All about TikTok

Aug 5, 2020 | Advertising, Digital | 0 comments

By Israa Javed

A dash of Vine, a little bit of Dubmash, and a hint of Instagram, mix them together and voila we have TikTok.  

TikTok is a social network for sharing user-generated videos, mostly of people lip-synching to popular songs. It was originally called This video- based platform has peaked during the pandemic as users stayed at home and kept busy by putting their creative hats on.  

TikTok has a variety of content to appeal to different interest groups, from dance videos, to food, fashion and even gaming. The upper limit for recording a video in the app is 15 seconds, although, the new update extended the limit to 60 seconds when you string 4 15-second segments together.  

Home to one billion users and available in over 150 countries, TikTok has taken the world by storm. The creative platform contains over 800 million monthly active users and has been downloaded more than 1.5 billion times worldwide.

How are brands using it? 

If you’re a marketer and want to reach millennials and the Gen Z audience, there’s no better platform than TikTok to do so. The Middle East is no exception to TikTok’s growth, with Saudi Arabia ranking as the eighth-largest country in terms of number of users in 2019, as per Route Note. 

Here are a few examples of how brands have successfully leveraged TikTok.


Guess partnered with TikTok to run a challenge using the #InMyDenim hashtag. It revolved around customers or influencers switching from their daily wear to Guess Denim which made them look more vibrant. The challenge achieved a good success rate with over 38 million views. 


The high-end fashion brand is not only experimenting with TikTok but also incorporating the viral hashtag challenges. Here a “challenge” has come to mean a format for a video for fans to endlessly iterate upon, usually involving a song. Burberry launched the #TBchallenge to promote their new Thomas Burberry Monogram collection. 

Mercedes Benz  

The German car brand has over 110,000 followers. It used the platform to highlight influencers who created the Mercedes Benz iconic logo in a variety of creative ways. 


Although the brand is a new entrant on the platform, it has gained over 10 million likes from its followers with its creative and on-trend TikTok videos.  

Why TikTok? 

This platform will help you tap into a younger demographic segment and reach an audience that might or might not have their presence on other social media platforms.  

Moreover, since there are no best practices yet for TikTok, businesses have the liberty to experiment with different ideas and test what appeals to the millennials and Gen Z audience. With a series of trial and error testing, brands can also engage with this group in a quirky, lighthearted, and raw manner rather than polished content that is not as appreciated with younger audiences.  

How does it help brands? 

By creating fun content or starting trendy hashtags on TikTok, businesses are able to drive brand awareness with user-generated content resulting in top of mind brand recall with the millennials and Gen Z audience. 

Brands can engage organically with users, reach users with paid advertising, or work with influencers to spread content, all using TikTok’s advanced creative toolkit.

Tips for TikTok:  

  1. Brands must carefully define who they are trying to reach and why, before adopting a media strategy for TikTok. 
  1. To make the most of the wide range of organic, paid and influencer partnership opportunities on TikTok and create content that feels authentic to users, brands must work with the tools and communication styles native to TikTok. 
  1. Before brands run advertising on TikTok, they should define the results that matter most and ensure they use the correct tools to capture those results, whether it be mobile app downloads, sales or brand perceptions. 
  1. For those brands looking to exploit the entertaining and light-hearted nature of TikTok, it’s unique sponsored ‘Hashtag Challenge’ format is the most attractive paid format.  

Still not sure what to do about TikTok? Reach out to our team at and let us sort your 15 seconds of fame out.

Israa Javed’s career began at UAE based digital giants Noon and Namshi where she helped launch some of the country’s most famous brands and developed the skills to implement effective marketing strategies. As a Junior Brand Manager, she brings dedication to every client and ensures all projects are executed with innovative and creative solutions.


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