TikTok has launched an ad product that it hopes will help to "democratise" the creator space.
Branded Mission will enable advertisers to crowdsource "authentic" content from creators on TikTok, and turn top-performing videos into ads, with the aim of improving brand affinity with media impressions. As the videos are produced by small creators they will blend seamlessly into TikTok and not feel like a traditional ad.
Creators who are at least 18 years old with more than 1,000 followers will be eligible to participate in a Branded Mission. TikTok wants brands to attract its diverse ecosystem of creators who are the main drivers of culture on TikTok. As part of an inclusive proposition, TikTok will not allow brands to dictate which creators will respond to each mission beyond the factor of geographical location.
Speaking at a panel in London ahead of the product launch Stuart Flint, head of global business solutions, Europe, TikTok, explained that the aim was to "democratise the creator space". The proposition means that brands cannot target content creators based on age, gender, race or any other distinguishing features.
Christopher Kenna, chief executive and founder, Brand Advance added that, as a gay, black man, he thought it was important that creators were not limited and this non-targeted proposition could benefit marginalised creators who can attract brands all year round.
The video-sharing app is encouraging two-way engagement between brands and creators, enabling the TikTok community to have a creative hand in the ads that are a part of a brand campaign, while helping brands discover emerging creators broadly across TikTok.
Ludovic de Valon, global head of product strategy and operations, advertising products, TikTok explained that brands will develop a brief before releasing the "mission" to the creator community. Brands can set specific parameters to dictate what they want to be included in the video, such as a specific song choice, hashtag, or dance move. Creators will then submit a video and it will be posted on the creator's TikTok and moderated before being reviewed by the brand.
Brands will select their favourite original creative videos and amplify them through promoted ad traffic. TikTok hopes that at this stage a variety of creators will have top-performing content and brands will be able to discover new small creators to work with. Eligible creators whose videos are selected by the brand as ads will receive payment and their content will benefit from boosted traffic.
Creators are empowered to decide what Branded Missions they are inspired by and see the potential earning opportunity before choosing to participate. The remuneration may be more appealing to creators with a smaller following who do not have management or established direct relationships with brands that can generate a more lucrative income.
Branded Mission is now in beta testing and available to brands and marketers across more than a dozen markets, including the UK.