Campaign Staff
4 days ago

Why TikTok for Good campaigns win plaudits with the community, awards from the industry, and are great for the bottom-line

More than just an avenue for creative expression, TikTok for Good Launchpad is helping brands forge closer and sometimes lucrative ties with communities on the platform.

From left to right: Denny Handlin (TikTok), Dan Paris (Dentsu), Kalpesh Patankar (Leo Burnett), Loren Bradley (Finch) and Dylan Alcott (Shift 20)
From left to right: Denny Handlin (TikTok), Dan Paris (Dentsu), Kalpesh Patankar (Leo Burnett), Loren Bradley (Finch) and Dylan Alcott (Shift 20)

In two years, TikTok for Good Launchpad has emerged as a platform for groundbreaking creativity. It was launched as a global first initiative to empower brands and creative agencies to build more entertainment that drives impact. Its success is heartening particularly at a time when some brands and platforms are taking a more guarded approach to ‘purpose driven’ work. TikTok for Good Launchpad has highlighted issues including the representation of disabled people in advertising, the gender pay gap, and domestic violence all while pushing the limits of innovative communication.

Speaking of the genesis of TikTok for Good Launchpad at the Cannes Lions Festival, Denny Handlin, head of global business marketing at TikTok Australia & New Zealand said, “It was born to help brands and creative companies do work for good on TikTok. About 83% of our community wants to see meaningful change and care about social causes. A further 72% believe brands share that burden and should help drive these causes forward.”

However, TikTok for Good Launchpad has gone beyond being merely socially appropriate — it also has an impact on business. Handlin said, “Creativity, purpose, and real business outcomes are all coming together.” A panel of agency professionals and creators who had experienced success with TikTok for Good spoke about how leveraging the platform and creating exclusive campaigns have helped them move the dial on a wide range of objectives.

TikTok for Good campaigns are not just good for communities, they are also good for business

Dylan Alcott, Paralympian, and disability advocate spearheaded Shift 20, a campaign to normalise the representation of disabled people in advertising. Accounting for 20% of Australia’s population[1] according to statistics from the Australian Human Rights Commission, people with disabilities are often underrepresented and ignored. The campaign saw some of Australia’s most iconic advertising restaged to include disabled people.

TikTok provided creators with disabilities a platform to share their authentic voice to a wider audience. Alcott said, “Creators on TikTok with disabilities can actually show how they want to be viewed.” In addition, Alcott is establishing an online talent agency for disabled people via TikTok, making it easier for the next iteration of Shift 20 to find appropriate spokespeople. His goal is to reach a stage where representation of people with disabilities is so normalised in advertising that it no longer requires advocacy.

TikTok for Good campaigns can help break the culture of silence, particularly in traditional markets

Agencies and organisations can reach niche audiences relying on the deeply personal nature of the TikTok feed and the range of creative possibilities on the platform. This is particularly relevant when the messages are uncomfortable to speak about, for reasons rooted in local culture.

In the Philippines, Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA), a NGO approached Dentsu to create a campaign that addressed a surge in domestic violence. Since domestic abuse is a deeply personal, difficult subject, Dentsu created ‘Face of Courage’, a campaign featuring AI-powered representations of Filipina women. The women now had the chance to chronicle their stories. The campaign aimed to “protect, represent and provide a way out” for survivors of abuse, linking them to helplines and other resources that could assist them. TikTok was the platform of choice given its massive reach among Filipina women across demographic segments. Dan Paris, chief product and growth officer at Dentsu APAC said, “TikTok ensured that the avatars would show up in the way we wanted them to.” The campaign had 130,000 engagements, reached near 36 million people, had women volunteer to be the voice of the AI avatars, and several NGOs lining up to support the initiative.

Shifting geographies to UAE, a TikTok for Good campaign highlighted the gender pay gap which stands at a staggering 54%. Leo Burnett UAE created ‘Make up for the Pay Gap’ for UAE’s leading female entrepreneur network. The campaign leveraged humour and make-up tutorials — an immensely popular content format. Women typically view these tutorials before important meetings or corporate events. Fashion influencers on TikTok encouraged women to make themselves up to look like men: a surefire strategy to address the gender pay gap. Elaborating on the creative approach, Kalpesh Patankar, chief creative officer, Leo Burnett UAE said, “It started with the thought that a woman in today's world needs to be a man to get equal pay.” Harnessing the power of generative AI, the campaign launched simultaneously in five different languages, catering to a multicultural audience. Reflecting on the choice of TikTok, Patankar said, “Communities are the new media. People want to look at communities and creators, rather than advertising.” Several corporates pledged to end the gender pay gap at an event organised by

TikTok for Good campaigns can tap into preexisting communities to help causes reach a wider audience

To raise awareness about the plight of refugees for the UNHCR, BMF and Finch created ‘The Reluctant Sea Shanty’ tapping into the popularity of shanties — songs about the hardships of a seafaring life — that have high traction on TikTok. The lyrics of ‘The Reluctant Sea Shanty’ were based on the real-life experiences of refugees. Explaining the creative strategy, Loren Bradley, executive producer, Finch said, “Shanties are a massive niche on TikTok and the best thing we could do is align authentically. We got Nathan Evans, who is an incredible shanty singer involved and really leaned on Tik Tok to come together with us because we did not have budgets.” Launched on World Refugee Day, the campaign secured high engagement, resulting in an 80% increase in donations to UNHCR.

Cracking the code on TikTok for Good

The panellists had recommendations for agencies and brands seeking to tap into TikTok for Good.

Authenticity wins over all else: Work that is too polished does not perform as well on TikTok as something rooted in authenticity. Alcott said, “We overcomplicate content sometimes. Authentic stories are powerful, especially for my community.”

Treat TikTok as a partner and co-creator: Bradley stressed the importance of collaboration and bringing in a partner like TikTok early. She concluded, “They know what is happening right now, and what was big six months ago. Lean on your partners at TikTok creatively.”

An invitation to Southeast Asia, Australian and New Zealand based brands and agencies

Ever since its launch in 2023, TikTok for Good Lanchpad campaigns have received over 50 awards at some of the world’s most prestigious ad events including the Cannes Lions, D&AD, and AWARD. This includes a Grand Prix for Good at the Spikes Asia in 2023 for Consent Labs by TBWA Sydney. The geographic spread has moved past Australia and New Zealand to Southeast Asia and Middle East, Turkey, Africa and Pakistan (METAP).

The TikTok for Good SMB Kickstarter programme has helped small and medium sized businesses that have a social dimension reach a far wider audience — for instance Givewrap, an Australia-based gift-wrapping specialist that donates to charity with every product sold. TikTok for Good Launchpad has developed a global partnership with the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) to support climate change initiatives, which were showcased at the Cannes Lions this year.

Handlin said, “Our belief is that big ideas can drive societal change for good. Working closely with brands and creative companies, we realised that they shared that same ambition. Our vision is to give the best ideas a chance to reach millions on TikTok and leverage our platform as a catalyst for positive change.” Through 2024, TikTok For Good Launchpad will evolve to become more integrated into the broader for good and commercial ecosystem, delivering greater award-winning charity campaigns, while also looking to scale globally, through expansion into other markets and building on global partnerships.

TikTok would like more agencies and brands from around the region to participate, using cutting edge tools to tap into an engaged community and ultimately generate positive outcomes — whether it be raising awareness around a cause, or promoting an increase in donations.

Agencies and brands across Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia wishing to know more about TikTok for Good Launchpad and submit their own concept notes for participation can visit



Campaign Asia

Related Articles

Just Published

2 days ago

Asia-Pacific Power List 2024: Edward Bell, Cathay ...

Soaring to new heights, Bell has navigated the turbulence of the past year with finesse. With a return to profits and brand awareness scores climbing by 16%, the airline's ascent is undeniable.

2 days ago

Fresh colours, new fonts: Inside Crunchyroll's rebrand

Merging classic with contemporary, the anime streaming service brings the focus on the fun and joy of anime with new visual assets.

2 days ago

Tech On Me: What Disney's leak tells us about ...

This week, we cover the hack on Disney's internal communications, how a loophole in TikTok is putting minors at risk, and how workers suffer during Amazon's Prime Day among other tech headlines in the region.

2 days ago

Arthur Sadoun on defying doubters, Q2 revenue ...

Publicis CEO talks to Campaign at Q2 results.