Organized chaos on TikTok

Engaging an audience that holds a distaste for advertisements and sponsored content to the extent that they willingly engage and appreciate branded content poses a significant challenge for all brands, including bol. By embracing Gen Z’s distinctive perspective on branded content and crafting a wholly distinctive channel-specific tone-of-voice, bol managed to carve a niche in the hearts of younger demographics.

An audience that can simply scroll away

Bol discovered the difficulty in capturing Gen Z’s attention due to their aversion to ads; they consider them overly commercial. This generation seems to possess an inherent ability to detect advertisements from a mile away, making it an even more significant challenge for bol. In today’s scrollable and swipe-able social media landscape, audiences no longer need to endure ads. Consequently, bol aimed to create TikTok content that would genuinely engage this generation instead of being dismissed with a swipe or a scroll.

The Holy Trinity of TikTok

To create TikTok content that our audience would genuinely interact with, we developed a channel-specific approach tailored explicitly for TikTok—a distinct tone-of-voice and visual style tailored to resonate with the Gen Z audience on this platform. To speak the same language as Gen Z, we looked to the three key pillars of TikTok success.

01 Follow the trends
TikTok serves as the birthplace of internet trends. Armed with an in-depth understanding of these trends, we engaged our audience in a dialogue rather than merely pushing content their way. This approach transformed our presence from just another brand to a more relatable entity with each post.

02 A Sound-First Platform
Music plays a pivotal role on TikTok. To leverage this, our TikTok content focused primarily on audio. While other social platforms prioritize visuals or text, TikTok often starts by selecting music or a viral sound before anything else. Bol capitalized on this with text-to-speech storytelling, musical reviews, and the Marcellied.

03 Niche Communities
Niche communities no longer remain confined on TikTok. Every other week, one explodes, becoming mainstream and finding its way into our audience’s feeds.

Of course, this trinity isn’t all that’s required to thrive on TikTok. On TikTok, you need a generous dose of randomness, a healthy dollop of humor, some ‘shitposting’ (excuse our French), and an ability to embrace the absurdity of the TikTok world. Armed with this shopping list, we jumped on online trends faster than the duration of a TikTok video.

Executing the strategy of organized chaos

In executing this strategy of organized chaos, we endeavored to make each TikTok as authentic as possible. We opted for phones instead of professional cameras, adopting a chaotic rookie-level editing style over polished cinematic transitions. Our content exuded a DIY vibe, tapping into TikTok’s audio-centric nature through musical reviews and a Flippie Floep remix, a spin-off from our TV commercial.

The success of bol’s TikTok account not only lies in its participation in relevant trends on the platform but also in its creation of an entirely new viral internet culture. Since unveiling an “unboxing TikTok” featuring Dikkie Dik, the community consistently clamored for more Dikkie Dik content. And we listened: more content revolving around the orange cat ensued, leading to increased positive reactions and searches for Dikkie Dik products.

“I love this ad”

The fact that bol independently curated internet culture is notably evident in our Marcel content. Since naming a cat-shaped cat brush Marcel in one of our TikTok videos, our audience has fervently demanded more Marcel content, adoring Marcel tirelessly. So much so that everyday consumers started purchasing the cat brush so frequently that demand couldn’t keep up, and fan accounts for Marcel emerged.

The success of bol’s TikTok account is both quantitative and qualitative. In the comments, we frequently encounter remarks such as: “Why isn’t this ad on TV?” “This ad is fantastic,” “The person behind this ad deserves recognition,” and so on. The enthusiasm of our audience is also reflected in concrete data. The number of followers surged from 146.5k on March 1, 2022, to 333,000 currently! Bol’s TikTok account consistently garners 50,000 likes per video, with the most liked video nearing 64k likes. At our peak, we acquired over four thousand followers per newly posted TikTok.

We won the hearts of Gen Z by showcasing bol’s understanding of their culture. Instead of a one-way broadcast, we engage in a continual dialogue. For instance, using comments as a launching pad for new videos, speaking their language by tapping into Gen Z trends, and even introducing new ‘vocabulary’ in the form of viral Dikkie Dik and Marcel content.

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Creative Director

Nina de Ridder

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