An honest discussion about TikTok… 
An honest discussion about TikTok… 

The panel

Here we share some of the key takeaway’s from the TikTok Revolution webinar to help you better understand the platform that has turned the world upside down.

What would you say to someone who is currently reluctant to use TikTok?

Mary Keane-Dawson: ‘‘Brands and agencies can’t run and hide from their audiences. The means of production are in the hands of the people and that is why social media isn’t going to go back into a box.

UGC in all its variety of forms, whether it’s owned, earned, or paid for, is now the de facto way in which society is finding out information.

If you are a brand or organisation and looking to connect to anyone, TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitch have to be in the conversation. Creators have the long-term future of your brand in their hands.’’

Consumer behaviour and the platform’s historic Gen Z demographic has shifted during COVID-19, how has this impacted your approach with clients?

Evan Horowitz: ‘‘Its exciting, in 2019 TikTok was the Gen Z platform. Since the beginning of quarantine, we’ve seen a massive influx of different demographics to the app. 2019 was an explosive year for TikTok with the most downloads, however, 2020 has made it look like a sleepy year. It’s very exciting for brands because now so many more brands have the opportunity to connect with consumers on this platform.

At Movers+Shakers we are now rolling out our first campaigns targeted at millennials on TikTok who are now very, much spending time on the platform, and that means there is a lot of white space for brands because the conversation among millennials is starting to mature.’’

Tom, as a content creator, what’s been your journey on TikTok, and what was the post that changed it for you?

Tom Hooker: ‘‘I got wind that there was a cringey lip-syncing app called and that it’s super easy to grow on it, and at the time, I was trying to do YouTube and Instagram. So, I was like you know I’ll give it a stab, so I tried to do a lip-sync. I got rinsed in the comments, ‘someone needs to get their Dad off here!’ I very quickly decided if I’m going to be on this app, which at the time was a very young demographic, that I would do what I do now and be more of a role model.

I started to post the content I was posting on YouTube, but I started tailoring it to fast-paced 15-second videos to whichever song was trending at the time. The video that turned it for me, was a beard video that I did for Christmas, that got me my crown, which is similar to being verified on Instagram. Since then, I have worked closely with the team at TikTok, and I was one of the first creators to have a hashtag challenge.’’

How do you think the amount of time spent on TikTok will impact other social media platforms?

Shaadow Sefiroth: ‘‘TikTok has a very particular user experience on it. People are not interested in spending time looking for content. Consuming content on TikTok is really fast, the ‘for you page’ is different from other social platforms where if people don’t dig into the content then you lose their attention very quickly. It will push other platforms to do the same.’’


How do brands maintain the same level of interest post COVID-19?

Evan Horowitz: ‘‘I’m not too worried about that, obviously we all have a little more time on our hands than we will when things go back to normal. In terms of user behaviour and consumer preferences, that evolution has happened, and that’s past tense. People love the platform and people who try the platform really enjoy it. Although their usage may go down slightly, their preferences in terms of the content they like to create and engage with will remain the same. We are seeing a consumer shift to a more creative platform like TikTok.’’

Mary Keane-Dawson: ‘‘Human creativity is spontaneous and is really powerful. Social media has 10x more the global audience than TV and those numbers mean that’s where your audience is. We have to get a lot more professional around the measurements of it and how those KPI’s work. Fundamentally moving forward this will be your sales channel in terms of your brand and your performance metrics.’’

What does content success look like for a brand on TikTok?

Evan Horowitz: ‘‘The first thing we do when coaching our clients, is to help them understand how their brand can appear natively on TikTok and how they can translate their brand’s personality in an authentic way, that’s also authentic to TikTok and the conversation that’s happening on the platform. I see that as one of the main stumbling blocks and hesitation points for brands. If you’re a marketer and spend some time on the platform, you realise how different it is to other platforms, the feel is different, the ways stories are told is different.

We spend a lot of time with clients helping them understand how their brand could express themselves in a way that will feel organic to the conversation. If you look at a campaign, you have to think about how you can engage with the TikTok community in a way that they will love and that will feel like entertainment and not just like an advertisement. The music is so important and we often create original music with these big challenges.’’

How can other industries look at the successes of the music wins on TikTok and what can other brand categories learn from these wins?

Shaadow Sefiroth: ‘‘In everything, culture wins every time. It’s the same for any brand wanting to get onto TikTok, they have to understand the culture of the platform, the culture of their targeted users. I think the other point that is important for brands is that the core driver on TikTok is music, brands have to understand the culture of each genre of music that people relate to, it will help brands speak to there audience.’’

Is there a science behind securing a viral campaign?

Evan Horowitz: ‘‘Yes, I would say there is a science and art for it, we recently passed 35 billion views on TikTok as an agency. E.L.F was our first big campaign and we hit it out of the park. At first, we didn’t know if it was reproducible content, but what we’re seeing is we can consistently create what we call TikTok billionaire’s, which is brands that pass that billion view mark thanks to reproducible content.’’

Tell us about what brands can learn from the E.L.F creative process?

Evan Horowitz: ‘‘I think the first thing, is understanding what you’re trying to do with a campaign like E.L.F and its important to understand the big viral hashtag challenges that are top of the funnel campaigns, so a common question we get is ‘how much sales lift did that drive?’ That’s not the goal of a campaign like this, so its something we coach our clients on. For E.L.F it was to really connect with the Gen Z consumer who were already passionate fans and to reinvigorate them with the extra cool factor of E.L.F being a brand that can create a hit song. We ultimately wanted everyone to know that E.L.F stands for eyes, lips, face.

We spent a lot of time crafting what the challenge was and what we were asking people to do. One of the mistakes is making them too complex. As marketers, when you’re making a YouTube video for example you can review the script and tailor it. But when you want other TikTokers to re-create your video, it has to be simple.’’

What is Takumi offering brands that are approaching the platform for the first time?

Mary Keane-Dawson: ‘‘You’ve got to let the creators, create, and I think the most important thing we do is help brands navigate that landscape and enable creators to get the brief they can fulfil. I think one of the biggest mistakes that happens with not just TikTok but other social media platforms, is where brands want a pap shot and glossiness so that it matches our aspiration. I think where we are at our greatest strength is the fact we have 35,000 mini creative directors on our platform who lead the creative strategy, they understand the consumer and what works.’’

How do brands get the brief right?

Shaadow SefirothHow do you encourage people to incorporate TikTok into budgets?

Mary Keane-Dawson: ‘‘I think for us it is giving brand reassurance. We have to accept there have to be some metrics, there has to be some kind of accountability. We should agree on the framework and have the brief framed which enables creators to interrupt that powerfully.’’

How has TikTok become a catalyst for the Black Lives Matter movement?

Shaadow Sefiroth: ‘‘One of the challenges I saw was the white privilege challenge. I thought this was pretty cool as the platform came up with the challenge and created conversation and it shows how powerful the platform can be in terms of spreading awareness.’’

Can you talk about how you find new talent?

Evan Horowitz: ‘‘It can be a mad scramble, but we reach out to our network and work with agencies like TAKUMI.’’

Mary Keane-Dawson: ‘‘We’re lucky to have new talent signing up to our platform every day, so we’re constantly getting new talent approaching us.’’

To watch the full recording of the TikTok Revolution you can access the recording below.

If you have any additional questions that you would like to ask our speakers, please email as we will be posting a dedicated blog on the unanswered questions in the upcoming weeks.