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The year on TikTok: How did key retailers Asos, Very, Co-op, JD and more do on the social channel du jour?

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With TikTok becoming the social channel of choice and one that is poised to grow its ecommerce capabilities in the year ahead, many retailers have already seen great early successes on the channel in 2021.

As TikTok reveals its ‘Year on TikTok 2021’ review of the most creative UK brand campaigns on the channel, we take a look at some of the stand out retailer performances.

ASOS (@asos) saw incredible results following its Halloween campaign, #ASOSAlterEgo. Aimed at promoting the brand’s Face & Body offering, ASOS invited the TikTok community to showcase their ’alter ego’ through spooky make-up looks. The campaign leveraged a whole host of our ad formats and solutions, from a Branded Hashtag Challenge – which involves creating video and encouraging people to share content under a sponsored hashtag – to bespoke music and enlisting established creators like @jonysios and @challxn. #ASOSAlterEgo achieved over 839 million video views in the UK alone, with 283,000 creators taking part.

To mark the launch of new product Love Me Liquid Lipcolour, M·A·C UK & Ireland (@maccosmetics) partnered with TikTok and Spotify on an industry-first multi-media activation which had self-love at its core. With the help of Creative Lab – TikTok’s in-house creative team – the brand created a campaign inviting the community to express their true individuality by stating affirmations of self-love through the lens of an Augmented Reality Branded Effect showing off four different lipcolour shades. Alongside this, people were able to click through M·A·C videos within their feed and be taken to Spotify to listen to specially-curated empowering playlists. 

Very (@veryuk) brought the nation together earlier this year for a giant singalong to “Our House”, the timeless 80s hit by Madness. Households all over the country joined in to celebrate the ways in which the nation’s relationship with home was transformed by lockdowns. 
Very’s objective on TikTok was to raise awareness for its new #OurHouse2021 campaign, combining a wide reach with mass engagement. The brand used our Branded Hashtag Challenge format – which involves creating a video with a sponsored hashtag and encouraging people to share content under the same hashtag – and branded effects like the pink Very-themed video frame to boost engagement with our community. 
As part of the campaign, Very worked with over 30 British creators including celebrities like Sophie Ellis-Bextor. 
The result was over 1.7 million plus videos created by more than 1 million creators. It doesn’t get more authentic than a livestream, and these brands mastered the art of live entertainment and engagement on TikTok LIVE this year.

Football may not have come home this year, but sports fashion retailer JD (@jdofficial) certainly captured the spirit of EURO 2020 with #JDPassItOn, which has since racked up 6 billion views. The challenge invited people to share their skills and passion for the beautiful game to the sound of new track ‘2Gether Now’, a remixed version of The Farm’s 1990 classic and England’s EURO 2004 anthem ’All Together Now’.

Sports and football creators such as Pele Newell (@pelenewell), Ben Black (@benblackfootball), and Andrew Henderson (@iamandrewhenderson) all joined in the challenge alongside the TikTok community, producing everything from dribbling and goal celebrations, to football-inspired make-up and dances. Developed in partnership with Creative Lab, JD also launched the UK’s first augmented reality (AR) shoe try-on of Nike trainers through TikTok later on in 2021.

Earlier this year, Co-op (@coopuk) became the first UK grocer to launch a TikTok Branded Hashtag Challenge with #CleanitScrunchitCoopit. The environmentally-conscious TikTok community embraced the challenge, with influential creators like Nikki Lilly (@nikkililly) and Tom Malone (@tommalone_jr) demonstrating how easy it is to collect and recycle soft plastics at home. It came after the retailer revealed the roll-out of Europe’s most extensive in-store recycling scheme for soft plastic, plastic bags and product wrapping. The #CleanitScrunchitCoopit challenge has since received a huge 4.7 billion views, with its popularity a testament both to the TikTok community’s commitment to doing their bit for the environment, and Co-op’s effectiveness in communicating its purpose.

#FetaPasta (1.1 billion views) – a simple yet inventive pasta dish – similarly took TikTok by storm in 2021, triggering a massive spike in sales of feta cheese across the UK. In response, supermarket Asda saw an opportunity to jump on the trend’s popularity. They introduced a special Baked Feta Pasta bundle containing all the ingredients, which made it easy for people wanting to try out the recipe at home. This was a perfect example of why grocers do not need to sit back and watch trends unfold; they can be part of them and use them to help drive sales.

Commenting on the list, Kris Boger, General Manager, Global Business Solutions, UK at TikTok, said: “Looking back at what has been another exceptional year in marketing, what strikes me is the sheer diversity of brands showing up on TikTok, spanning all sizes and sectors, and the creativity they are bringing to the platform and community. With TikTok, there’s an opportunity to be at the epicentre of culture – somewhere all marketers strive to be – and each of these brands has grasped that in their own unique way.We’re only just beginning to scratch the surface of TikTok’s potential to help brands unleash their creativity, reach new audiences and monetise. I can’t wait to see the amazing ways they’ll continue connecting with our community in 2022.” 

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