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5 Brands Doing TikTok Marketing Right

There are many ways to advertise your business on TikTok. For inspiration, check out how these five brands are doing TikTok marketing right.
Parker Dietz
December 3, 2020
April 18, 2024

What started as a mysterious app that your younger cousin may use to record dance videos is now one of the most popular social media channels. In fact, TikTok has over one billion active users worldwide.

This traffic is incredible news for brands looking for effective marketing channels. TikTok for Business is continuously evolving its offering to help more brands take advantage of the rapidly growing traffic the app receives. It may seem daunting to learn the ins and outs of a brand-new platform, but TikTok’s top piece of advice is an easy one to follow: use the app yourself.

TikTok encourages adopting a user-first approach to increase your chances of success on the platform. This means that the most successful brands are the ones who dive head-first into the culture and style of TikTok, and let authenticity lead the way.

If you're ready to dive into TikTok advertising, you'll need some inspiration. Here are five brands that are doing it right and finding amazing success.

Table of Contents

  1. Kool-Aid
  2. Simmons
  3. Manscaped
  4. Mucinex
  5. Bumble

1. Kool-Aid

Everyone knows Kool-Aid and their iconic mascot the Kool-Aid Man, with his signature “OH YEAH” catchphrase. Over the years, the beverage brand has taken to TV ads to build awareness. However, they were looking to make a change as their target audience was moving away from television.

With the holiday season approaching, Kool-Aid tapped into TikTok to make a splash with a new Christmas campaign. They launched the #OhYEAHChristmas hashtag challenge to increase awareness and seasonal relevance. They also created an original song with another person who has the same catchphrase as the Kool-Aid man: Lil’ Jon. 

Branded hashtag challenges are a great way to increase the likelihood of reach, as they’re specifically designed to increase viral impact. The #OhYEAHChristmas Hashtag Challenge inspired the community to make joyful and creative holiday content that authentically fit into users' For You feeds.

To support the challenge, Kool-Aid launched TopView and In-Feed ads to drive impressions and encourage more involvement in the hashtag challenge. It’s important to remember that there’s no silver bullet to going viral on TikTok, but it’s more likely to happen if you follow the best practices and create content that feels like it belongs there.  

When all was said and done, Kool-Aid received 1.9 billion views and a 142.5% lift in Ad Recall. Not too shabby!

2. Simmons 

Simmons is a 150-year-old mattress brand battling against a horde of new kids on the block. To compete in the increasingly crowded mattress space, Simmons was looking to activate a channel that could breathe some life into their storied history.

They came up with the #Snoozzzapalooza branded hashtag challenge in response to the cancellation of music festivals due to social distancing. The hashtag encouraged users to record themselves doing a stage dive onto a bed and into a dream world filled with upbeat music and good times. 

There are two key things that Simmons did really well. For one, they centered their challenge around something almost everyone has: a bed. When planning TikTok campaigns, especially challenges, you should aim to make them with zero barriers to entry. This makes it so more people are able and willing to participate organically.

Second, they gave their creators the freedom to put their own creative spin on the challenge. When the creative reigns are held too tightly, the content comes across as inauthentic, which is a big no-no on TikTok. 

Around 1.1 million creators participated in this campaign to generate over 2.3 million videos. These videos amassed 6 billion views. It also led to a 107% increase in traffic to week over week.

3. Manscaped

You may recognize the men’s grooming company, Manscaped, for its bold and unconventional advertisements. Well, they took that same attitude to TikTok starting way back in May of 2019. As opposed to the major marketing campaigns in the previous two examples, Manscaped implemented an always-on approach to TikTok advertising that's engineered for cost efficiency.

The men’s grooming brand focused its attention on In-Feed ads that were authentic and blended seamlessly into the For You page. Manscaped’s ads are equal parts funny and informative, as they prioritize educating viewers on proper male grooming techniques. 

Focusing on brand awareness, Manscaped has achieved 151 million impressions with a staggering low CPM. 

There are several factors that go into a successful ad strategy on TikTok, but one is absolutely vital: don’t take yourself too seriously. TikTok users go to the platform for pure entertainment, and your content should serve that purpose.

The goal is to create ads that look and feel native to TikTok video, not like an advertisement. When users detect an ad on their feed, they’re extremely likely to scroll right on through.

4. Mucinex

Similar to Snapchat, TikTok offers brands the opportunity to create branded effects that creators can use to spice up their content while simultaneously building brand awareness. A popular feature now, Mucinex was the first brand to use the branded effect feature when it was introduced.  

Mucinex’s branded effect showcased their mascot Mr. Mucus, who would appear on the screen and dance alongside creators. This is another great example of a brand finding success by leveraging trends that are already popular on the platform. In this case, it’s dance, which has become synonymous with TikTok. 

To support the branded effect, Mucinex also rolled out the #BeatTheZombieFunk hashtag and an original song. Taking a multifaceted approach like this helps to increase the allure of participating in the challenge. In just nine days, over half a million creators joined in on the challenge and drove 5.8 billion video views

5. Bumble

The popular networking app for dating and friendship was looking for a way to find new users while remaining profitable, especially given the rising costs of traditional marketing channels.

For their strategy, Bumble leaned into TikTok’s mantra of “Don’t Make Ads, Make TikToks” to create promotions that felt authentic to the platform. Bumble also took the traditional TikTok influencer route by partnering with big names like David Dobrik and Brittany Broski, to name a few.

In-Feed ads were deployed for direct response and relied heavily on TikTok Ads Manager features like optimization for in-app events, automated bidding, and creative optimization to make adjustments as necessary throughout the campaign.

Since starting its TikTok efforts, Bumble has seen a 5X increase in App Install Volume while achieving a 64% decrease in cost-per-registration.

As a Cohley user, Bumble leverages our platform to quickly scale relatable content for use in paid ads across their channels. By tapping into our vast network of eager content creators, Bumble is able to generate videos that teem with authenticity for a more personal touch.

Using Cohley for TikTok Advertising

One of the most challenging aspects of TikTok marketing is being able to generate enough content to keep up with demand and effectively test performance. 

As TikTok’s Creative Development Partner, we have the tools to make TikTok advertising work for your brand. With the Cohley platform, you can run a Visual Assets Campaign to quickly pair up with TikTok creators and source user-generated videos at scale.

Not only does this solve the volume problem, but it also ensures your content is as authentic as possible. From there, Cohley helps you easily push assets directly to your TikTok Business Manager and measure performance.

Get Started With Cohley Today

Interested in learning more? Ready to start utilizing TikTok for your brand? We're ready to help! Reach out to our team for a consultation today!

Parker Dietz
Head of Content
With a wealth of knowledge about competitors and pricing, Parker is all about exploring the best way to communicate Cohley's benefits. Outside of work, Parker enjoys poorly playing guitar at parties, watching every Adam Sandler movie ever made, and eating Arabic food.