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How One Company Has Used TikTok to Their Advantage

If you are anything like me, you may have spent a lot of time on your devices over quarantine. When Apple would send me my weekly screen time report on Sunday morning, I was always afraid to look – ashamed by the amount of time that I had spent scrolling. The app I consistently spent the most time on? TikTok. 


TikTok is easily one of the fastest-growing social platforms of the past couple of years. Since it’s launch in 2016, TikTok has amassed more than 800 million active users worldwide. That’s more than Twitter and Snapchat. 


If you’re not familiar with the app, it’s essentially taken the place of Vine (rest in peace). Users of the platform can create up to 60-second videos with music, a variety of filters and other editing features. Whether it be choreography, songwriting, comedy, or cute animals, TikTok is a way for people to express their creativity in ways you’ve never even considered. 


The emergence of social media is a huge historical marker for our generation. I’m sure we can all agree that, for better or for worse, social media will always be a part of our lives. More specifically, going forward, it will continue to be a consistent part of our careers. As students that study marketing, advertising, public relations, communication, etc., this is extremely true for us. So, how have companies been using TikTok for their own marketing purposes? Allow me to show you my favorite example. A case study, if you will. 


In a now-viral video by TikTok user 420doggface208, also known as Nathan Apodaca, Apodaca sipped on Ocean Spray cranberry juice while skateboarding and lipsyncing to Fleetwood Mac’s song Dreams.


Because they loved his video so much (and because it helped sales) Ocean Spray surprised Nathan Apodaca with a cranberry-colored truck. Attached to the truck was a note that read: “Dear Nathan, Good vibes only! Love, Ocean Spray.”


The CEO of Ocean Spray even made his own version of the video. Of course, he tagged Apodaca in the caption. Heartwarming, right? 


Speaking of increased sales, this juice has been flying off of the shelves. Twitter user @tresslieberman documented the shelves on her recent Target run. While other flavors remained in stock, the flavor Apodaca drank in the video was completely gone. Coincidence? Definitely not! 

This is just one example of how social media can get your business into the limelight. When’s the last time you thought of the brand Ocean Spray before right now? 


Without the power of TikTok, it’s reasonable to assume that Ocean Spray wouldn’t have gained any free publicity anytime soon. 


Back to my question: how have companies been using TikTok for their own marketing purposes? Honestly, for the most part, they just make accounts and wait for their moment. There are paid sponsorships too, but someone genuinely enjoying your product or service feels far more impactful. 


From my observation, when a brand gains a ton of publicity from TikTok, it’s because a popular creator has used their product or service in a video. Another example would be Charli D’Amelio and Dunkin’. She simply enjoys their coffee and talks about it all the time. Now, she has her own drink on the menu! 


Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a new idea. This is just one example out of thousands of how social media can earn publicity for your brand. Not every brand will be as lucky as to have a viral video fall into their lap, but maybe, this example can serve as a reason for TikTok to be a part of a brand’s digital marketing strategy. 


If you ask me, as long as they don’t make cheesy content, there’s plenty of room on TikTok for brands. Happy scrolling! 

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Eastern Michigan University is a comprehensive, co-educational public university in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The university was founded in 1849 as Michigan State Normal School.