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Some examples of TikTok and marketing

As the United States Congress considers legislation that may ban or force a sale of TikTok, it might be worth reflecting on the popular social media app’s role in advertising and promotion. A recent New York Times article titled “Love, Hate or Fear It, TikTok Has Changed America” considers a wide range of influences the app has had on American culture. While the whole (relatively long) article is worth a read, there are a few easy to click to sections that provide interesting marketing-relevant examples:

  • Click on “Hollywood” to read how “It Became Hollywood’s Favorite Marketing Machine.” The movie “Anyone But You” had a poor opening weekend that pointed to a bomb. Then, with a few nudges from Sony Pictures, TikTok users started posting videos that re-enacted the movie’s end credits and soon people were buying tickets and it became a big hit (Chapter2 13 and 16).
  • Click on “Trends” to see dozens of trends that started on TikTok–many of which spawned buying activity. “Fashion” of course is a trend category in and of itself (Chapter 3).
  • Click on “Shopping” to learn more about how influencer Kiara Springs earns $10,000-12,000 a month for suggesting clothing to other young women (Chapters 12, 13, and 16).
  • Click on “Market Power” to read about how TikTok helped Stanley Tumblers, feta cheese, Cerave moisturizing cream, and more products blew up after going viral on TikTok (Chapters 9 and 16)
  • For a longer example, read how The Pink Stuff became a viral sensation told at Walmart in “What Happens When TikTok Is Your Marketing Department.”

I hope some of these give you some examples to share that your students will find fun while helping them better understand marketing.

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