Tubefilter’s coverage of the 2021 IAB NewFronts is brought to you in partnership with BEN – an entertainment AI company that integrates brands into influencer, streaming, TV, music, and film content. You can check out all our NewFronts coverage right here.
At its second-ever NewFronts presentation, hosted by native star Tai Verdes, TikTok reiterated its stance as one of the online video sector’s key drivers of culture, and touted the catalytic impact it says it’s had on modern retail.
“As the platform continues to drive brand and product discovery through #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt,” the company said in a statement, “we’re seeing advertisers unlearn traditional retail marketing techniques and pivot toward authentic connections with their customers — the TikTok community. From feta cheese to drugstore skincare, all it takes is one TikTok to clear shelves across the world.”
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In addition to supercharging Ocean Spray cranberry juice and the Fleetwood Mac song “Dreams“ thanks to a massive meme last fall, Sandie Hawkins — TikTok’s GM of global business solutions, North America — noted that when one creator with a modest following named Hannah Schlenker enthused about a pair of Aerie leggings, the clip went viral, which led to the leggings being sold out everywhere. Craig Brommers, the CMO of Aerie’s parent company, American Eagle, noted that the leggings (pictured above) continue to sell out upon each restock.
@hannahschlenkerYes queen give us nothing (dc: @rianneneill )♬ Drummer Boy – Justin Bieber
TikTok, which has 100 million monthly visitors in the U.S., also released research conducted alongside Kantar during its NewFront. Amid concerns that its popularity might wane as the pandemic concludes, the platform said that 88% of those surveyed intend to spend the same amount of time or more on TikTok over the next six months.
Furthermore, 93% of TikTokers in the U.S. reported feeling happy after spending time on the app, the company said, whereas 30% said they have watched less TV, streaming, or other video content since joining the platform.
Finally, TikTok emphasized the importance for brands of leaning into the creator community, even if it might feel like a risky proposition. Chris Eyerman, the head of TikTok’s creative lab, North America, flipped this proposition on its head, stating that rather than worrying about whether a brand should trust creators, it is actually on the onus of brands to earn the trust of the creator community. (TikTok also offers a Creator Marketplace for brands that feature prospective creator partners that have been personally vetted by the platform).
“The biggest thing that I tell brands is it’s really about participating in the culture of the community,” Eyerman said. “One of the things that we commonly get asked is, ‘Should I trust my brand with the community?’ And I always say, it’s really about getting the community to trust you.”
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