Automotive manufacturers are leaning into social media platforms such as TikTok to promote product offerings to targeted demographics with curated content as a supplement to national campaigns.
Nissan Motor Co. utilizes TikTok to target younger consumers despite controversies swirling around the China-based social media giant, Allyson Witherspoon, corporate vice president of global marketing, brand and merchandising for Nissan, said at the NY Automotive Forum in New York on Tuesday.
“The reality is that none of these [social media] platforms are perfect,” Witherspoon said. “Once consumers are there, they’re going to drive where they’re looking for brand information. We will also be there. We have to be mindful on how we create that content.”
TikTok “is not a place for commercials,” she said.
Hyundai Motor America also creates custom content for TikTok that supplements the Korean OEM’s national marketing campaigns, Chief Marketing Officer Angela Zepeda said at the forum.
For example, Hyundai launched a national EV campaign featuring actor Kevin Bacon and his daughter, Sosie Bacon, during the NFL’s division championship games ahead of the Super Bowl and then created additional “behind the scenes” content on TikTok to drive continued engagement, Zepeda said.
One such reel involved Sosie interviewing her father about 2023 lingo. Another showed Bacon trying different wardrobes backstage before settling on the outfit that appeared in the final commercial.
TikTok has more than 150 million daily active users in the United States and more than 5 million small- and medium-size businesses use the platform, TikTok Chief Executive Shou Chew said in a March 21 TikTok video ahead of his testimony before U.S. Congress. Policymakers have raised questions about TikTok’s safety for young users, data protection and potential Chinese government influence on the platform.
TikTok was banned from government phones late last year, and House Republicans have been pushing for a bill that would allow President Joe Biden to ban the app in the U.S.
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