• Craig

TikTok for Business - Ad Formats

With the launch of TikTok for Business, you might want to know what are the formats of the ads that are available on the platform. Below I'll list the types of formats, as well as the specs required for creating them.


TikTok is one of the best ways to reach Gen Z, and now with the business platform opening, it offers brands an opportunity to reach and engage that target audience.


Tiktok Business

In-Feed video

As with other social media platforms, in-feed videos will likely be the go-to format across TikTok. These are full screen vertical videos which work like Instagram Stories. They can be skipped, and can include audio. In fact, I'd advise that these be designed for a sound-on experience, as they autoplay with sound (in a similar way to Instagram Stories).


The videos can be up to 60 seconds in length, but the suggested length (as with other platforms) is to keep them short and sweet. Also it appears that you can upload landscape and square content, but I'd recommend utilising full-screen vertical ads where possible.


Alongside the video you will also need a short description (emojis and #'s not allowed), a brand/app name, and a 1x1 profile image (like your Twitter/Facebook/Instagram profile image).

  • Appear in: For You

  • Length: 5-60secs (suggested 9-15 seconds)

  • File Size: under 500mb

  • Ratio: 9x16, 1x1 or 16x9

  • File type: .mp4, .mov, .mpeg, .3gp, or .avi

  • Description: 12-100 characters (5-50 asian characters)

  • Profile image: 1x1, .jpg, .jpeg, .png. <50 KB

  • Can include a CTA.


Brand Takeover

Brand Takeovers are full screen ads that appear when a user opens TikTok app. They can be static or video, and their aim is aim to grab attention via a short-view, full-screen experience.


The image will be shown for 3 seconds, and the videos 3-5 seconds - staying true to the short-form video style of TikTok. Whilst this may present some challenges for creatives, one way to think of these ads is like a vertical digital out of home spot.


Currently, these takeovers are exclusive to different categories each day – so only one brand can take over a single category each day. You'd likely want to include a click-through with this to allow users to continue the journey.

  • Appear: full-screen on app launch

  • Length of spot: one day

  • Length: 3-5 seconds

  • Ratio: 9x16

  • Can include a CTA


Top View

Top View ads work similar to YouTube bumpers on the platform - they promise distraction free viewing, with sound on, on the part of TikTok with the most viewing estate (when the app opens). This is likely to be the 'premium' ad spot on the platform.


As with in-feed video, they are full-screen vertical ads, and the specs remain the same. These ads work like Brand Takeovers meet in-feed, and are generally aimed towards a wider audience.


Branded Hashtag Challenge

This format is probably one of the most exciting, as it's distinct and fits the platform well. With a hashtag challenge, brands will need to create a video to a song, and encourage others to create their own video to join in.


The benefit of a hashtag challenge is that it focuses on both awareness and engagement - encouraging people to create videos, and take part themselves - therefore interacting with the brand and the hashtag.


With the challenges, it'd be wise to leverage influencer/s to help drive awareness and accessibility of the campaign. Sponsored challenges will be featured on the discovery page for six days, generating the required reach.


Branded Effect

This is similar to AR effects on IG/FB and Snapchat. TikTok offers the possibility to create and use 2D, 3D and AR on the platform.


With Branded Lenses, people can interact with the brand by using their tailor-made sharable stickers, filters, and special effects. Like on other platforms, they can allow 'trying on' of products, as well as more creative opportunities. There is also an opportunity to integrate Branded Effects into a hashtag challenge, a stronger bond to your brand and products can be promoted.


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