TikTok Took On Social – Next Up Is TV; Millennials Will be Haunted By Nostalgia Brands

Contextual advertising

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TikTok, TikTok Everywhere

While other social platforms emulate TikTok’s short-form video tactics, TikTok is trying to be more like TV. (Really, it doesn’t consider itself a social media platform.)

Extending the max video length to ten minutes earlier this year was one move. TikTok also recently announced TikTok Pulse, curated inventory alongside top viral content. TikTok TopView ads, the first placement on a user’s feed, cost millions of dollars per day.  

TikTok is also now available on some smart TVs, including Vizio devices (although it’s not selling ads there just yet) and Amazon Fire TV, as of last November. The platform dipped its toes in studio production with a comedy series that debuted last month.

But TikTok’s TV journey won’t be easy. Unlike YouTube, which calls on Google ad sales, TikTok has to build up a brand-facing business.  

TikTok also has to convince TV ad buyers – a wary, risk-averse group, in general – to take it seriously.

Part of TikTok’s uphill battle involves proving its distribution potential by expanding its reach and scale across TV screens. The key distribution partner there would be Roku, Insider reports. Oh, and learning how to film horizontal-oriented content.

Nostalgia Or Nightmare

Now that millennials are parents (even Gen Zers, heaven help us), there’s a wave of branded movie franchises and TV series, sometimes with huge star power, based on ’90s-era toys and games. It’s going to be pretty bad. 

Photos from the set of Barbie, based on the Mattel toy and starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken, blew up on social media last week. 

Without even leaving Mattel toy lines, Lena Dunham is writing and directing a movie based on Polly Pocket; Vin Diesel will star in a Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots movie; Warner Brothers and Bad Robot, J.J. Abram’s production company, announced a live-action Hot Wheels movie is in the works. And there’s an action heist comedy based on the card game UNO starring rapper Lil Yachty. 

The trend isn’t exactly new. There was a Food Network show based on the game Candy Land. Ouija conjured up a movie and a sequel. Those board-game-inspired films followed the huge flop that was the Battleship movie. And those are just Hasbro projects. 

If anyone is to be blamed – and someone must be held responsible for such violence – the guilty party is probably Lego for producing hit movies and shows.

What Do You Mean, Unsuitable?

The Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, and another reversing environmental regulation enforcement, shines a light on contextual and brand suitability technology that, in practice, demonetizes important news and disincentivizes key coverage topics.  

The advertising industry – old-school Madison Avenue to digital startups – consists of vocal LGTBQ supporters. But common keyword blocklists punish the entire LGBTQ publishing niche

Some advertisers pulled back or halted campaigns after the reversal of Roe v. Wade, Digiday reports. To avoid partisan conflict, some brands added SCOTUS justices’ names and court-related terms to their blocklists. 

Holding steady on a campaign during a tense political moment can come off as oblivious – “You’re going to serve me this ad here of all places?! And now?!” 

Mekanism, a performance agency, says it recommends customers update blocklists and put a hold on organic content promotion on social that “does not expressly address the issue.” 

The war in Ukraine started similar tough conversations about supporting journalism and the web (after all, TV news ads are bought without a care about being tarred by the coverage topics) and the responsibility of programmatic tech being used to strip a subset of articles and videos of ad revenue.

But Wait, There’s More!

Group Black, which invests in black-owned media, eyes bigger acquisitions, including even Vice Media or Bustle owner BDG. [WSJ]

Meta slashes hiring plans, girds for ‘fierce’ headwinds. [Reuters]

Ofcom considers longer and more frequent TV ad breaks. [Independent]

NielsenIQ – which Nielsen sold last year – to undergo private merger with Germany-based retail company GfK. [Ad Age]

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