TikTok launches Branded Mission, a new way to crowdsource creation

On a day when most of Madison Avenue was focused on the TV Upfronts, TikTok launched Branded Mission this morning. It’s an innovative (and subversive) way for brands to crowdsource authentic (and creative) content from the TikTok community.

Branded Mission allows creators to engage directly with brands to create (and monetize) their content for marketing campaigns.

This launch illustrates that TikTok is poised to provide digital marketers with new ways to reach Gen Z and Millennial audiences – with or without an official advertising agency (AOR) – while simultaneously enabling creators to monetize their creativity on TikTok.

This, in turn, eliminates the need to go through one of the thousands of agencies and companies that have sprung up to offer influencer marketing services.

Talk about cutting out the middleman! So what is the likely impact of TikTok’s digital disintermediation?

Well, as is often the case, the devil is in the details.

Details of TikTok’s brand mission

TikTok has over a billion monthly active users worldwide. TikTok took the top spot for the most downloaded app in the first three months of 2022, beating Instagram and Facebook.

For digital marketers, Branded Mission allows brands to invite creators to contribute to a campaign – if they can create content that resonates with both their brand and their communities on TikTok. For example, brands can:

  • Engage the community to participate in brand campaigns.
  • Let creators tell the most relevant brand story in an authentic way.
  • Discover a diverse ecosystem of creators who are the main drivers of culture on TikTok.

For creators, Branded Mission gives the broader creator ecosystem the opportunity to be selected by digital marketers to create branded content. For example,

  • All creators who are at least 18 years old and have more than 1,000 followers will be eligible to participate in a brand mission, providing even more opportunities to earn money on TikTok.
  • Creators whose videos are brand-curated will benefit from boosted traffic. And Branded Mission is now providing a boost with TikTok Pulse, the social video platform’s ad revenue sharing program, which was announced two weeks ago at IAB NewFronts.

Now why do people watch TikTok videos?

Although many traditional marketers still view it as a Gen Z platform for dance challenges, TikTok says people come to be inspired by a wide range of diverse communities as well as to discover new brands, products and ideas.

Creators who seem to be on top of the latest trends and seem to represent a new generation of storytellers are breaking entertainment boundaries and defining culture.

So if storytelling is truly what brings communities together on TikTok, it has the potential to create a valuable opportunity for brands and creators to work together to create engaging content. TikTok believes the crowdsourced nature of the platform has created a whole new way for brands to engage with creators and connect with diverse communities all around TikTok.

We’ll see if they’re right.

That’s why TikTok launched Branded Mission. This is an indirect attack on ad agencies who believe that Connected Television (CTV) has become the go-to place for people to relax and enjoy their favorite content. And, according to Nielsen, more than 50% of ad-supported streaming viewing time occurs on YouTube CTV for people ages 18 and older.

TikTok doesn’t have a CTV option, so they’ve doubled down on inspiring brand and creator collaborations. To get an idea of ​​how they’re positioning Branded Mission, check out the preview they uploaded to Vimeo.


According to TikTok:

“Branded Mission is an industry-first advertising solution that allows advertisers to crowdsource authentic content from creators on TikTok, turn top-performing videos into ads, and improve brand affinity with media impressions. “

In other words, it’s a new way for brands and creators to collaborate on creating branded content.

Now, this new matchmaking service has the potential to help brands discover up-and-coming creators through TikTok — if that’s what interests them. Some brands will test the waters – and others will wait and see what happens. It is therefore difficult to predict whether Branded Mission will take off as quickly as TikTok itself.

Discover the power and creativity of co-creation

Until this week, the most successful brands on TikTok are those that have taken the time to watch and listen to the TikTok community before engaging with specific creators.

Branded Mission has the potential to bring more brands closer to communities on TikTok if – and only if – they are willing to give creators they haven’t yet approved the chance to contribute to a campaign.

I think challenger brands are the most likely to fit this profile. And I expect most market leaders and niche brands to wait and see what happens next. I also expect a similar phenomenon to occur on the creators side of the matchmaking process.

The creators most likely to check out a challenger brand’s Branded Mission page to see if it represents an opportunity to monetize their next video will be nano-influencers (1,000-10,000 followers) or micro-influencers (10,000- 100,000 subscribers). And I expect most macro influencers (100,000 to 1 million followers) and mega or celebrity influencers (over 1 million followers) to wait and see what happens next.

This can make the first few days of Branded Mission as awkward as a college dance. But it can also produce surprising results. Who knows, things could quickly snowball.

Branded Mission is currently in beta testing and is only available to brands and marketers in a dozen markets around the world. But TikTok expects Branded Mission to be available in other markets from late 2022.

TikTok launches Branded Mission, a new way to crowdsource creation

Featured Image: VidEst/Shutterstock

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