Companies Doing It Right on TikTok

Discover how to connect with your audience on TikTok and expand your social media marketing to reach Gen Z.

By Kenny Goranson ・7 min read
Best Practices
Social Media

Are you struggling to connect with your audience?

Let us show you how to relate with that younger crowd while expanding your social media marketing with TikTok.

First, let's talk a bit about Gen Z and the kinds of things they like to see in a marketing campaign.

According to Datareportal, 57% of TikTok users are female, and 43% of their total audience is between 18 and 24 years old. Another 32% of users fall between 25 and 34 years old. 

Gen Z typically likes engaging, entertaining posts from brands that dare to be more on the bold side. They want a brand with some personality, and they tend to give back in the way of post engagement and/or shares of those posts.

TikTok has the highest engagement rates among the top platforms, with micro-influencers having engagement rates of 17.96% on TikTok, 3.86% on Instagram, and 1.63% on YouTube.

Why is this important?

Post engagement is a great way to build trust and loyalty with your following. It is also a great indicator that more people will see your posts since engagement allows posts to stand out and appear at the top or more pages. Higher engagement gets your content seen by more people and can lead to an increase in followers.

So, with that said, let's check out some of the top companies on TikTok and break down why their marketing tactics to the younger generation are successful.

Little Caesars Pizza

Little Caesars created the “Let’s Get Stuffed” campaign to bring awareness to the new stuffed crust pizza they would be offering.

They proved that any good marketing requires a well-thought-out strategy.

The Let’s Get Stuffed campaign used three phases: Seed, Engage, and Boost.

The seed phase was meant to find and recruit a superfan who would be a spokesperson for the campaign. This superfan would post engaging content encouraging their followers to participate, for example, by testing them with questions like how much pepperoni was in a glass. This TikTok competition proved a great way to improve customer engagement in their online marketing campaigns.

“Before officially launching our campaign, we ran a series of posts featuring inanimate glass objects stuffed with pepperoni and had people guess “How Much ‘Roni.” Fans didn’t know this, but in guessing a number, they were raising their chance to be surprised with their very own stuffed doppelganger.

In the engagement phase, Little Caesars selected the influencers who fit their brand best and sent them a life-sized stuffed doppelganger. The resulting doppelganger unboxing videos became a crucial piece of user-generated content used to create hype around the campaign. The fan reaction videos and Little Caesar's original content gained:

  • 63 million TikTok views and 82 million+ combined video views
  • 3.5 million+ video likes
  • 20K new followers on TikTok

During the boost phase, Little Caesars promoted its campaign with paid ads and encouraged shares in the comments section. This boosting led to additional awareness not only for the products but also for those participating.

For example, boosting the winner of the “How much roni” unboxing video led to the following success:

  • His followers went from just 2K to 70K
  • 8.5 million+ organic video views
  • His TikTok video ended up as #2 on Reddit /mildlyinteresting

By allowing the process to play out, Little Caesars was able to grow its following and build awareness with its Let’s Get Stuffed campaign. This campaign was a great way to generate a little buzz about an upcoming product while bonding with their current followers and customers. It also hit the mark in an entertaining, engaging way to grab the viewer's attention.

Honey Bunches of Oats

Honey Bunches of Oats’ #MakeABunchHappen campaign focused on the millennial audience on TikTok. By using a variety of influencers representing different lifestyles, they found they could focus on a smaller demographic within the platform and still hit their campaign goals. 

“We partnered with five TikTok creators and shared their stories of how they Make A Bunch Happen in their unique way: a goofy farmer who uses his channel for education, a stairwell siren who shares her talent with the world, a relatable mom who seeks to bring humor into every day, a self-care-focused college student who inspires others to take care of themselves, and a fashionista standing up for representation in the industry.”

The campaign focused on promoting millennials’ morning “me time” as an occasion to “make a bunch happen” in their world. Essentially, when you begin your day with a bunch (of Honey Bunches of Oats), you will “make a bunch happen” during your day. 

In addition, they invited TikTok users to show off how they “Make A Bunch Happen” in their lives by creating the #MakeABunchHappen hashtag challenge.

The #MakeABunchHappen campaign garnered 9.4B TikTok views (Yes, that’s a B at the end of the number) with +84MM unique reaches and 1.7MM videos created

With those numbers, it’s safe to say that this campaign was successful with the younger generations on TikTok.


Ampm aimed to raise awareness of the cult classic drink, horchata, offered on tap at their locations nationwide and make it the reason to visit their store. To do so, Ampm needed a marketing campaign that would grab the interest of a younger audience.

“For past promotions, Ampm has relied solely on cable TV, radio and Instagram/Facebook. But we knew we wouldn’t get our Gen Z target’s attention by following that script. We needed to not only run placements on TikTok but also create posts that were endemic to that specific channel. It took a lot of experimenting and convincing, but the result was two extremely effective video posts that took Ampm’s irreverent and wry tone and evolved it to work in a new (to them) media channel and to connect with a younger audience.

First, Ampm made National Horchata Day an official holiday on 9/24. Then, they threw a party called Fiesta de Horchata to celebrate the drink and drive traffic to their stores on 9/24 by encouraging their target audience to try horchata out for free.

The campaign gathered over 57.7MM impressions. The videos helped generate over 20M impressions and reach 7.2M users on TikTok. The campaign helped ad recall rise by 11.9% and increased purchase intent by 4.5%. Ampm accomplished all of this with only a fraction of the overall media budget.


Chevy’s marketing campaign for the redesigned Silverado reached a new audience and set an industry standard for social media marketing. 

Chevy partnered up with recording artist Breland - singer of the viral hit song “My Truck” - to help reach a younger audience for their marketing campaign for the Silverado. And reach they did.

“With 112M views, including 69M first-day impressions, Chevy cannonballed onto the scene. With a 36% higher watch time and an 88% higher engagement rate using the branded effect than the platform’s benchmarks, this campaign not only outperformed expectations, it set a new industry standard.”

While teaming up with a partner that was relevant to their audience, Chevy was the first automaker to break through on TikTok. They created a campaign specifically for the platform that would show off their new model of Silverado and show the younger audience that trucks aren’t just for the previous generations. They also encouraged TikTok users to engage with them on the platform, enabling casual viewers to become brand followers.

For a full breakdown, including additional statistics on the campaign, check out this video:

While most companies may not have the budget to hire a platinum recording artist, there is always an option to partner with a complementary brand and expand your reach on a new or current social media platform. 

Princess Polly

Princess Polly, an Australian online fashion retailer, supplies apparel and accessories to customers across the globe.

They have a no photoshop policy, which builds authenticity with its followers. By showing off its products and models for what they really are, they resonate with the younger generations. 

The brand ran a discount code campaign to achieve the following goals: engage a larger audience and drive traffic to their online store. They were able to measure the impact of the TikTok campaign against the discount code.

The campaign generated over 9 million impressions, a 1.05% click-through rate, and a 15X return on ad spend.

By running a simple discount campaign and investing in TikTok ads, Princess Polly made strides in increasing revenue and extending its brand reach on its primary platform.

Connecting with a young audience may, at times, seem impossible. However, through collaboration, with a little ad spend, your brand could be the next hit marketing campaign we are writing about!

So why not get started today?
If you don’t already have a ShortStack account, you can create a free account here to see how we can help your brand reach its goals and expand its reach.

About the author

By Kenny Goranson ・7 min read

Kenny is an integral part of ShortStack's small but mighty support team and brings a lifetime's worth of education and experiences to the table. He holds a degree in Marketing, a master’s degree in Educational Leadership, and has worked for organizations both large and small.

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