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The interruptive nature of many advertisements is an obstacle for brands. When a user’s journey through a platform or an app is disrupted, the favorability they feel for the brand is negatively impacted.

On a fast-moving social platform like TikTok, where the short-form nature of the content is one of its key selling points, that interruption can feel much worse. To avoid that, and to capitalize on some of the strengths of the app and social creation in general, TikTok has launched its new global native advertising format Spark Ads. 

The format allows brands to boost the profile of existing organic content, with the aim of converting the app’s users into both co-creators of the ads themselves and ultimately consumers.

It launched with a campaign with Costa Coffee, which drove over 42m impressions at just a £1.39 CPM. That translated into a 159% increase in followers, or 18,000 new fans.

Creative conversations

The format is in service of bringing brands into the creative conversations TikTok’s users have on the platform. The release accompanying today’s launch stated: “TikTok is made up of creators who are redefining entertainment, starting trends and sharing with the world their take on popular products and services. Brands can now tap into the plethora of creative, diverse content and connect with the creators who help bring these products and services to life.”

The format allows brands to measure the success of their campaigns across KPIs including raw video views and conversion, in addition to allowing them to “amplify existing organic videos”.

Brands can then extend the campaign with Duet features enabled, which allows the community to engage with and build on the creativity. TikTok stressed that by bringing in the community, the format avoids the interruptive or inauthentic nature of many native formats: “With Spark Ads, brands can build long-lasting connections that are authentic and rooted in community while also delivering sustainable and impactful business value.”