15 TikTok Advertising Campaigns That Went Viral

TikTok is a powerful digital marketing tool that brands are using to boost their reach. Here are 15 successful TikTok advertising campaigns.
Celine Bartels-Mills

Celine Bartels-Mills

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As the fastest-growing social media app of 2021, TikTok is so popular that your grandma probably uses it. 

That’s right—she’s vibing to funny clips and viral dance trends along with the other 1.1 billion users in the world. In the United States alone, the app has been downloaded over 200 million times. Needless to say, TikTok is taking over our lives. 

It is also no surprise that brands everywhere are rushing to advertise their products and services on this gigantic platform. TikTok is a marketing hub that allows businesses to pay for features and services that give them access to large consumer bases.

For instance, brands can create a ‘hashtag challenge’ for $100,000 or more to generate social media buzz and publicity around their ad campaigns (Adweek, 2019). The TikTok Creator Marketplace is also an important tool that brands use to identify creators with audiences that align with their target market. 

Partnering with these influencers through brand deals and sponsorships is a crucial and strategic move. Social media figures like Charli D’Amelio and even traditional celebrities like Selena Gomez and Will Smith have millions of active followers just waiting to engage with the latest trends and products. 

TikTok’s target audience is between the ages of 13 and 40 which is a broad range that many businesses can advertise to. A major reason why this platform is such a powerful digital marketing tool is that there is a diverse range of niches and consumer bases that brands can tap into. 

The smartest brands leverage TikTok to create innovative and exciting influencer marketing strategies that get everyone talking. 

Check Out These 15 TikTok Advertising Campaigns That Went Viral.

1. Pepsi 

Strategy

We all remember Coca-Cola’s reign of iconic commercials with big-name celebrities like Beyonce and Lebron James. But it looks like its rival has gained a lead in the social media world. Pepsi’s #ThatsWhatILike campaign encouraged people to post numerous videos of their silly, unfiltered moments that usually featured Pepsi in some way. 

Results 

This hashtag challenge garnered over 13 billion views and allowed people to engage with the brand in a fun and exciting way. 

2. Chipotle

@thetoliverfam

Who wants free @chipotle guac? online/in-app only 7/31 #guacdance #ad

♬ The Guacamole Song – Dr. Jean

Strategy 

The popular franchise has produced several viral ad campaigns such as its annual “Boorito” promotion that offers discounted food for people who order in Halloween costumes. Chipotle has mastered the art of hashtag challenges such as thecwhere people submitted videos showcasing the fun dance. They also partnered with big TikTok stars like Zach King. 

Results

The #GuacDance stunt resulted in over 250 thousand video submissions and an astonishing 430 million views in only six days. 

3. Gymshark 

@antonielokhorst

Everyone can make the Transformation! Work Hard and Dedication 🔥 #gymshark66 @gymshark

♬ original sound – Antonie Lokhorst

Strategy 

Gymshark is the perfect example of niche and influencer-based marketing. They tapped into the fitness audience on the TikTok platform by orchestrating a campaign that collaborated with top influencers. Users were asked to participate in the #GymShark66 challenge where they posted before and after pictures after 66 days of working out. The winner would receive a year’s supply of Gymshark products. 

Results

This empowering campaign has raked in nearly 236 million views and an 11.1% engagement rate. 

4. Bumble 

@daviddobrik

Let me know if i meet your standards hahaha. And plz match with me on @bumble #bumblepartner

♬ WHATS POPPIN – Jack Harlow

Strategy 

Bumble is a top dating app that employed TikTok direct response ads to create a new acquisition channel. They also partnered with popular influencers such as David Dobrik and Brittany Broski to produce relatable and engaging content that effectively reached their target audience. 

Results 

This ad campaign was so successful that it is listed as a case study on TikTok’s website. Bumble experienced a 5X increase in app downloads and reduced its cost-per-registration by 64%. 

5. Guess 

@ourfire

Don’t you wish getting ready was this easy? 😂❤️🔥 #inmydenim #sponsored @guess

♬ #inmydenim I’m a Mess – Bebe Rexha

Strategy 

Guess is a brand that just gets the TikTok advertising model. They first launched a successful #InMyDenim campaign where people posted videos of changing from old clothes to cool Guess fits. They continued this win with their #LoveGUESS campaign which included popular influencers like Brent Rivera. Amazingly, the influencer video they posted on their channels gained over 1 million views.  

Results

The #InMyDenim challenge videos were watched over 52 million times and #LoveGUESS raked in 19 million views.  

6. Kool-Aid 

@nicooobash

The first girl that came out of the stall made out with my boyfriend and the second girl has hated me since the first grade 😳 #fyp #OhYEAHChristmas

♬ original sound – madison

Strategy 

As another childhood favorite, Kool-Aid created a $10,000 contest to incentivize people to post videos of themselves enjoying the holidays while using the tag #OhYEAHChristmas for a chance to win the money. They also partnered with popular figures like Lil Jon who served as the Kool-Aid mascot. 

Results 

Over 10 thousand videos were posted in response to the #OhYEAHChristmas challenge. It currently has 1.9 billion total views.

7. Bagel Bites 

Strategy 

Everyone loves free money, right? Bagel Bites’ #BagelBopsContest offered people a chance to win $10,000 if they made videos with their signature audio clip. Users were encouraged to lip-sync, dance, and remix the audio and use the hashtag to be entered in the contest. 

Results

This contest accumulated 3.6 billion views in just a month. 

8. Cheetos

@taylor_thatdancer

Moving to the beat is how I #DejaTuHuella . Changing the dance game one step at a time with #Cheetos #ad

♬ Yo Visto Asi – Bad Bunny

Strategy 

Cheetos creates all sorts of exciting and unique ad campaigns like their Cheetos vs. Doritos Flamin’ Hot battle and star-studded Super Bowl commercials. They truly do it all. Aside from the #CantTouchThisChallenge, their #DejaTuHuella campaign was a massive hit on TikTok. Users looked forward to posting videos showcasing their special talents in “film, fashion, art, dance, or food”. They also partnered with the top Latin artist Bad Bunny whose song was featured in the videos.

Results 

Right off the bat, the #DejaTuHuella challenge garnered over 120 million views and now has 4.7 billion views.  

9. Nyx Gloss

@avani

1..2..3.. lip gloss lowk poppin ☺️😛 #ButterGlossPop @nyxcosmetics #ad

♬ Butter Gloss Pop – NYX Cosmetics

Strategy 

Nyx Gloss is currently leading in the beauty marketing space. Similar to Bagel Bites’ campaign, #ButterGlossPop was a branded hashtag challenge that inspired users to post videos of how they used their Nyx Butter Gloss Pop. They were then entered into a sweepstake for a chance to win $1200 in Nyx Cosmetics. It was also accompanied by a catchy, upbeat song that everyone loved. 

Results

This campaign was a massive hit that resulted in over 2 million user-created videos and over 11 billion views. With a 42% increase in brand awareness, the company was also able to lower its funnel action by integrating a shopping experience that allowed users to easily buy its products.

10. Red Bull

@redbull

Fly, Manolo, Fly 💪 w/ @flymanolofly #givesyouwings

♬ The Nights – Avicii

Strategy 

Red Bull is a pioneer in orchestrating digital viral content. As one of the most successful brands on TikTok, the company’s main approach is to create engaging content in the form of hashtag challenges like #GivesYouWings, extreme stunts, and a plethora of other tactics. 

Results 

Red Bull’s TikTok account currently has 5.6 million followers and 88.6 million likes. In addition, the videos from the #GivesYouWings challenge received over 798 million views. 

11. Too Faced

Strategy 

Too Faced is a beauty brand that capitalizes on its long-term, #TooFacedPartner influencer partnerships. Collaborating with big influencers like Kristen Hancher, Ewa Zadia, and Laurie Elle, they had them post promotional videos on their channels that showcased their makeup transformations with Too Faced products. 

Results 

#TooFacedPartner is a great success with a reach of 35.1 million views. 

12. Walmart

@jvke

Spring cleaning? Super easy with @walmart pickup 🙂 #springitforward #ad

♬ Spring It Forward – JVKE 🌩

Strategy 

Walmart’s #SpringItForward campaign is noteworthy because it took something mundane and boring like cleaning and made it fun. It featured users posting creative videos about the cleaning products they buy from Walmart.

Results

#SpringItForward currently has 4.1 million views.

13. NBA

@nba

The #NBAPlayoffs are here! 16 teams, 1 🏆Tell us in the comments WHO YA GOT?!

♬ cute sound – brett

Strategy 

From March Madness to our favorite basketball legends, the NBA has built a strong and lasting brand that millions adore. No big stunts are necessary. As one of the most popular brands on TikTok, their biggest selling point is creating content tailored to each social media platform. Their Twitter account is for important news and updates. But on TikTok, the NBA posts quick and engaging content such as comedy skits and memes that often go viral. 

Results 

The NBA currently flaunts an impressive 12.7 million followers and 297.8 million likes on TikTok. 

14. Gushers 

Strategy

For many gen z’s and millennials, Gushers will always be a part of their fondest memories as an iconic childhood snack. Gushers posts absurd but hilarious content that utilizes trending memes and formats to gain popularity. It’s a simple yet effective approach. 

Results

Every Gushers post receives consistently high engagement with an average of 120 thousand likes. In total, these posts have attracted over 2.5 million likes. 

15. Nickelodeon 

Strategy

Who doesn’t love Spongebob? As a staple in the child entertainment world, Nickelodeon has established a strong connection with TikTok’s younger audience as well as nostalgic adults. They provide their followers with behind-the-scenes videos, targeted ad campaigns like The Astronauts campaign, and content that uses trending hashtags and music. They are experts at mixing the old with the new to stay fresh and relevant.  


Results 

Nickelodeon currently has 11.4 million followers and 219.4 million views on TikTok. They were also a finalist in the TikTok Presence category for the 12th Annual Shorty Awards.

Celine Bartels-Mills

Celine Bartels-Mills

I am a copywriting strategist with experience in the policy and advocacy space. As a storyteller, I am passionate about spreading impactful information and capturing compelling narratives.

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