TikTok Ad Formats | Benefits of TikTok Advertising Series Ch. 3

ad formats tiktok

Welcome back to our TikTok Benefits series! TikTok presents businesses with an innovative and exciting opportunity to drive engagement and to get creative for their brand. In our last two chapters, we went over two major benefits of TikTok: increased brand awareness and increased sales and revenue

We’ll now walk you through the different ad formats and how they work. TikTok allows businesses to run ads in the following formats: in-feed, top-view, brand takeover, branded hashtag challenge, and branded effects. A strong campaign creative is essential for capturing user’s attention and converting leads. Optimizing your ads and utilizing the right ad formats is essential in ensuring your ad receives traction. 

Ready to go deeper into these ad formats and the best practices for each? Let’s dive in.

1. In-Feed Ads

Tell brand stories like a pro with TikTok’s In-Feed ads. In-Feed ads are TikTok’s standard ad format, which allows you to embed your video ads to auto-play on your target audiences’ ‘For You Page’. These ads give the ability for users to like, comment, share, follow, and shoot videos within the same TikTok sound. 

In-Feed ads can be used for a variety of different campaign objectives. Each features a clickable CTA button which can be used to drive traffic to an external landing page, app downloads, or to your brand’s TikTok account. For optimal viewing, we recommend your ad be 15 seconds long. 

In the example below, beauty brand Purelei used In-Feed ads to help raise awareness around the Purelei brand for International Women’s Day.


This Women‘s Day, we‘re Turning Our Back On Negativity! @ninachuba

♬ PURELEI x Nina Chuba Who Hurt You – PURELEI

2. Top-View Ads

Capture any user’s attention with TikTok’s prime ad real estate: Top-View ads. Top-View ads capture user attention by appearing at the top of their ‘For You Page’ for when they first open the app. This ad format allows your video ad to be up to 60 seconds long, offering an immersive viewing experience without any other competing content. 

Top-View ads are perfect for increasing brand awareness because it guarantees a wide reach and a high number of impressions. The key to Top-View ads is for your brand to create a highly engaging video that will leave your viewer with a lasting impression. 

Samsung Israel launched their new Galaxy Note 20 utilizing TikTok’s Top-View ad format. With the help of Israel’s top content creators, they were able to communicate their products’ unique selling points. 

3. Brand Takeover

Similar to Top-View ads, Brand Takeovers are full-screen static or dynamic displays, delivering a strong visual impact that the user first sees when they open TikTok, however users are unable to like or comment. Think of these ads as similar to YouTube’s non-skippable ads or bumper ads. 

Brand Takeover ads are meant to be short, snappy and to the point, being either a 3-5 second long video or a 3 second image. This allows brands to direct traffic to both internal and external landing pages. Best practice is to use this ad format along with the other formats made available by TikTok to give you the widest and deepest reach. 

In the example below, Maybelline used Brand Takeover to boost their brand awareness in Poland. 


Dzisiaj Międzynarodowy Dzień Szminki!💄 Łapcie #MatteInkSong autorstwa @ola_nowak!#lipstickday #superstaymatteink #fyp #maybellinesuperstaymatteink

♬ dźwięk oryginalny – Maybelline Polska

4. Branded Hashtag Challenge

In Ch. 2, we briefly went over how hashtags on TikTok give every business an opportunity to go viral with hashtag challenges like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt. The Branded Hashtag Challenge is designed to fit in with TikTok’s user-generated content aesthetic. This format taps into the user’s passion for creation and expression for strong brand awareness with a level of engagement that goes beyond a click.

This format can be broken down into three placements within the app. First being standard video ads that appear in the In-Feed placement, encouraging users to participate in the challenge. The second is through featured banners found in the ‘Discover Page’ which directs traffic to the Hashtag Challenge(the third placement) which is the central hub for the challenge. The Hashtag Challenge aggregates all of the video submissions from all over the world in one place- making it easier for users to connect with other individuals and brands. 

Universal Pictures utilized TikTok’s Branded Hashtag Challenge to promote the movie, ‘The House with the Clock on the Walls’. 

5. Branded Effects

Branded effects enable brands to embrace their playful side with the creation of shareable branded stickers, filters, and effects that users can utilize in their own video content. These effects can be a standalone campaign or they can be integrated into your Branded Hashtag Challenge for a more rich ad experience. 

Similar to Hashtag Challenges, the power of Branded Effects lies in the fact that these formats go beyond being simply an ad  ̶ your audience becomes immersed and involved, resulting in much higher levels of engagement.

In the example below, KIA Russia wanted to promote a new car model in Russia with interactive Branded Effects


Кто тут самый-самый? 🔥 Покажи свой стиль в челлендже KIA встилеRIO!

♬ встилеRIO – KiaMotorsRussia

TikTok offers brands an effective way of communicating with their audience by helping brands engage with users through multiple ad formats that speak the TikTok language, seamlessly integrating with native content and delivering maximum results.

Ready to start advertising on TikTok? Contact us today!

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