January 27, 2022

Year on TikTok: Celebrating the brands that brought creativity and culture in 2021

TikTok has revealed its ‘Year on TikTok 2021’, a collection of the most creative UK brand activations that helped define TikTok in 2021.

From social purpose-driven campaigns and companies selling out products, to small businesses finding new customers on the platform, the ‘Year on TikTok 2021’ list celebrates the brands that struck a chord with the community this year and achieved incredible results in the process.

Commenting on the list, Kris Boger, General Manager, Global Business Solutions, UK at TikTok, said: “Looking back at what has been another exceptional year in marketing, what strikes me is the sheer diversity of brands showing up on TikTok, spanning all sizes and sectors, and the creativity they are bringing to the platform and community.

“With TikTok, there’s an opportunity to be at the epicentre of culture – somewhere all marketers strive to be – and each of these brands has grasped that in their own unique way.

“We’re only just beginning to scratch the surface of TikTok’s potential to help brands unleash their creativity, reach new audiences and monetise. I can’t wait to see the amazing ways they’ll continue connecting with our community in 2022.”

Here are the stand out – and sold out – moments of 2021:

Little Moons (@littlemoonsmochi) became one of the country’s most coveted treats after the TikTok community went crazy for its mochi ice cream bites, racking up 340m views of the #littlemoons hashtag. Having built excitement on the platform organically, Little Moons capitalised on its success by using TikTok’s ad formats to let people know that they can buy the sought-after dessert in their local Tesco supermarket.

In February 2021, Little Moons’ sales were up a staggering 1,300% in Tesco vs. the same period in December, showing the true impact of hashtags like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt (6.8bn views)- where people share their best TikTok-inspired purchases – and going viral on TikTok.

#FetaPasta (1.1bn views) – a simple yet inventive pasta dish – similarly took TikTok by storm in 2021, triggering a massive spike in sales of feta cheese across the UK. In response, supermarket Asda saw an opportunity to jump on the trend’s popularity. They introduced a special Baked Feta Pasta bundle containing all the ingredients, which made it easy for people wanting to try out the recipe at home. This was a perfect example of why grocers do not need to sit back and watch trends unfold; they can be part of them and use them to help drive sales.

Earlier this year, Co-op (@coopuk) became the first UK grocer to launch a TikTok Branded Hashtag Challenge with #CleanitScrunchitCoopit. The environmentally-conscious TikTok community embraced the challenge, with influential creators like Nikki Lilly (@nikkililly) and Tom Malone (@tommalone_jr) demonstrating how easy it is to collect and recycle soft plastics at home. It came after the retailer revealed the roll-out of Europe’s most extensive in-store recycling scheme for soft plastic, plastic bags and product wrapping. The #CleanitScrunchitCoopit challenge has since received a huge 4.7bn views, with its popularity a testament both to the TikTok community’s commitment to doing their bit for the environment, and Co-op’s effectiveness in communicating its purpose.

Iconic coffee brand Nespresso (@nespresso) invited the TikTok community to get creative on the sustainability-focused theme “Doing is everything”, and showcase actions having a positive impact in the world with #NespressoTalents. To extend the reach of the campaign, Nespresso also worked with TikTok creators including photographer and creative director Mike Queyen (@QMike), London-based photographer @thevisuallife, photographer and videographer @kymagination, and singer-songwriter and film director Onyi Moss (@mossonyi). #NespressoTalents has received over 4.8bn views on TikTok to-date.

When high street staple Costa Coffee (@costacoffee) wanted to showcase its menu in a more authentic and creative way, TikTok was a natural partner. With this campaign, the renowned coffee brand created 14 ads using TikTok’s popular cut-out filter which were cleverly curated based on some of TikTok’s key subcultures including fitness, animals, singing and luxury, making each ad feel native to these individual communities. Once again, our Spark Ads format was used to amplify the videos and target relevant audiences, leading to a 159% increase in followers of Costa Coffee’s TikTok account.