TikTok can be an extremely effective marketing tool for digital advertisers.
The platform offers enormous audience reach, a range of creative ad formats, and data-driven targeting tactics. All great stuff for modern marketers.
So how can you ensure that your next TikTok ad campaign will be a roaring success?
Well, one of the best ways to refine your creative approach is to analyse case studies from successful advertisers and identify the most useful themes, trends, and ideas.
But we know what you’re thinking.
That’s going to take a lot of time – and frankly, that’s a resource you’ve got in short supply.
We’ve put in the hard yards for you, and collected 10 best-in-class TikTok ads examples. Check out these success stories, absorb the valuable TikTok knowledge, and use these insights to fuel your next campaign.
What are TikTok ads?
TikTok ads are available in a range of creative formats and can be served across various parts of the TikTok app.
Different placements can help TikTok advertisers to achieve many campaign objectives and business goals.
Some of the more basic video formats (i.e. In-Feed and Top View ads) are very popular among digital advertisers because they can quickly generate massive audience reach, high levels of engagement, and efficient conversions.
However, TikTok also offers several high-impact ad formats (i.e. Branded Effects and Branded Hashtag Challenges) that can be a game-changer for brands. Although these creative executions often require high levels of investment, they can deliver jaw-dropping levels of reach, engagement, and viral fame.
A healthy balance of different TikTok ad formats and targeting tactics is usually the best approach for marketers.
How does TikTok marketing work?
Although it can take time to master the art of TikTok marketing, the design of the app is actually pretty simple to understand.
TikTok video ads appear throughout the ‘For You’ page. The For You page is essentially just the home feed of the TikTok app where users explore, share, and upload new content.
Each TikTok ad format is served in slightly different ways. In-Feed ads, for example, sit among normal posts, while placements like Brand Takeover ads and Top View ads appear when a user first opens the app.
TikTok video ads can technically run for up to 60 seconds, but the platform suggests a sweet spot of between 9-15 seconds for optimal performance.
The key to a successful TikTok marketing strategy is to strategically align your ad formats, audience targeting, and creative messaging with your business objectives.
What are the different TikTok ad formats?
Let’s run through the different types of TikTok ads and explore how each format can contribute to your campaign goals.
TikTok In-Feed ads
In-Feed ads appear in the TikTok home feed, also known as the TikTok For You page. These ads can last for a maximum of 60 seconds, but a shorter second length (around 15 seconds) is ideal for the TikTok audience.
Audiences can engage with an In Feed ad in a few different ways, including through comments, likes, and shares.
Brands can also add a specific CTA to the bottom of In-Feed ads (e.g. Learn More, Shop Now) to encourage users to take action.
Advertisers can also run different variations of basic In-Feed ads, such as Spark Ads (which turn native content into paid ads) and Collection Ads (which display an interactive product gallery.)
TikTok TopView ads
Similarly to In-Feed ads, TopView ads also appear on the TikTok For You page – but these placements occupy more premium real estate.
TopView ads appear at the very top of the home feed when your target audience opens the TikTok For You page, offering strong visibility for your brand.
Since your TopView ad is guaranteed to be the first piece of content that appears in the TikTok feed, this placement can deliver exceptional results for advertisers. You just need to ensure that your video asset can maintain the attention of your audience.
TikTok Brand Takeover ads
Brand Takeovers are high-impact, full-screen TikTok ads that appear immediately once TikTok users open the app.
You can run a Brand Takeover ad as a 3-second static image or a 3-5 second video. Although this isn’t a huge amount of time for creativity, the format guarantees significant audience reach and the ability to grab instant attention.
Users can also tap a Brand Takeover ad to visit specific landing pages, so a compelling CTA has the potential to drive high volumes of website traffic.
(It’s also worth noting that TikTok users will only see one Brand Takeover per day. This exclusivity is a major plus, but also means that Brand Takeovers aren’t cheap!)
TikTok Hashtag Challenge ads
TikTok Hashtag Challenges are one of the most famous ad formats on the social media platform – and with good reason.
With the right creative idea and execution, advertisers can achieve mind-blowing levels of organic reach, audience engagement, and brand fame.
When a user taps on a Branded Hashtag Challenge ad, they’re directed to a separate landing page that includes a summary of the challenge, rules and guidelines, and a link to the brand’s website. If a TikTok user wants to participate in the Hashtag Challenge, they can create and upload their own submission, using a specific hashtag to promote their video.
When used correctly, Branded Hashtag Challenges can drive far more engagement than formats on other marketing channels, and help brands gather valuable User Generated Content.
TikTok Branded Effect ads
Branded Effect ads are effectively TikTok filters that can be promoted to specific audience segments.
Users can instantly interact with TikTok Branded Effects and share them with friends, and this organic reach is a hugely important part of a successful campaign.
(Using Branded Effects is also another smart way for advertisers to encourage and harvest UGC for website content, social feeds, and future campaigns.)
Targeting Branded Effect ads to the right audiences is crucial, but the real power of the format comes through organic sharing. The more users share your filters on TikTok, the higher the reach and impact of your campaign will be.
High-performing In Feed TikTok ad examples
e.l.f. Cosmetics used an In Feed ad (including a Dynamic ad powered by TikTok pixel data) to reach and convert relevant audiences on the TikTok platform.
The video is light-hearted and genuinely entertaining, while also showcasing a range of e.l.f. Cosmetics products throughout. The brand’s personality is allowed to shine without distracting viewers from the product offering, which is key to success.
The UGC-style format also feels super organic, and the ad manages to feel professional and engaging without being excessively polished or edited.
The e.l.f. Cosmetics branding is also clearly visible in the first and final frames, which is important for awareness and brand recognition.
This campaign was a big success, delivering a 56% CPA reduction for the brand as well as a conversion CTR 1.9x over the benchmark.
Invisalign utilised In Feed ads to reach new audiences on TikTok and establish itself as the go-to brand for teeth straightening.
The brand took a UGC-heavy approach to the campaign, running both standard In Feed ads and Spark ads to amplify creator content and promote Invisalign products.
This is a great TikTok ad example that shows the power of humour on the app.
The best TikTok ads usually aren’t overly-polished, big-budget corporate brand videos. They’re often simple, creative, and funny snippets that keep users entertained.
Invisalign manages to deliver both comedy and key product info here, which is the perfect balance for TikTok ads. The brand doesn’t take itself too seriously, which helps the ad to feel more natural and engaging to viewers.
Plus, this formula clearly worked for Invisalign. The campaign achieved a 127% increase in CTR, a 3,000 follower increase, and a 27% reduction in Cost Per Unique Visitor.
High-performing TopView TikTok ad examples
Fashion retailer ASOS launched TopView ads to boost brand awareness and engagement among the TikTok audience.
The campaign revolved around a Branded Hashtag Challenge and clickable Branded Effect that encouraged users to show off their favourite outfits. However, this interactive content was promoted through TopView and In-Feed ads which increased the reach of the activity.
These ads are perfect for the TopView placement. The bright colours and fast motion instantly grab audience attention, meaning users aren’t likely to scroll past in a hurry.
ASOS worked with several established TikTok creators to kick off the campaign, but collected fresh UGC as more and more users participated in the Hashtag Challenge. The ability to gather new UGC is extremely useful for brands, and TopView ads helped to bring attention to the campaign and encourage new submissions.
These TopView ads also nailed a lot of the TikTok fundamentals – they’re short and sweet, engaging for users, and prominently feature the ASOS branding.
This campaign paid off in a big way for ASOS, which managed to deliver 1.2bn video views in 6 days, as well as an impressive 15.79% engagement rate.
Last Minute partnered with TikTok to reach a new audience of Gen Z and millennial travellers that weren’t readily available on other marketing channels.
The brand used TopView ads to maximise the reach and visibility of the campaign. As the TopView placement is a full screen, sound-on placement, it was the ideal choice for capturing the attention of a broad UK audience and showcasing a fun creative asset.
Rather than taking the easy approach and blasting out basic ‘book a holiday’ messaging, Last Minute produced a super creative and quirky video ad.
The video advertises a fictional health supplement called ‘Holiopathy’ and encourages audiences to cure the January blues by discovering their perfect holiday destination.
As well as having a unique concept, the video is also colourful, bold, and entertaining for viewers. It immediately stands out in the TopView slot, and the bright pink ‘Book Now’ CTA is impossible to miss for the target audience.
Last Minute delivered a whopping 10.5m impressions across this campaign and achieved an exceptional 18% CTR.
More importantly, this campaign proves the value of original thinking on TikTok.
Establishing your key product benefits and brand messages is very important – but it’s equally important to communicate them in an interesting way!
High-performing Brand Takeover TikTok ad examples
Clothing brand Guess used TikTok advertising to promote its Fall’18 Denim Fit Collection to millennial and Gen Z shoppers.
Guess placed a Branded Hashtag Challenge (‘#InMyDenim’) at the core of its TikTok strategy, and used a Brand Takeover on the first day of the campaign to increase awareness and audience participation.
The Hashtag Challenge was simple but very effective. Users were encouraged to show off their favourite denim looks and outfits, and Guess also enlisted the help of several TikTok creators to accelerate the momentum of the challenge.
The Brand Takeover format was ideal for this campaign, as it provided the Hashtag Challenge with the perfect platform to reach a huge user audience.
These Guess ads contained all of the vital ingredients needed for successful TikTok marketing – a fun real life challenge, a clear connection to the brand’s products, and catchy music.
Unsurprisingly, this campaign went viral and generated a huge amount of engagement on TikTok. Guess achieved a 14.3% engagement rate, and delivered a 16.5% CTR on the Brand Takeovers.
Beauty brand Too Faced partnered with TikTok to connect with Gen Z beauty lovers and increase online sales.
Too Faced recognised that the TikTok feed was highly competitive and that audience attention was tricky to maintain. To ensure that its ad campaign was impactful and effective, the business decided to launch a Brand Takeover to maximise user interest.
The Brand Takeover was packed with bold colours and dynamic product shots that were designed to immediately capture the attention of TikTokers.
Too Faced also used a clever split-screen vertical video shot to showcase the before-and-after effects of its products. This is a clever way to highlight key product benefits while also delivering engaging visuals and avoiding excessive ad text.
The Brand Takeover also clearly featured the Too Faced logo, helping to build the brand’s visual identity and improve audience recognition.
The campaign was a resounding success for Too Faced, achieving 7.6m ad impressions, 1.3m clicks and an 18.38% CTR.
High-performing Hashtag Challenge TikTok ad examples
Iconic brand Kool-Aid used TikTok marketing to try and improve brand awareness and cultural relevance among a younger generation.
To tackle these awareness and relevance goals, Kool-Aid created the ‘#OhYEAHChristmas’ Branded Hashtag Challenge. This was a smart creative execution, leveraging the power of the iconic Kool-Aid mascot while also breathing new life into the brand.
The Branded Hashtag Challenge sat at the core of the TikTok marketing strategy and was amplified through TopView and In Feed ad placements on mobile devices.
This creative execution is everything that a Hashtag Challenge should be – bold, attention-grabbing, and fun for audiences.
The primary campaign ad features the Kool-Aid Man and Lil’ Jon dancing to a new song and encouraging audiences to submit their own videos. To incentivise UGC, Kool-Aid also offered a $10,000 prize for the winning submission.
This Hashtag Challenge wasn’t complicated, but it didn’t need to be. The campaign was joyful and amusing, which explains why it achieved 1.9bn video views and a 142.5% lift in ad recall.
Chipotle launched TikTok advertising to engage new customers, strengthen its TikTok profile, and grow its social media following.
To make an impact on the TikTok community, Chipotle launched two light-hearted Hashtag Challenges – the #LidFlipChallenge (inspired by a real employee) and the #GuacDance which featured a viral TikTok song.
Both of these challenges were initially promoted by influencer marketing, which helped to extend reach and encourage participation.
The challenges were an enormous success for Chipotle for a couple of key reasons.
Firstly, this content felt very ‘on-brand’ for Chipotle and was a great way to showcase the brand’s unique personality and digital identity.
Secondly, the challenges were accessible and fun for users. Flipping Chipotle lids and submitting organic videos were simple but enjoyable activities that a wide audience could participate in.
The campaign was an overwhelming success, delivering a 1.3m increase in TikTok followers and 19.1m likes.
High-performing Branded Effect TikTok ad examples
Indonesian milk brand Indomilk used TikTok marketing to promote a new milk product and launch a co-branded animated series.
The business created a unique Branded Effect to increase brand awareness while simultaneously increasing user engagement. This was the ideal format for the campaign because the Branded Effect could both promote the Indomilk brand and generate interest in the animated series.
The Branded Effect allowed users to virtually dress up as characters from the animated series, using hand gestures to select different outfits and styles.
This filter helped Indomilk to smash all three of its primary campaign goals – the Branded Effect promoted the Indomilk brand, increased awareness of the animated series, and encouraged engagement from a huge audience.
The activation was a massive success for Indomilk, achieving 63.4m total impressions and 68k Branded Effect creations.
Netflix launched a TikTok ad campaign to raise awareness for a new release called “Sing On! Germany”.
To really capture the attention of its target viewers, Netflix produced a unique Branded Effect that allowed users to perform in a virtual karaoke booth. This filter was also paired with a Hashtag Challenge to incentivise submissions and boost engagement.
The Branded Effect was promoted using influencer marketing, and also contained iconic karaoke tunes for TikTok users to sing along to.
This is a brilliant example of a simple Branded Effect with mass appeal.
Anyone could get involved with the filter, and the popularity of the Branded Effect also meant that it was organically shared with a huge user audience. The campaign drove over 600m total video views and generated thousands of valuable UGC submissions for Netflix.
How to create winning TikTok ads
We’ve already explored a few of the best TikTok ad examples on the platform.
So what makes for a truly impactful TikTok ad? How did these brands create campaigns that drove mind-blowing levels of brand awareness and engagement?
For starters, all of the best TikTok examples have one thing in common – they feel authentic and native to the TikTok platform.
The TikTok community tends to respond well to ads that feel natural and accessible. That means you need to stay in the loop with TikTok trends, pay attention to user behaviours, and create native assets (i.e. User Generated Content) that will resonate.
Capturing the attention of your target audience quickly is also massively important on social advertising platforms.
The TikTok feed is fast-moving and brimming with new content, so you need to leverage sound, colour, and creativity to ensure that you can stand out as TikTok users scroll by.
Finally, it’s also important to make the most of different TikTok ad formats. Many of the most successful TikTok campaigns use several placements in combination (e.g. Hashtag Challenges promoted through TopView ads) so think carefully about your strategy.
Need some professional support for your next TikTok campaign? Reach out to our digital marketing experts and partner up with a specialist TikTok advertising agency.
How to advertise on TikTok
Looking to smash your paid social marketing goals with your own high-performing TikTok ads?
Take a look at this guide to explore the basics of setting up a new TikTok account and ad campaign.
Below are some of the key steps that you’ll need to complete before going live:
- Choose a relevant campaign objective that aligns with your business goals.
- Select your target audiences, ideally using TikTok pixel data for Custom Audiences.
- Set your campaign budget and finalise your desired bidding strategy.
- Create ads – remember, stick to TikTok creative best practices!
- Go live with your campaign and make sure to optimise your TikTok ads.
If you can ensure that your TikTok ads are built specifically for the TikTok platform and audience, then you’ll be crushing your objectives before you know it.
Useful resources for TikTok advertising
Searching for some additional TikTok marketing guidance?
Look no further.
We’ve pulled together a few handy resources to help you optimise your TikTok campaign performance and maximise your returns.
TikTok is a powerful advertising tool that can deliver outstanding results for your brand.
If you can learn from some of the best-performing TikTok examples and adopt proven marketing strategies, then you’ll be in a great position to accelerate your brand growth and achieve your goals.