TikTok hosted its annual #ForYou Summit last night and the short-form video platform talked up the opportunities it presents for brands to take creative risks.
Around 450 people were packed into Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion yesterday to hear from Dylan Alcott, a host of names from the TikTok Australian office, Guzman y Gomez’s global CMO, Lara Thom, Uber’s director of marketing APAC advertising and promotions, Andy Morley and Peta Southcombe, managing partner at UM.
The TikTok team were bullish about the opportunity the platform poses for brands.
“In the 14th century, the years of the Renaissance cultivated a new change in art, knowledge and culture”, said Anthony Dever, the platform’s brand and creative consultancy lead in AUNZ.
“TikTok represents the next creative renaissance, rekindling that love for art through a new medium and new methods for telling stories. Right now, your brand has the opportunity to show up alongside some of the most entertaining, compelling and creative content that’s ever been made. Culture now moves at the speed of TikTok”.
That’s some sales pitch.
“The concept of ‘recut, remix and reimagine’, to ensure creative assets are appropriate and appealing for the TikTok audience to drive engagement, ran throughout the session. TikTok has tools and solutions that can assist in this, so no client has to run their standard TVC across the platform – which is so important as we know how ineffective this can be,” Brooke Aniseko, Publicis Media Exchange’s head of digital and data ANZ told B&T.
Aniseko said that Uber’s Morley was particularly interesting when he explained how the brand needed to be open-minded about its creative approach and leveraged content creators and organic brand-related content — both very different from Uber’s usual approach with A-list celebrities and slick asset production.
“We got on TikTok about 18 months ago, we were late to the party but we knew the party was good,” said Morley.
“We could see the audience was massive and highly relevant to our main audiences, we could see it looked like a really fun place to bring our brand to life.”
Morley regaled the crowd with tales about the “cringeworthy” content from Uber drivers on the platform that initially greeted the team when it set up on the app.
“We were used to doing high-end production TVCs with Hollywood stars. This felt completely off-brand. But, if anyone’s met Sam [Kelly, managing director, Hello Social — Uber’s social agency], he’s an annoying, persistent guy. So, after a while, we said ‘fuck it, let’s give it a go’. Sure enough, it performed incredibly well.”
The brand also recut its TVCs featuring the likes of Abbie Chatfield, restructuring them and putting the brand first, rather than waiting for the big reveal — “It’s a skippable environment” said Morley.
It also talked up its virality-minded spot launching KFC on Uber Eats, which saw a man dressed as a chicken wing parachute into a giant Uber Eats box which gave the Uber legal team had a “heart attack.”
For brands, TikTok talked up its new Branded Mission tool that makes it easier to connect with creators. The portal, which Aniseko described as “fantastic”, allows advertisers to brief content creators on what they’re looking for and then creators can accept the brief.
The whole event was hosted by Dylan Alcott, who recently represented the Shift 20 initiative aiming to increase diversity and representation in advertising and media — two areas where TikTok said it excels.
“I also humbled to be joined on stage by Dylan Alcott, and proud that TikTok is now part of the movement that is the Shift 20 initiative to drive inclusivity in our industry. We are committed to supporting this, and I loved seeing the enthusiasm from the brands and marketers who are also interested in getting involved,” said Brett Armstrong, TikTok’s general manager, global business solutions.
Alcott explained that if media and advertising were more representative of the 20 per cent of Australia’s population living with disabilities — hence the Shift 20 name — it would change lives.
But he added it would also give brands the chance to make “a shitload more money”.
“You laugh but I’m a consumer like you who wants to have choice and control… I cried this morning because the new Weet-Bix kid, she’s a young girl in a wheelchair for the next 12 months. That would have changed my life,” he said.
“You see so much disability on TikTok and that is so cool. You’re the gatekeepers, to be honest, in all the marketing and communication you do — whether it’s on social media or traditional media.”
“Overall, it was a very engaging, content-heavy summit with plenty of examples brought to life for media buyers and advertisers to think differently about how they’re engaging with TikTok over other channels,” said Aniseko.
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