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Machine_ unpacks how to harness TikTok for your brand

Every social media platform has its crowd, but TikTok has taken all crowds in the social media scene by storm. When the platform first launched in 2016, no one could have predicted the bewildering impact it would have worldwide just five years later.
Machine_ unpacks how to harness TikTok for your brand

As TikTok's founding commerce agency partner, Publicis Groupe is the first global agency network to partner with TikTok to bring the power of commerce and education to brands and marketers. So when Publicis’ Machine_ needed to help its client Doritos activate a new flavour, South Africa’s first branded hashtag challenge on TikTok was born. Since Machine_ also has access to Publicis’ unique partnership benefits with TikTok, Doritos (PepsiCo) enjoyed unique learning opportunities, insights, and strategic counsel centered around driving product discovery and purchase intent on the platform.

Machine_’s social media manager, Molebo Maponya, tells us how it was done – and why all brands should take notice.

Launching SA’s first branded hashtag on TikTok: Machine_ x Doritos

In April 2021, PepsiCo South Africa launched South Africa’s first Branded Hashtag Challenge #DoritosFlaminHotDuets, in collaboration with TikTok For Business METAP. We wanted to assist our client to drive awareness of their ‘Flamin’ Hot’ flavour by allowing our target market to unleash their own creativity and content creation in partnership with Doritos. As the epicentre of user-generated, democratised content creation, TikTok as a platform became the obvious choice for this campaign.

We utilised our exclusive Publicis commerce partnership with TikTok to unlock insights, product discovery and purchase intent analytics and the opportunity to launch SA’s first branded hashtag on the platform.

To bring the ‘Flamin’ hot’ chips to life, we created a flaming Branded Effect on TikTok, and launched it along with a dance challenge with well-known dancer/singer Kamo Mphela (@kamomphelaxx).


We're bringing the �� to TikTok with @kamo_mphelaxx in the #DoritosFlaminHotDuet1. T's&C's apply

♬ original sound - Doritos South Africa

The results

  • The campaign resulted in a total engagement rate of 8.32%, surpassing the platform benchmark of 2%-5%.
  • Two million unique users in the first six days.
  • 38.1 million video views during the campaign period.
  • A staggering 45,000 pieces of user-generated content were received from content creators on TikTok.


Y’all showed us how BOLD you really are!!! Thanks to everyone who joined our TikTok challenges. #DoritosFlaminHotDuet with @kamomphelaxx

♬ original sound - Doritos South Africa

So, what does this mean for you?

To win on TikTok as a brand, you need to think like a marketer but create like a creator. Creating content with a creator’s lens – and not that of a business lens – means building campaigns around discovery, and providing a novel way for users to get creative. Partnering with influencers also brings a layer of authentic creativity with pre-built reach.

The brilliant thing about TikTok is that you can provide tools (like filters, branded effects and hashtags) to drive content creation – but you don’t need to actually create the content yourself. For that, you can rely on the boundless creativity of TikTok’s users. This, in turn, drives authenticity and the likelihood of virality.

So, instead of being afraid of the unknown of TikTok, why not consider it as a place to tap into the creativity of hundreds of thousands of South Africans? That’s exactly what we did for Doritos, and it paid off.

8 Oct 2021 12:17