It’s best to think of the Super Bowl as the Content Bowl; brands try to outdo each other with celebrity power, attempts at creating viral moments, and trailers for the biggest movies. This year, that included TikTok.
TikTok aired a 30-second Super Bowl commercial during the game, leaning into the realness of its creator base. The tagline at the end of the video suggests TikTok is “real athletes, real fans, and real videos.” The spot celebrated the short videos people take of going a “little extra during a touchdown” or the quirky things friends do when they hang out, giving a glimpse into the social media platform that is quickly dominating the world. If that wasn’t enough to sell just how much cache TikTok has amassed in just over a year, one of the app’s biggest creators — Charli D’Amelio — starred alongside mainstream celebrities and reality stars in a separate big Super Bowl commercial for Sabra Hummus.
Some people, like Justin Bieber, are also hoping that people will use commercial breaks during the Super Bowl to tune into TikTok for their own advertising campaigns of sorts. Bieber alerted fans on Instagram that during commercial breaks after a team calls a time out, “TikTok stars will create content to go along with ‘Yummy,’” to promote both Chipotle and the singer’s most recent single. Some TikTok stars participating in the campaign include David Dobrik, Zach King, Greg Auerbach, and Brittany Broski. Songs going viral on TikTok have led to massive success for musicians. Most notably, Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” partially found its viral success after becoming a popular TikTok song and dance.
TikTok is doing more for other massive corporate brands during the Super Bowl, though. The social media platform teamed up with companies like Mountain Dew, Hyundai, and Chipotle in the week leading up to the big game to provide even more advertising opportunities, according to AdAge. Mountain Dew created a specific effect that TikTok users can incorporate into their videos. Hyundai, which is reportedly running the first paid ad campaign on TikTok, produced a series of videos for the platform that stars Saturday Night Live’s Rachel Dratch performing the same role she does in Hyundai’s Super Bowl commercial.
TikTok has close to 1.5 billion users in total, with a large majority of those being newcomers to the app in 2019 alone. The app, which is facing criticism from members of the Senate over its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, is only continuing to grow. Having a presence at the Super Bowl has always been seen as a sign of success — and if that’s still true, TikTok is officially one of the big dogs.