When we say we’re not a social-first agency, it’s because we’re a people-first agency. We use consumer behaviour insights, market research and learned intuition to guide the projects, campaigns, brands and content that we create towards a direction that will speak to the right people in the right way. This method works whether it’s for a platform or packaging, that’s what we’ve learned anyways.
Part of why brands feel so unnatural on TikTok is because brands have gained the trust of society as stronger leaders of change than governments, and as such, are now facing the same scrutiny.
Brands on TikTok can participate in a viral trend while it’s still hot, but if they use that trend as a vehicle to promote or generate approval for their brand, at best, the content will read as cringe marketing. To truly utilise this platform to its full potential, brands need to recognise that the reason creator content is so successful is because it’s taking the sales (or values) pitch away from the marketing department and putting it in the hands of an (entertaining) member of the public. This transition from glossy, produced and legal-washed content into something raw, anti-aspirational and even unpredictable means brands have to loosen the reins on their visual and messaging guidelines. TikTok is not the place for brand cohesion, the platform is an algorithmic slot machine for content.
To find a natural and (relatively) sleuth-repellant existence on TikTok, brands need to create content that doesn’t speak about what the brand is doing to be good, different, disruptive, authentic, equitable or innovative. Brands need to demonstrate action by giving the stage to people and messages that speak to a brand’s values by letting them live in the entertaining, strange, funny, emotional and real world of people. Because that’s what TikTok is, it’s a place where perfectly crafted messages and content can’t polish away the imperfections of a bad company culture or disingenuous Pride campaign — for now anyways.