February 17, 2021


Erica Perry


This year, social media will play perhaps the greatest role in customer marketing and advertising of all time. To be successful, marketers need a clear understanding of how consumer behavior has changed on social media, which platforms they are now turning to, and they are confident they have the tools and resources to stay agile to handle the Address the changing digital landscape and the emerging creative movement.

Facebook and TikTok recently released announcements to this end, focusing on new partnerships and product updates. Here we break them down and how they help brands achieve excellence in 2021 and beyond.

Pioneer for digital growth, brand security and innovative campaigns

On TikTok's official blog, where the news will be posted, the company's latest partnership with WPP customers will offer "unique access and features" on the platform. In particular, the holding company will have early access to promotional products that TikTok is developing, including API integrations and next-generation formats, including augmented reality offerings.

The news comes about a month after WPP announced its five-year growth plan, which underscores its commitment to further expansion into the "high-growth areas" of commerce, experience and technology. These areas currently account for 25% of the business, but WPP wants them to account for up to 40% by 2025. How does the company plan to get there? At the time, WPP pointed to digital as the main driver that it – as opposed to traditional – would highlight.

GroupM, WPP's media buying arm, will play an important role in the brand safety partnership. The company will work closely with TikTok to establish a process for adhering to the GARM framework for brand safety and suitability, thoroughly evaluate integrations with third-party verification providers, and develop meaningful first-party inclusion and exclusion controls. In a broader sense, companies will also be conducting market-leading research to guide brands on best practices and equip them with data-driven strategies to fuel audience engagement and innovation opportunities.

Deeper insights, different voices and early access

"More and more brands around the world are experiencing the impact TikTok is having to create moments that not only shape culture but also add business value," said Blake Chandlee, vice president of global business solutions at TikTok. "We both have a common goal: we want to run great campaigns for our customers that are authentic to our growing audience, stimulate creativity and bring joy," he continued.

What steps are the two in the partnership taking to achieve this mission?

First and foremost, TikTok explains that it will work with the app's "Creator Community" to provide exclusive opportunities for WPP's customers. In addition, WPP teams will have "access to bespoke training and certification programs run by the TikTok team to ensure they are delivering top-notch strategies to their clients".

To promote diversity and create exclusive opportunities to collaborate with select advertisers, WPP will be the Lead Agency Development Partner for new developer-focused APIs that “incorporate WPP's market-leading brand security methodology while providing unique brand signals for brands and marketers use".

Exclusion controls for advertising topics in the newsfeed

While TikTok relies on content development, other platforms focus on product development dedicated to privacy and security.

For example, Facebook announced in a new push its test of advanced controls for excluding advertising topics, which businesses can use to prevent their ads from appearing alongside specific topics in the news feed based on their branding preferences.

This type of process would help the platform more accurately and effectively define the ad that is being served on the platform, especially in the newsfeed. "A children's toy company may want to avoid content related to a new crime series so that they can choose the 'crime and tragedy' theme," the announcement said.

For those who keep track of things, Facebook currently offers exclusions for "news", "politics", "games" and "religious and spiritual" content for video campaigns. Given that the latest test covers a much more specific set of categories and the variability and personalization of the newsfeed, that effort will likely take some time to get right. "This product development and testing and learning in newsfeeds will take much of the year to complete," said the company.

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