Staff Writer
Jun 30, 2023

For TikTok, the new creative renaissance is all about celebrating everyday creativity.

Instead of reserving our best creative selves for tentpole occasions — Super Bowl, shopping seasons, awards — we should infuse creativity into everyday moments, says TikTok’s Shant Oknayan.

Shant Oknayan, head of global business solutions fpr Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, TikTok.
Shant Oknayan, head of global business solutions fpr Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, TikTok.
From Gutenberg’s printing press which helped scale the dissemination of ideas in the Renaissance, we have now advanced to an age where creative content can easily be created and consumed on the go. With this ease of creative freedom also comes a consumer shift away from only highlighting major life events, and instead celebrating creative expression as an everyday affair. This “new creative renaissance” — and the opportunities it presents for brands — was the topic of a TikTok panel session at Cannes Lions led by the platform’s in-house experts and creators. 
Firstly, if they have not yet done so, brands should embrace content that is relatable and accessible. As Shant Oknayan, head of global business solutions for Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, noted, building creativity at scale while balancing ROI can be a tricky business. “What we’ve seen is that, as brands, we started to reserve our best creative self just for the bigger moments, and not for the everyday. We show up to events like the Super Bowl, shopping seasons, and even Cannes, to celebrate big pieces of content during a short period of time. But life is short. People want the joys of creativity every day,” said Oknayan.
With the sheer amount of marketing messages consumers face daily, ad fatigue is a very real challenge that marketers must overcome. Results from the Boston Consulting Group’s ‘Future of Commerce White Paper 2022’ has shown that consumers skip 90% of digital ads, and 43% of digital users have downloaded ad blockers. In order to make ads palatable to the modern consumer, Oknayan recommended that brands take inspiration from the Renaissance, when art and science came together to help ideas “travel at greater speed, enhanced communication, and hugely accelerated both the quantity and quality of the stories that people got to experience.”
With this collaborative spirit in mind, TikTok has introduced a creative production framework called “The Three Rs” — recut, remix, reimagine. Recut is where brands adapt existing creative assets for TikTok; Remix transforms creative assets to be more TikTok-like, often with the help of creators; and finally, Reimagine is where brands’ creative ideas go next-level to impact communities with TikTok's creative solutions. 
Oknayan highlighted how McDonald’s in Thailand adopted this concept of the Three R’s to great results by focusing on community-led creativity. Featuring a fun challenge and guest content, McDonald’s encouraged their audience to bring different kinds of containers in-store to participate, and saw a 130% increase in the sales of their soft serve ice cream, with an 83% monthly increase in foot traffic.
TikTok has also invested in product solutions to enable brands to efficiently produce creatives at scale. During a product demonstration, Andy Yang, head of product and engineering, ads creative, showcased TikTok’s new product solutions designed to automate some of the tedious parts of content creation, enabling brands to focus more on the human, artistic part of joining the creative renaissance.
Some of the innovations outlined included the TikTok Creative Centre, which aids in content ideation and script generation, and Capcut Ad Maker, which provides brands with templates for creating compelling video ads. Another solution is the TikTok Creative Exchange (TTCX). Brands can submit their project brief to be matched with TikTok-approved partners to collaboratively conceptualise, execute, and produce creative content, which can then be tracked on the platform’s ad manager for performance insights.
With these digitally savvy tools where science lays the foundation in service of art, brands will be able to unleash their imagination more efficiently and create video content that is aligned with consumer needs, maximising the power of community-led creativity, and communicating their brand message in ways that do not forsake authenticity.
As Yang put it, “Leave the boring parts to the engineers and the platform, and focus more on [making] compelling content.”


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