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  • Jeff Harry

Why Embracing Play For Brands Will Lead To Success On TikTok




Brands right now have a unique opportunity to connect with so many people through the viral app TikTok, but they seem to not understand it because they have forgotten how to play.


Many brands are showing up on these platforms like TikTok and Snapchat and doing the exact same boring approach to marketing that they did on other social media platforms.  Maybe, they are doing some product placement or getting an influencer to use their product, but it is the same dull approach that they used to do with TV and even radio.  They are not thinking creatively and more importantly, they are not having fun. 


They are not allowing their social media teams to take risks and play on these platforms. To create ridiculous videos that have no ROI. For them to be successful, for once they need to lay down the professional facade and embrace a fun, creative approach that gives them the freedom to figure out their voice and brand on this new platform. 

Take a look at these Brands' Twitter Accounts that are having fun with the platform.  They are taking risks, they are not taking themselves too seriously.  They don't have a specific agenda or trying to figure out an ROI.  They are just being fully present and enjoy the platform, playing with other people on it.

That is the magic of TikTok.  It is an opportunity to play with other people and create really innovative fun ridiculous content in a no-judgment zone.

So don't show up with your boring standard advertising that you have done on Instagram and Facebook to TikTok, because you as a company will fail miserably then.



My suggestion to reach people on TikTok is to get the staff that spends the most time on TikTok already and have them do a brainstorming party, full of whatever they need to get the creative juices flowing. Allow them to create content that both fits your brand, but also is fun, creative, and uniquely you.  Allow them to take risks, and fail while making content.  You can approve each and every one of their posts, but allow them to experiment here and see what they can create.  For every 3 posts they make pick the best one to post.  


Here are some examples of brands that are having fun while creating original content that represents them.

Take for example the Washington Post, which is typically considered a stuffy newspaper. Most Gen Z and Millenials would never pick this paper up and now they have this ridiculous guy who is just having fun while educating people and sharing news that now gives the Post street cred for this generation.  A 22-year-old can connect and relate to this guy so now they can relate to Washington Post. Crazy!


So, in summary:

1. Allow your TikTok Savvy Staff to play and create some interesting, creative, fun, and ridiculous content and see if that can translate to communicate your company culture.

2. Don't judge it for 6 months and just let them figure out their voice (feel free to vet it for legal purposes), but still give freedom to create.

3. Don't focus on an ROI at all, for at least 6 months.  The ROI on this will not be measured for quite some time, but if you want to be relevant by being on TikTok, remember as Creative Katalyst Kevin Carroll says, "The Future Is Where The Fun Is."


Don't become the next Blockbuster because you are unwilling to play on this new playground called TikTok.

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