- TikTok signed a deal with programmatic advertising exchange The Trade Desk that makes the viral video app's ad inventory in the Asia-Pacific region available to brands, according to a press release. PepsiCo was the first advertiser to access TikTok's inventory through The Trade Desk with a pilot campaign for its Lay's snack brand in Thailand.
- TikTok is the first short-form video platform to integrate its ad inventory with The Trade Desk. The integration will make it easier for advertisers to use the viral video app in their campaigns, according to the companies.
- After running a test campaign in Thailand, PepsiCo plans to expand its work throughout the region, Arun Mehra, senior director of marketing services at the company, said in a statement. The agreement between The Trade Desk and TikTok covers Russia and 11 markets in the Asia-Pacific region including Southeast Asia, India, Australia and Japan.
TikTok's agreement with The Trade Desk gives mobile marketers a way to buy ad inventory on the viral video app in the Asia-Pacific region and Russia, potentially reaching hundreds of millions of consumers. It could be an important step for the viral video app in figuring out how to better monetize its platform, which has seen a surge in user downloads and brand interest but remains in a nascent stage lacking the offerings of more established competitors like Facebook's Instagram.
TikTok last year was installed 323 million times in India alone, or 44% of the app's total worldwide, per mobile usage data compiled by Sensor Tower. As major companies like PepsiCo seek to reach consumers in those regions whose smartphone is their primary connected device, TikTok provides a platform to engage a growing audience group.
TikTok's parent company ByteDance is working rapidly to build an advertising business that keeps pace with the massive popularity of the app, which had been downloaded 1.65 billion times worldwide by the end of last year, according to Sensor Tower. ByteDance, which also publishes a version of TikTok in China called Douyin, currently has 60,000 employees in 30 countries, and plans to almost double its headcount to 100,000 by the end of the year, Reuters reported.
The company last week reorganized its management team to give founder and CEO Zhang Yiming more time to focus on overseas operations that are significant drivers of growth. ByteDance also faces challenges in the U.S. amid growing worries that TikTok presents a possible threat to national security.
TikTok's popularity has steadily enticed more brands to launch campaigns on the platform to reach younger consumers who rely on their smartphones for entertainment and social interaction. Among the more recent examples, fast-food chain Taco Bell partnered with TikTok on a campaign to promote a limited-time menu item.
The nationwide campaign not only included a TV spot shot in a vertical video format to replicate a smartphone screen, but also a branded hashtag challenge that urged TikTok users to create their own videos. American Eagle Outfitters, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Kind Snacks have also recently created campaigns for the platform, though the Taco Bell tie-up was the first time the app partnered with a brand on a national advertising effort in the U.S.