Unilever, Geico, Madewell among brands embracing new studio dedicated to TikTok strategy

2021/06/24 Innoverview Read

Dive Brief:

  • Unilever, Madewell, Google, MTV and Geico are among the early partners for a new studio Attn: has set up to help brands better navigate TikTok, according to an announcement.

  • The issues-focused media company's dedicated TikTok studio provides best practices and services around content production, creator matching, community management, paid media, platform insights and more. TikTok itself is working with the shop as part of an existing partnership that sees Attn: manage its TikTok for Good channel centered on topics like environmentalism.

  • Attn: aims to help brands show up organically on the algorithmically powered TikTok feed and drive sales for those interested in the platform's growing number of commerce tools. The studio launch is the latest sign that there is high demand for expertise in marketing on the video-sharing app that has seen user growth explode during the pandemic.

Dive Insight:

Attn: is capitalizing on the high demand for TikTok know-how with a studio offering a range of services around marketing, platform insights and content production. The publisher is leveraging the launch as a means to deepen existing relationships with blue-chip marketers that are directing more of their media spend to digital- and mobile-first channels favored by young consumers. Its end goal is to help clients improve brand perception and drive sales, an indication that the studio will attempt to tap into TikTok's growing number of capabilities in social commerce.

Unilever Entertainment, the packaged goods giant's in-house pop culture unit, previously tapped Attn: for a scripted series called "Girls Room" that promoted its Dove brand. The award-winning project, which addressed self-esteem and body-image issues in young women, was creatively spearheaded by Lena Waithe and aired on Instagram's IGTV. Now, Unilever is looking to translate Attn:'s success in helping it craft "audience-first" social content to TikTok, where the new studio will hone outreach strategies for products like Murad Skincare.

Attn: has also worked on influencer marketing efforts for J. Crew's Madewell line and is in the midst of developing co-branded campaigns for Google, MTV and Geico. Perhaps the strongest sign of the media company's TikTok bona fides are how much content it handles for the video-sharing platform itself.

Attn: was tasked with overseeing the TikTok for Good channel earlier this year as part of a yearlong partnership and has grown the account's audience by 50 times, according to the announcement. Topics promoted by @TikTokForGood, like a #ForClimate campaign raising awareness about climate change, have generated hundreds of millions of views on the video-sharing app.

Founded in 2014, Attn: focuses on engaging young consumers on social media by spotlighting pressing social issues. Clear interest in the publisher's bets on marketing services speaks to how brands are increasingly looking to put purpose at the center of their marketing strategies, but in a way that reads as authentic to picky audiences like Gen Z. 

Other marketing services providers are angling to build out their TikTok playbooks amid a massive influx of brand activity on the platform that has made standing out on its main feed more competitive and expensive. Ad holding giant WPP in February signed a global partnership with TikTok that opens early access to ad products, mobile innovations and creator opportunities. In April, IPG inked a three-year pact with the app that included the formation of a Creator Collective that will provide the agency's clientele guidance on engaging users in an authentic and inclusive fashion.

(Source: Marketing Dive Unilever, Geico, Madewell among brands embracing new studio dedicated to TikTok strategy | Marketing Dive )