Ad formats on TikTok ― what brands should choose for more effective ad campaigns

October 20, 2021 / Author: Elizaweta Zhuk

As a rule, we communicate with each other to better know somebody in our offline life. We see a “picture” of a person, listen to their voice, phrases, and then we will conclude ― cooperate or not. This doesn’t work the same way in a digital world. Brands communicate with customers through ad formats. The advertising format is the brand’s face, which helps the person determine whether or not to become a customer of this brand. TikTok offers five ad formats to allow you to tell the history of the brand.



It is a format of the native fullscreen video advertisement. Content of the brand integrates into users’ “For You Page.” TikTokers like this format ― they’ll like, share, follow and go through the link. If a brand doesn’t forget about creativity, it can receive low CPM, high level of CTR, and approach thanks to users’ reposts. TikTok allows adding music and thesis subtitles to concentrate users’ attention on essential information. Button CTA is permitted too.

Don’t forget about trends and creativity. Observe what is popular and renew your advertisement two times a month. Trends don’t live for too long a time.

Traffic is 100% mobile from this type of ad format—so spare time for your site. We won’t remind you of fast loading and working the site. Besides this point, design, information, buttons must be clear for users. TikTokers want to understand where they are, what they should be doing on the site, and why.

TikTok allows for an analysis of KPI depending on ad campaigns and format. For example:


Yves Saint Laurent Beauté wants to make better brand awareness and advertise fragrance Black Opium for Gen Z. Brands cooperated with TikTok to use in-feed ads to reach the right audiences for the most efficient spend. Sound-on and fullscreen ads “Love at first spray” saw creators transformed from their daily appearance to Valentine’s date night outfits. The Black Opium is a finished outfit. Also, users can click on CTA to open the brand’s site and know more about fragrance and other products Yves Saint Laurent Beauté creates after watching ads.

The video picked up more than 8.8 million views and 56,000 clicks, driving thousands of users to the Yves Saint Laurent Beauté landing page.


It is a video ad, which users see for the first time when they open the app. It is a short video of fewer than 60 seconds. The format allows adding button CTA or link to the site. Excellent storytelling raises brand awareness and interaction with users through advertisements. The format is suitable for ads of new products, and to get a more substantial reputation of brands. Top View is the first format in a rank of engagement index. 71% of users admit that this ad grabs their attention.

The effectiveness of this advertising format is also analyzed with KPI. For example:


Yandex-Market decided to make a stronger reputation as the central online and offline platform for shopping in a holiday time. Yandex Market’s campaign was centered around a series of eye-catching Top View ads. The video was created with famous bloggers and influencers.

The advertising campaign succeeded. Top View has been watched 82.3 million times. Also, it has more than 12.9 million clicks across the official site. The campaign showed an average engagement rate of 15.8%.



It is a unique ad format that isn’t on any other social media. The average engagement rate is 17.8% using this ad format. The rule of Hashtag Challenge is simple: brand offers start a competition. Users should record a video with an appointed hashtag and publish that on TikTok. Brands cooperate with bloggers and influencers to create ad videos for challenges. A list of approved authors and information about their audiences can be found in Creator Marketplace. Hashtag challenge doesn’t forgive triteness and baffling complexity. Of course, you can choose the most expensive influencer suitable for the brand audience, but the campaign will fail if you don’t add creativity and understandable content for users. So add more creativity, fun, and catchy music.

The format is suitable for getting better brand awareness, introducing new products, and form deferred demand. Hashtag Challenge is one of the most expensive ad formats on TikTok. It costs about $150,000 or more. This ad format is ordered from TikTok’s manager.

How can we measure the effectiveness of an ad campaign with a Hashtag Challenge? Marketer assesses KPI of the ad campaign. Yes, it is a new format for brands, but it doesn’t change anything. It won’t only be simple video views, or the count of new videos for the challenge, views of hashtag challenge pages and engagement marks will be significant.


Dirol is a famous brand of chewing gum in Russia. The brand launched a new gum with an unusual design ― an eye-catching black gum. The brand cooperated with TikTok to promote the latest product and create awareness across Gen Z and Millennials. The new chewing gum needed an innovative campaign that would reflect the stylish and incredible feeling of the product. So Dirol has chosen Hashtag Challenge and created their own with a maximizing impact ad campaign, the #DirolCheekyStyle. Brands united the fun and creative concept of challenge with stylish Branded Effects.

With a well-designed concept, the use of Branded Effect, and original music, Hashtag Challenge by Dirol received 73,000 videos from TikTokers, generating a total of 102 million video views in six days. According to Brand Lift, Brand awareness increased to 88.75%.


The format is very similar to Top View. But if we speak about Top View, then this one is only about video ads. Brands use a photo, gif, or icon of the app against a colored background for Brand Takeover. They are permitted to add CTA or links for the brand’s site. Remember that a brand’s advertisement mustn’t be more than 2 MB.

Brand Takeover is combined with other ad formats to augment the effectiveness of advertising. The format is good for attracting the audience’s attention to a brand’s products and increases brand awareness.

Banner is widely used for ad campaigns in other social media, so KPI is similar too. Brand fixes coin of clicks, views, CTR, etc.



Pepsi Max is Australia’s number-one selling no-sugar cola. Pepsi Max launched a new line of flavors, so it needed increased awareness among Gen Z and Millennials in Australia. Pepsi Max has generated three variant bright and individual banners for every flavor to capture attention and hook viewers. The ad campaign has started with an in-feed ad to engage organically and involved TikTokers. To generate a spike in impressions with broadcast-level impact and mass reach, a mid-campaign TikTok Brand Takeover was strategically added to the mix. It was a winning combination.

With mid-campaign, Brand Takeover achieved a click-through rate of 24% and reached 2.4 million in a single day.


It is one of the hidden ad formats on TikTok. Brands create branded stickers, masks, and effects. TikTokers use branded effects, and a brand gets good awareness at the same time. The format is ordered from TikTok’s manager. Branded effects aren’t used in pure form and combined with other ad formats. Branded Effects is good for maintaining brand awareness on a high level.


Kia is the largest car company in the world. The brand launched a new Kia Rio X Style, a modern and sporty hatchback version of its popular Rio line. The brand cooperated with TikTok to start its ad campaign. Kia created Hashtag Challenge #inRiostyle. The challenge was based on Branded Effects that would be triggered by a series of gestures.

The ad campaign had more than 1.2 billion video views and 1.3 million videos submitted. Even more, the ad campaign achieved an engagement rate of 13.7%.


Brands should choose the format depending on the purposes of the ad campaign and what they want to tell their audiences. TikTokers like creative advertising, so don’t forget about creativity and trends in your campaigns.

If you have any questions or want to start your brand’s history on TikTok, write to us (, and we’ll help you.