Why Nike’s TikTok ad was July’s most creative

Source: Nike/TikTok via Kantar

TikTok can be a somewhat risky platform for advertisers. While users expect all videos to be entertaining and relevant to them, pursuing this goal can lead brands to create content that works well as entertainment, but not as advertising.

Nike’s “She’s Ballin” (seen below) is an example of a TikTok ad that has struck the right balance. It was identified by Kantar’s The Works study as the most creative ad on the platform in July in terms of audience response. Not only does the advert engage viewers, ranking in the top 20% of all UK adverts based on an active engagement metric, it also scores high on brand building metrics at long term.

The ad skims through shots of women playing or supporting football following the UEFA Women’s Euro tournament earlier this year, ending on the line, ‘Never settle, never do’.

Produced in association with Marketing Week and the Advertising Association’s Trust Working Group, The Works asked 750 consumers what they thought of five of July’s top TikTok ads – 150 consumers per ad.

Some 70% of viewers approved of Nike’s advertising as “involving”, compared to an average of 43%, the study reveals.

“Once attention is won, the challenge is to hold it and avoid the jump,” Lynne Deason, head of creative excellence at Kantar, told Marketing Week. In the case of She’s Ballin, 65% of people viewed the entire ad, with an average of 80% overall viewing.

According to Deason, there are several elements in the ad that “work together” to help retain viewers. She says, “Kantar’s BrandZ data reveals that consumers view TikTok as particularly fun and playful, and this ad has a similar sentiment.”

Indeed, study participants said they “enjoyed the positive energy” of the ad and its “joyful, community vibe”, with one saying, “It’s upbeat and engages the viewer as if there was”.

Advertising on digital channels can often be seen as an unwanted disruption, but according to Kantar’s 2021 Media Reactions study, this is not the case on TikTok. In addition to being perceived as the “most innovative” channel, the platform was the top-ranked media brand among consumers for global advertising equity.

“Ads on TikTok are perceived to be more fun, entertaining and innovative than other media brands, and perceived ad volume is currently low, but growing,” Deason explains.

Source: Kantar

Another key element to success on TikTok is music, and in Nike’s ad, the use of a catchy song (“Shake it to the Ground” by DJ Blaqstarr & Rye Rye) plays an “important role” in supporting its impact, Deason says.

Study participants spontaneously said they found the music “catchy”, “groovy” and “lively”, and more than two-thirds agreed they enjoyed it.

Music also plays an additional role in a TikTok ad, as the platform’s creators can use it in their own content and “help campaign consistency”, especially when asked to create content that meets directly to advertising.

She’s Ballin includes a hashtag challenge, inviting young women to share their football skills or appreciation. Kantar’s research found that 44% of people said they were likely to take part in the challenge and the hashtag has garnered 5.1 billion views to date, helped by the popular influencers Nike worked with on the challenge. country.

Generate impact for the brand

However, entertainment and music aren’t the only features associated with TikTok, Deason says. Inclusiveness and diversity is another.

“The platform encourages people to be themselves. Success comes from both the creator community and other people enjoying the platform by engaging with content that others have created,” she explains.

“Recognizing and embracing this sense of inclusive community is important for brands looking to successfully leverage the opportunity this platform represents.”

Inclusiveness and diversity are a notable strength of Nike’s advertising, which features young women from diverse backgrounds and ethnicities.

Further strengthening advertising’s association with Nike would increase the advertising’s potential to deliver greater brand returns.

Lynne DeasonKantar

An inclusive cast doesn’t necessarily provide more effective publicity, warns Deason, adding, “What matters is portraying people in a positive light.”

Looking at Kantar’s UnStereotype metric, on average, ads that perform well on positive diversity and inclusivity produce better short- and long-term business results, she adds. Nike’s ad is in the top 1% of all UK ads on this metric.

“She’s ballin’ definitely puts the ball in the back of the net on this one,” Deason said.

“Perfectly timed around the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022, this advert further contributes to Nike’s challenge to multiple stereotypes around women’s football, powerfully bringing to life the fact that the game truly is for everyone. .

Study participants noted that the ad was “inclusive of all nationalities” and liked that it “revolves around girls.” One said, “Seeing a girl in a hijab playing football too was great! This performance matters! »

However, to deliver ROI, ads on TikTok must be “brand-centric” and achieve the business purpose for which they were created, Deason reiterates.

“It’s advertising, not just entertainment, and the fundamentals of effective advertising still apply. Marketers need to think about how to create intuitively authentic content for their brand,” he says. -she.

Nike advertising successfully conveys the brand’s activewear range and its “fun” attitude as a brand, she adds. On top of that, the ad gives the impression that Nike is setting trends, ranking in the top 10% of ads in the UK, and helping to build affinity and warmth towards the brand (top 20%) . How a YouTube Lurpak Ad Ranked Most Effective in March

These attributes “go beyond boosting visibility” and contribute to the long-term success of the brand, by “positively impacting what people think and feel about it,” Deason explains. But Nike could go even further in associating the brand with advertising.

“Of all the ads searched, this one was the strongest in terms of branding,” she says.

“But further strengthening the association of advertising with Nike would increase the advertising’s potential to deliver a better return for the brand, and would increase Nike’s association and its positive impact on breaking down stereotypes in sport.”


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