The video was posted on September 25. Less than a month later, it has 61.5 million views, and counting, numerous imitation videos including ones by the band’s very own Mick Fleetwood and Stevie Nicks, and it even resulted in the 70s classic making it back into the Top 10 billboard charts.
Despite not even having an account on the platform at the time, Ocean Spray reacted quickly, with CEO Tom Hayes creating a response video and gifting @420doggface208 with a new truck. The Ocean Spray hashtag now has over 190.6 million views on TikTok.
“This is how people are creating content, how people are connecting, and it’s only through understanding this that we understand how to connect with them,” Armstrong said.
While the Ocean Spray story is a demonstration of what can happen organically on TikTok, it can teach brands a lot about what makes a successful TikTok campaign.
Be where your customers are
Armstrong is encouraging retailers to lead the conversation about their brands and become part of a two-way conversation with consumers.
“As a brand, you need to be where your audience is,” Armstrong said.
“The world has changed the way people engage, the way people take in content. So it’s important to be aware of that and understand ways to connect.”
In a year tainted by fear and uncertainty, TikTok has thrived. Consumers have flocked to the app in search of light relief from the stress of daily Covid-19 case updates and discussion of restrictions.
“Although we had such exponential growth in 2019, 2020 has been even greater. It’s not just people coming to watch and discover that content, they’re getting involved; they’re creating; they’re participating in trends, hashtags; they’re connecting with each other and they’re connecting with brands,” he said.
Armstrong also put to bed the misconception that the app is just for teens.
“TikTok is clearly a platform for everyone. In fact, 35+ is our fastest growing segment, and approximately 20 per cent of the content on the platform comes from that demographic.”
Many brands are reluctant to join TikTok due to a lack of understanding about what works, but by sitting on the fence and failing to get creative, they will never know.
“What TikTok has done is it’s democratised creativity,” Armstrong said. “The more fun, the more real, the more authentic, the content is, the better.”
Many brands are leaning into hashtag challenges which have become popular on the app. This involves an individual or brand creating a challenge under a hashtag and inviting others to take part.
“The hashtag challenge is one of the most unique and powerful forms of TikTok,” Armstrong said. “[It] can drive virality and huge engagement with your audience. However, it does take a bit of thought.”
Optus and Menulog are among the brands that have executed the hashtag challenge successfully.
Optus launched a #yeahweback challenge to mark the feeling of coming out of lockdown, while Menulog created the #deliverydance challenge, to show the joy of receiving a meal delivery. Both featured original and catchy jingles created specifically for the campaigns.
The Menulog campaign garnered almost 29 million impressions, almost 90 per cent ad lift and 90 per cent engagement.
“Traditionally, we’ve communicated to consumers. On TikTok, it’s about communicating with them,” he said.
“What we’re seeing here is the rise of interactive storytelling. Brands are recognising the creativity in the community and with their customers, and they’re letting the consumers and the customers tell the story. That’s a real change.”
Be at the forefront
Armstrong said that brands need to be at the forefront and leading the change with new ideas and technology.
Cosmetics brand Maybelline is doing just that. At a time when consumers are unable to test products on themselves in stores, the cosmetics giant has introduced a campaign on TikTok which allows users to virtually try-on different makeup looks through a filter.
“In this filter we’re allowing people to not only engage and communicate with a brand, but they get to try the product, which is incredible,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong believes that when brands embrace the two-way conversation and amplify the creativity of consumers, they will notice the difference.
“It doesn’t just drive engagement it drives real business results, and we’re seeing it everywhere.”