Your TikTok Ad Playbook

Marketer’s guide to TikTok Ad Formats, when to use them and how to delivers results.

Why advertise on TikTok


Rapid growth and popularity within Gen Z

Any rapid-growing platform can be appealing to marketers. In the case of TikTok, it is leading the way on both iOS and Android.

The app has more than two billion total downloads as of April 2020 across 150 markets and in 75 languages.

It’s audience is highly engaged – with around 80% creating videos and a very healthy proportion sharing videos and engaging with hashtag challenges. TikTok users spend a whopping 58 minutes a day on the app. 

The majority of the audience is in the GenZ bracket but, surprisingly for some, that’s not the only demographic jumping on the TikTok wagon. 78% is between the ages of 16 and 34 years old  and the 35+ age group is the fastest growing creator category.

Creativity, authenticity and joy-filled content

The TikTok brand prides itself in being a platform to create and share high-energy, creative, joy-filled and authentic content. Its mission is to “inspire creativity and bring joy”.

This is a recipe for success for brands that want to be associated to the same values and principles – but it’s important that they play by the TikTok rules!

Corporate brand guidelines can be temporarily forgotten to build a more authentic experience for users. Ads will be more effective if they adopt the UGC aesthetic that reigns across the platform’s feed and are willing to interact and engage with the audience.

Multiple formats for both mass and niche audiences

But what would be the use to marketers if ads were not available? Well, TikTok opened its Ads Manager in July 2020 and made available a wide range of ad options and opportunities for brands to engage with their rapidly growing set of users.

The TikTok Ad Formats


Brand Takeover

Brand takeovers are just that. Your ad takes over as the first thing users see when opening TikTok, in an entirely clickable full-screen.

This ad format is the most impactful and immersive of the ad formats – it increases brand awareness and maximizes exposure.

With 100% of share-of-voice for the day they are featured, this format is high-impact for brands looking for max reach, exclusivity and exposure because no other brands can take over for that day. It also means that it comes at a high price, being the most costly of the options to advertise on TikTok.

Creative for Brand Takeovers can be a 3-second image or 3-5 second video (sound-off) that can direct traffic to both internal and external websites or landing pages.

Tip: Make an impact in the first second!

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Top View

Top View ads are displayed immediately when users open TikTok within their “For You” feed and reach audiences in a visually impactful way.

The For You page is the first screen that users see when opening TikTok. Top View is a great opportunity to gain exposure and build brand awareness.

The brand enjoys 100% share of voice, meaning no other brand can advertise as Top View on the day.

Videos can be anywhere from 5 to 60 seconds, but best performance will go to videos optimized for 15 seconds with sound on.

Unlike Brand Takeovers, the screen is not entirely clickable. The first few seconds of the ad are full-screen without any overlays. It then turns into an In-Feed with all the clickable Calls to Action and other engagement options such as like, comment, share, follow, etc. 

These ads can drive traffic to both external and internal landing pages.

Tip: Your ad is going to be delivered full screen and then turn into an in-feed with calls to actions and other clickable buttons. Be mindful of the safe zones when producing the creative.


TikToks standard ad format is embedded within the “For You” feed, with multiple clickable elements to increase conversion. 

In-Feeds appear within the feed and adopt the same immersive look and feel as organic videos. They can be up to 60 seconds long and play full-screen with the sound on.

There is a very clear Call to Action and other engagement options such as like, comment and share.

This ad format allows traffic to be directed to multiple touch-points such as websites, landing pages, app downloads and TikTok Business Accounts.

Being the Standard format, it is easy to create within the TikTok Ads Manager.

Tip: Always include music in your creative as the ad will auto-play with sound on.


Branded Hashtag Challenge

Hashtag Challenges are one of TikTok’s most distinctive ad formats because it encourages users to participate and create their own content – interacting with the brand.

Source: TikTok

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.

Tip: Partner with popular content creators for maximum engagement.


Branded Effects

If your users could touch a brand, this is how they would do it! With AR powered technology, brands can leverage user engagement via interactive branded effects.

Nothing like an interactive effect to boost your brand among a mobile-first audience! With customized effects that are triggered by gestures through video recognition technology, users can take ‘brand interaction’ to the next level and build a deep level of engagement with highly innovative videos.

Tip: Make it fun to “play” with your branded effect. Sometimes less is more!

Source:  TikTok

Source: TikTok

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