hashtags and challenges related to Christmas and New Year's celebrations, The Drum reported.
- The platform will target millennial audiences by continually showing five different challenges that are trending on the app. Those challenges aim to urge more users to respond with their own user-generated content.
- TikTok also is running out-of-home (OOH) promotions at London's Piccadilly Street and Oxford Circus that started yesterday (Dec. 17) and will run though New Year's Eve. TikTok is working with agency TBWA on creative for the campaign and Blue 449 for the OOH elements, The Drum reported.
TikTok has expanded rapidly among Generation Z and young millennial audiences in the past few years, and seeks to expand its presence in key markets like the U.K. TikTok's growth positions the company to build a significant advertising business for parent company Bytedance. The Chinese internet startup created TikTok to reach international markets after successfully gaining a large domestic audience with its Douyin social media app.
TikTok reached 500 million users in July, and had other notable achievements this year such as being the most-downloaded non-game app worldwide in Apple's App Store in Q1, the South China Morning Post reported. It surpassed Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube in downloads in September, according to data compiled by researcher SensorTower, pointing to the explosive growth in the space and potential for marketers. TikTok's user base is bigger than Twitter's audience of 336 million and Snapchat's 186 million, presenting a possible way for advertisers to reach young audiences on mobile as the platform steps up its advertising capabilities.
Part of TikTok's viral appeal is a feature that lets users collaborate on lip-syncing in split-screen "duets" that fuel more user-generated content. The popularity of TikTok caught the attention of Facebook, which has seen revenue growth slow as the social network makes a transition from monetizing its lucrative News Feed format to products like Stories. Facebook recently developed a standalone app called Lasso that takes aim at TikTok's teen audience with similar lip-syncing and video-sharing features. The push comes as just 5% of U.S. teens describe Facebook as their favorite social network, according to an annual survey by Piper Jaffray.
Bytedance last year acquired the lip-syncing app Musical.ly, which had gained a big following among U.S. teens before leveling out, for $800 billion and combined it with TikTok. With a stunning valuation of more than $75 billion, Bytedance is the first Chinese internet company with a significant and engaged global following, The Verge reported.