As Legislators Mull its Fate, TikTok Doubles Down on Creator Partnerships

TikTok Branded Effects from Daft Punk and Microsoft 365.

TikTok’s future in the U.S. remains uncertain following last week’s Congressional grilling of CEO Shou Chew. Nevertheless, the social media platform is going on the offensive to enhance its appeal to its top assets — and in some cases its strongest advocates  — creators. The company has rolled out a new solution to pair brands and creators for the development of “Branded Effects,” following on its new partnership with Sephora for a beauty creator incubator program.

“Effects” are a popular tool on TikTok that allow users to customize or add details to their videos. Brands have been in the “Effects” game for a while, creating tools for users that act as a new-age kind of product placement (see Bomb Pop’s “A Flavor for Every You” game or Pepsi’s #NewPepsiHitMeLike challenge).

Now TikTok wants to make it easier for companies to create branded Effects with its Effect House Branded Effects solution, which connects brands with TikTok Effects creators. Branded Effects are custom effects, sponsored by brands, which can be customized with branded elements and include features like calls-to-action and custom audience targeting to fit a brand’s specific campaign needs.

“We’ve seen brands use Effects on TikTok in all kinds of creative ways to reach new audiences, share stories and build community,” said Greg Feingold, Effect House Community Lead at TikTok in a statement. “By working with top Effect House creators to create effects, brands can further harness the creativity and authenticity of the TikTok community.”

Compared to Community Effects, which creators develop on their own for anyone to use, Branded Effects give brands more control over how and where the Effect is used, by pairing it with paid branding traffic solutions and enabling controls around what brand-safe pinned videos appear on the Effect detail page. Branded Effects can also be bundled with Branded Mission, In-feed ads, Top View ads or any other standard TikTok ad formats to deepen connection and engagement.

For example, Microsoft 365 and its agency Superdigital recently used the solution to create the WordArt You effect in partnership with Effect House creators Eddy Adams (@eddyin3d) and Jan Trejo (@janmahavan), which ultimately generated more than 126,000 videos that were viewed by millions of users. Other companies that have recently used Branded Effects include Universal PicturesSamsung and Netflix.