By the beginning of 2022, TikTok was no longer a plucky, upstart social media platform that was only used by Gen-Zers. It was now a driving cultural force and trends like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt only gave it more credibility as a platform that all brands could succeed and sell product on.
For Maytag, TikTok was an obvious platform to be on, as Covid had produced an entire new generation of consumers sharing homecare hacks and cleaning tips. It only took a global pandemic, but #cleantok, #pettok and #diytok made for a natural entry point for Maytag.
Enter the Maytag® Pet Pro System. With a new product launch on the horizon, Maytag had the perfect opportunity to bring a new product to an audience that already loved to talk about pets (Don’t search #PetTok if you’re in a hurry).
The specific goals to support our launch included:
Drive awareness and engagement with the Maytag® Pet Pro System landing page. The campaign was focused on moving consumers through the purchase funnel in support of the launch so we used promoted TikTok ads to take people from the app to the website in one click.
Our plan was three-fold:
Unpack how the #PetTok community behaves to understand what they like, how they speak, and, perhaps most importantly, how we can become a part of it. From that, it was clear we’d have to showcase pet hair – and the solution – while keeping pets as the hero.
Understand our problem – getting pet hair on clothes – through the lens of how people communicated on TikTok. That led us to build for a sound-on environment where the visual cues (burnt-in supers, multiple settings) and audio worked together to tell a tight story.
Consider all of this through the lens of what makes a good branded TikTok. These videos were going to be promoted – but that didn’t mean they had to look and feel like ads. In fact, we knew the opposite approach would be more likely to find us success.
When we combined all those learning and insights together, the output allowed us to create two videos that made the Maytag account TikTok famous:
The first of our two videos employed two trends that were popular at the time: green-screen filter and ASMR. We used the Maytag Man in his familiar voiceover role, but put him front and center to mimic the popular green-screen-like effect. This gave our videos an organic feel, while also leveraging celebrity with thumb-stopping qualities. We paired this with two seconds of ASMR-like hair removal to open the video. We knew we had branding in the form of the Maytag Man being on screen, which allowed for more creative freedom in how we paced the opening. This allowed us to create a soothing visual-audio effect via the hair removal that would grab and keep viewers' attention.
The second video was also built around critical Tiktok trends to allow us to stand out with our audience: pacing, audio, and transitions. 15 seconds is a short window to introduce and educate on a new product; we relied on burnt-in supers, pets, and their humans, and multiple settings to keep the action packed for a TikTok audience and consumers engaged. For audio, part of the fun on TikTok is using trending sounds. We wanted to participate in this and the “meow” effects were an added way to cue storytelling elements within our video. Transitions have remained a part of TikTok since its inception; having the familiar “ding” sound initiate the Maytag Man turning into the Maytag® Pet Pro System was another nod to our presence on TikTok being built specifically for TikTok.
It was also a deliberate choice to show the product and pets in both videos to reinforce to our viewers that we understand that pet hair is an issue and to visually showcase the solution.
Across both videos, we relied on both human and animal talent. Unfortunately, character counts will limit us recounting the many unique challenges this proposed – but just know you can teach a cat how to fist-pump in four days.
The campaign was a huge success across every measurable metric.
From a paid standpoint, the videos exceeded their 6-second view-through rate benchmark by 275%. This, in addition to a cost per view of under $.05, made this not only one of our most efficient campaigns but also one of our most engaged.
To date, the videos have earned over 43 million views. In total, the campaign earned over 67K likes and we have gained 5K fans to our account.
Overall, the TikTok campaign drove a +6.4 lift in ad recall and +2.2 lift in brand association in a brand lift study.
Less quantifiable but just as important: the launch happened the right way for the platform. A lot of brands will eschew platform best practices, trends, or actual consumer benefits just to chase being first somewhere. By taking the time to understand what consumers on TikTok want and how we can best intersect with that, we allowed the content to really shine, and the results speak to that.