It is no secret that technology has always influenced the way people interact with brands and AR technology is doing just that on multiple platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat and TikTok.
With TikTok’s growing popularity, however, brands are diving in more and more, facilitating unprecedented collaboration between content creators and those brands ready to push the envelope.
So why AR on Tikok?
The difference between Branded Effects on TikTok and AR on other platforms resides on TikTok’s content graph and open ecosystem, geared to maximise discovery and engagement.
The platform allows its community to create trends every day by displaying content that is popular and relevant to users’ interests. That means that any user’s content can reach millions of views if it truly resonates and engages the community.
Rather than relying on the number of followers or celebrity status, a content graph emphasises content over following or the size of your network. Branded Effects enables TikTokers to create better content to express themselves.
What is a TikTok Branded Effect?
If your users could touch a brand, this is how they would do it!
A branded effect is like an on-stage prop that is powered by augmented reality (AR) and movement tracking technology to trigger a customised effect by an on-screen action such as body, hand or facial gestures.
Branded effects on TikTok can take different forms: 2D, 2D Pro, 3D, and Gamified Branded Effects.
- 2D: Branded filters, backgrounds, flat images and animations
- 2D Pro: Mainly for facial makeup, facial distortion and hair colour effects.
- 3D: Multi-dimensional, augmented reality effects. Foreground elements control, headwear,
- Gamified: Templated gamified effects for brands to customize
Branded Effects and the marketing funnel
Branded effects take ‘brand interaction’ to the next level and build a deep level of engagement in a highly immersive experience.
It can boost awareness and reach with immersive discovery at the top of the funnel.
The interactive nature of a branded effect allows users to experience a message, creating a deep connection and enhancing recall as well as retention at the middle of the funnel. TikTokers embrace interactivity and are keen to collaborate with brands to tell their stories.
Engagement then opens the door to purchase intent, pushing users down to the bottom of the funnel.
Brands can leverage Branded Effects to give the TikTok community the chance to co-create with them. In combination with Hashtag Challenges and In-Feed ads, they have proven to increase brand lift by driving deeper engagement and brand awareness.
Branded Effects Creative Strategies
Each type of branded effect on TikTok has its own technology, purpose and creative complexity. Regardless of what format you choose, there are a few rules of thumb when it comes to a branded effect on TikTok.
Empower users to tell a story
The purpose of a branded effect is not just to promote your brand, but to do so by allowing TikTokers to create their own content. For that reason, your branded effect has to be an enabler for storytelling.
Your goal is to trigger authentic reactions and allow creators to express their authentic personalities. Just like a prop in a play, a branded effect enables and enhances a story.
Indonesian food brand Sasa Tepung Bumbu used branded effect to promote its seasoning product.
Make it easy and intuitive to use
If your goal is to gain awareness and reach, make it intuitive for users to engage with and easy to use.
Avoid however, making it too simple or uninteresting. The triggers for the effect should be easy but still fun, trendy and relevant. Finding the right balance between intuitiveness and novelty can make all the difference in how popular the effect becomes.
Mirinda Thailand saw great success launching its root beer with this whack-a-mole style gamified branded effect whack-a-mole style in which users aimed for high scores by sipping from as many root beers as possible. that appeared on the screen as possible. Source: TikTok
Seek inspiration from other popular effects
TikTok shares success stories for their different ad formats and placements on the TikTok inspiration library
The library showcases creative, strategy and results for some of the most successful campaigns ran on the platform.
Keep up-to-date with what other brands are doing to inform your decision and stay in touch with what resonates with the TikTok community.
Combine branded effects with branded hashtag challenges and in-feed video
TikTok Hashtag Challenges are one of the most distinctive ad formats on the platform because it encourages users to participate and create their own content – interacting with the brand.
This ad format actually includes three separate placements: an In-Feed ad to promote the hashtag and motivate users to participate, a featured banner on the Discover page, directing traffic to a dedicated Hashtag Challenge page that aggregates all user-generated content submitted for the hashtag.
Promoting your branded effect with a hashtag challenge can increase reach and other brand awareness KPIs.
Netflix generated awareness of its new show Tribes of Europa with a Branded Hashtag Challenge called the #TribesChallenge, which called on users to show their allegiance to the series’ four tribes with the help of a Branded Effect. Source: TikTok
Partner with popular content creators
Partnering with a popular content creator can add firepower to your campaign because it guarantees to reach the creator’s followers, maximising reach and engagement.
Make sure you partner with a creator that resonates with your audience and is the right fit for your brand.
You can find content creators that want to collaborate with brands on the TikTok creator marketplace.
Work with a specialised creative partner
There are a number of TikTok marketing partners but not really many that can specialise on branded effects.
TikTok has its own technology stack for the creation of branded effects on its platform which differs from the one used on Facebook and other platforms.
Choosing a partner that truly understands not just the tech stack but also the creative considerations and best practices is a great investment in the success of your TikTok campaign.