Brands turning to TikTok to transform their marketing

Written by Imogen Holmes

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2023 saw one of the most iconic, yet perhaps unexpected, foodie collaborations as Heinz and Absolut clubbed together to develop their ‘Tomato Vodka Pasta Sauce’. 

Random collab, right? Well, um, no. 

‘Vodka pasta’ shot to fame as one of Tik Tok’s leading lockdown trends after Gigi Hadid took to the app to share her take on the recipe. It went quickly viral, and whilst Penne alla vodka has been around since at least the ‘80s, Heinz and Absolut stuck to their promise of innovating “at the speed of social media”, and have used the trend as an opportunity for NPD in a saturated food market. 

Whilst vodka pasta, Little Moons and nacho tables are all good examples of TikTok fads, they also help show how brands can stand out in an ever-increasingly competitive market. Tik Tok is no longer just an app for meaningless, childish, nonsense, instead it has become a game-changing social powerhouse more quickly than any platform ever (just four years ago it was tiny).

Here are some of the top brands who have turned TikTok trends to meaningful marketing:


We’ve already spoken about the birth of the most unpredictable of foodie collabs, but now let’s look at the stats that back up such a cool campaign. The collaboration with Absolut saw Heinz’s biggest partnership in five years with earned media surpassing half a billion views, TikTok views reach over six million, and sell-out success across the globe.


Ryanair came into the TikTok game with a polarised reputation; being considered one of the funniest now certainly helps. Given its low-budget approach to travel, it’s imperative Ryanair think of creative ways to sell itself as the UKs airline of choice. Now, Ryanair’s ability to hop on trends combined with the most reasonable prices makes it a staple choice of travel amongst young people. In fact, at the start of this year, Ryanair reported an increase of over 20 million impressions per week doubling its average weekly reach in just 12 months.


Little Moons, the sweet ice cream treats hailing from Japan, enjoyed a relatively peaceful existence, until the birth of its TikTok account in 2020. Practically overnight Little Moons became a Kardashian-eque craze, with more than 15,000 video features. By 2021 Little Moons had amassed over 500 million views, and sales levels had skyrocketed by 2,000%.

These brands have seen the power TikTok can have, and used it to their advantage by presenting a natural, genuine, human and fun brand persona without forcing an intense marketing agenda. 

My advice? For the right brands, it’s time to trust TikTok to go to the next level. The trick is working out if yours is the right brand.

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