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8 TikTok ads examples to spark campaign ideas

By Melissa King · May 1, 2024
Hero image for TikTok app tips with the TikTok logo on a green background

I've been writing about marketing for a while now, and I've noticed that TikTok marketing is an inscrutable topic for many folks. Since TikTok is a relatively new player in the game and appeals to such a specific audience, it's hard to tell when you're being too experimental—or not experimental enough. Is it brave or cringey to jump on the latest TikTok stunt bandwagon?

TikTok advertising adds even more layers: Which ad type should you use? How should you approach it? And are TikTok ads even worth it?

Since it's tricky to navigate on your own, it helps to get inspiration from other brands who've done it well. I talked to some marketers and looked through my feed to find TikTok ad examples that can help spark some ideas for your next campaign.

What is a TikTok ad?

TikTok ads come in a bunch of formats, including:

  • Video ads: This popular type of TikTok ad is a video that appears on the TikTok ad network's usual placements: the Following Feed, the For You page (FYP), the Profile feed, Shopping Center ads, and search ads. At the end of the video, the ad presents a clickable call to action.

  • Spark ads: Spark ads let you take organic TikTok content from your account or another's (with their permission) and promote it on the TikTok ad network. The engagement you get from the Spark ad is attributed to the original organic post.

  • TopView ads: These ads appear when a user opens TikTok. They provide a full-screen experience for the first three seconds, then transition into an in-feed video.

  • Lead generation ads: Any format with a customizable call to action can become a lead generation ad with an in-app form to complete or a form from your website.

  • Playable ads: If you're advertising a game, playable ads let you showcase a small part of it in the TikTok app.

  • Video shopping ads: Showcase your TikTok Shop items in a video shopping ad that appears on TikTok ad placements.

  • Branded effects: These let you create a filter, sticker, or special effect related to your brand, so people who use it can spread the word for you.

Most of the examples in this article are video ads, but the principles I'll discuss apply to most TikTok ad formats.

Are TikTok ads worth it?

If most of your customers are in the United States, talk of a nationwide TikTok ban might have you worried about advertising on TikTok. Nobody knows exactly what the end game will be. I'm no political or business analyst, but even if the bill goes through and TikTok's owners don't sell it, it will still be around for a while. And TikTok plans to sue, which could delay that deadline further.

So keep on advertising. You'll hear for sure when it's time to run, and the situation is still open to all sorts of possibilities.

8 TikTok ad examples to learn from

These examples of TikTok ads cover all sorts of industries and audiences. Take inspiration from them, but be sure to personalize your strategy to match your brand.

1. MiO Energy's Crash Coverage ad

Kraft Heinz's inside agency The Kitchen wanted to raise awareness of MiO Energy with more Gen Z viewers at the top of the TikTok sales funnel. Executive Creative Director Simon Au shares that the team made this ad featuring influencer Jack Innanen to showcase why it beats out the competition.


Tell me about your craziest energy drink incident! Link in bio to claim your Energy Drink Insurance! No purch nec. 50 US/DC 18+. Ends 12/19. Rules: EnergyDrinkInsurance.com

♬ original sound - mio

"We thought to ourselves: you can claim a car crash, so why not an energy drink crash? To show energy drink lovers that MiO has them covered, we created the first-ever Energy Drink Insurance, covering the damages caused by the competition. We launched when energy drink sales skyrocket—exam season—awarding cash for every crash," Simon explains.

The ad consists of Jack asking viewers what energy drink crashes they had, and The Kitchen's case study video shows how he would respond to their video replies. This interactive approach led to a 23% increase in MiO Energy sales and more than 14 million engagements.

What worked for this TikTok ad?

  • Using humor and a recognizable influencer to appeal to its Gen Z audience

  • Tying the ad into an influencer campaign where Jack stitched video replies on his profile

  • Promoting it at the right time of year to cover a hot topic when it's relevant 

2. Chewy's Stop the Itch ad

My algorithm seems to have caught on to the fact that I like animals, so I came across this ad from Chewy promoting its options for flea medicine.


Stop the itch before it begins. Save 20% on your first Chewy Pharmacy order of flea & tick meds.

♬ Promoted Music - Chewy

It's a good example of a high-production ad that keeps to the point to stop the scroll. While many companies try to blend into the feed with medium or low-production video, Chewy maintained the quality it uses for ads on other platforms. But since it only lasts 15 seconds, it doesn't overstay its welcome as an obvious ad, letting you enjoy the quality and move on to the cat memes in your feed.

What worked for this TikTok ad?

  • Investing in high-quality audio and video and paid acting to deliver a professional video

  • Using a cute and funny hook to draw in the ad's audience (dog owners)

  • Keeping things short to counter younger audiences' higher skepticism of ads

3. Norsu Media Group's tech careers ad

Norsu Media Group ran a TikTok ad for a coding boot camp that received over 500 conversions. Director Tom Leach tells me content based on recent trends worked well for the client, so his team leaned into trends and organic-feeling content for this ad. 

He attributes the success to what he calls a "passive hook."

"I think this ad succeeded because it feels like content and has a good passive hook. There isn't a strong hook (i.e., 'I made $10k in three days'), so there has to be another method of keeping people interested. The questions act as that passive hook and telling people to keep scrolling actually stops them from doing so."

Why this TikTok ad worked

  • Creating an ad that feels like organic content using a low production value and a recent trend

  • Asking the viewer multiple questions to keep them engaged with the ad

4. Zapier's Tables and Interfaces ad

Wildly enough, a Zapier ad for Tables and Interfaces came across my feed while I was on the hunt for examples, and I would have included it regardless of what brand it was. It gives the vibes of a fellow user sitting down with us and showing us this neat new feature they discovered.

@zapier You can use Zapier Tables and Interfaces to build your own custom apps without a developer. These two tools together are the ultimate pairing! #workflow #nocode #automation #zapiertips #zapier ♬ original sound - Zapier

The narrator asks viewers if they want to see an example of the features described in the video, and plenty of commenters came in to say yes. Zapier then followed up by posting a video of an example in response to one of the comments.

What worked for this TikTok ad?

  • Following the person-to-person format you see in organic TikTok videos from regular users

  • Encouraging viewers to request similar content in the comments to encourage engagement and gauge relevance

5. MIRA Safety's CM-8M face respirator ad

MIRA Safety, a manufacturer and retailer of military-grade safety gear for personal use, found success with one of its product release campaigns


Prioritize safety with MIRA. Quality gas masks ensure top-notch protection. Trust MIRA Safety.

♬ original sound  - mirasafety

Founder Roman Zrazhevskiy chalks up its performance to its bold sound and visuals. "It's a very special short-form product video ad that includes a unique sound file, a fully branded ad display style, and a visual representation that stands out to those in and outside of our niche," Roman says.

I also noticed that it wouldn't require much of a production budget to make, making it an accessible ad format. Grab some high-quality graphics and add striking audio, animations, and effects to create your own take on this ad. But stick to just a few like MIRA Safety did. There's a fine line between daring and overwhelming.

What worked for this TikTok ad?

  • Using intense visuals and audio in line with branding

  • Listing concise yet meaningful benefits that include numbers as support

6. Javy's hard day ad

This ad from coffee brand Javy made me do a double-take and rewatch the video to see what was going on. 


Real coffee, loved by real people.

♬ Promoted Music - javy

This punching transition is a trend among advertisers. Considering how the internet's trend cycle operates, I suspect they picked it up from regular users, but regardless of where this idea came from, I'm impressed with Javy's ability to weave its brand with it.

What worked for this TikTok ad?

  • Starting with an eye-catching hook based on current trends

  • Setting up an emotional journey for the viewer while keeping production levels down to earth

7. Leadhub's "We got what you're looking for" ad for JunkStart Junk Removal

Home services marketing agency Leadhub ran an ad for JunkStart Junk Removal that earned 74 conversions and about 950,000 impressions. 

Content Lead Sydney Lamoureux says the team tried to mirror typical feed content and use trending audio for easy acceptance from its target audience. 

Sydney says: "This ad's success can largely be attributed to its organic integration into the user's browsing experience. By designing it to look and feel like other videos on users' 'For You' pages, it did not alienate viewers with overt promotional content. Additionally, the use of a trending sound at the time of posting played a crucial role in boosting its relevance and relatability, which helped increase its acceptance among the target audience." Trending audio is basically a free asset that lets you have fun with current trends—definitely use it.

I also noticed that commenters seemed to be endeared by one of JunkStart's employees trying the trend as opposed to the typical influencer. Don't be afraid to be a little vulnerable and have fun with the TikTok trend you're trying.

One other important thing to note: Leadhub used TikTok's lead generation ad format to capture conversions through an in-app form. The team kindly shared it with me as well.

A TikTok lead gen form example

If you go with a lead gen ad, you can take a lot of the manual effort out of it by integrating with Zapier. That way, you can connect TikTok ads to your CRM, database, or email account and automate TikTok lead generation. Here are some examples to get you started.

Create Google Sheets row(s) for new TikTok Lead Generation leads

Create Google Sheets row(s) for new TikTok Lead Generation leads
  • TikTok Lead Generation logo
  • Google Sheets logo
TikTok Lead Generation + Google Sheets

Trigger webhooks POST requests for new TikTok Lead Generation leads

Trigger webhooks POST requests for new TikTok Lead Generation leads
  • TikTok Lead Generation logo
  • Webhooks by Zapier logo
TikTok Lead Generation + Webhooks by Zapier

Add new TikTok Lead Generation leads to LeadConnector campaigns

Add new TikTok Lead Generation leads to LeadConnector campaigns
  • TikTok Lead Generation logo
  • LeadConnector logo
TikTok Lead Generation + LeadConnector

What worked for this TikTok ad?

  • Using trending audio to fit in with content on the TikTok feeds

  • Capturing leads with an in-app form to keep the experience seamless for viewers

8. The Farmer's Dog Beth ad

This last ad from my feed uses compellingly structured user-generated content (UGC). It strikes a good balance between organic UGC and a scripted advertisement with a clever before and after comparison. The influencer involved in the ad weaves some of her clips of Beth the dog into a narrative showing her before and after a year of eating The Farmer's Dog dog food.

The Farmer's Dog nails two marketing principles. First, back up your claims with tangible evidence, and second, tell a human story.

What worked for this TikTok ad?

  • Partnering with a dog influencer and her owner to tell a real-life story about a product

  • Using a before and after comparison with a timeline of one year to provide evidence of the product's success

Go with the feed flow—or disrupt it

One pattern emerges among these examples: they try to blend in with the feed to meet the viewer where they're at—or disrupt it with something unexpected. Some achieve both goals at the same time. When you create your TikTok ad, imagine how it will fit in (or go against) the videos surrounding it in the feed and take control of that experience.

Related reading:

  • Find new customers on TikTok with Omnisend

  • 5 ways to use TikTok in your professional life

  • The best social media management tools

  • AI in advertising: Examples, tools, and what to expect next

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