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Special Project

Special Project
From the 13th Annual Shorty Awards

Totino’s Brings the Weird to TikTok

Audience Honor in TikTok Presence


At the start of 2020, Totino’s didn’t have a presence on TikTok. And while we’ve grown an engaged following on Instagram and Twitter with more than double the benchmarks for industry engagement rate through strategically tapping into meme culture, there was no guarantee that this success would translate to TikTok, which would require us to go all in on content strategy and video production.


Since Totino’s target audience is teens and TikTok was exploding in popularity, our team acted with agility to adopt the platform early and create a presence for Totino’s. In April of 2020, Totino’s officially joined TikTok, developed a tailored strategy, and began publishing content.

Our goal on TikTok: Build and grow an engaged audience through funny, relatable videos.


Strategy and Execution

Totino’s took the unique, slightly absurd humor that it’s known for on other platforms and went all-in on TikTok. To keep content cohesive, we made sure every TikTok communicated something relatable and/or a love for pizza rolls, even if in a slightly wild way. 


In order to inform our TikTok strategy, we used our current overarching content pillars that we know work for us on other channels and tailored them to be specific for TikTok. We made sure every video communicated something relatable and/or a love for pizza rolls, even if in a slightly absurd way. 


Keys to Totino’s success on TikTok:

Innovate + Experiment

Totino’s was the first brand on TikTok to create a gamified effect, where people earned points for catching digital pizza rolls in their mouth. To date, the effect has been used in over 22,000 videos. With a majority of the world spending time indoors this past year, it’s no surprise that Nielsen Games Video Game Tracking reported a 46% increase in usage between March and June 2020. We recognized this as a massive opportunity to capitalize on a new audience and to tap into the consumer mindset.



Our TikTok strategy incorporates three key aspects that make up our recipe for success, we combine a relatable consumer truth with a humorous angle that leverages trending elements of TikTok. We also create our content to have a specific look and feel that appears to be native content our teen audience can relate to. This translated into a PSA reminding people to wait for their pizza rolls to cool down, a parody of Shark Tank to promote Totino’s collaboration with teen-favorite brand, Takis, and dozens of other videos. 



We tapped into the collaborative aspect of TikTok by sourcing ideas from our audience for our “pizza roll dip taste test” series, which has over 500k combined views. Additionally, we experimented with different trending elements of TikTok including duet and stitch, encouraging our audience to show us how they eat, prepare, and love our product.



Having started 2020 without a TikTok profile or even plans to join the platform, Totino’s ended the year with more followers on TikTok than we have on Instagram or Twitter, solely leveraging an organic strategy and content to date. The follower growth combined with millions of organic views and engagements has led to TikTok now becoming a primary focus for Totino’s.


Total Organic Results to Date:


Metrics from Top 3 Videos:

Takis Teaser: 2.6 million views, 542.4K likes, 21.3K comments, 29.9K shares

Charcuterie Board: 593.9K views, 164.5K likes, 4.7K comments, 1.5K shares

Taste Test: 453.1K views, 107.4K likes, 3k comments, 112 shares



Video for Totino’s Brings the Weird to TikTok

Entrant Company / Organization Name

General Mills, The Social Lights


Entry Credits