OG Anunoby slam dunks it for TikTok

Who: TikTok Canada, with Saatchi & Saatchi for creative, and Zenith for media.

What: “You have to see it,” a Canadianized version of a global campaign featuring celebrities and creators who are well known in Canada talking about different viral TikToks. Originally launched in the U.S. in mid-October by Publicis’s Le Truc, the campaign was adapted for Canada by Saatchi & Saatchi.

When & Where: The campaign is in market now until Feb. 22, with a big buy across TV, audio (podcast and radio) OOH, and, of course, lots of digital and social. Digital billboards describing various viral TikToks include QR codes that take smartphone users directly to the TikTok creator’s profile.

Why: TikTok has been on a steep growth curve the past couple of years, but wants to remind users how much entertaining Canadian content is on there and encourage non-users to give it a shot, while also elevating the Canadian creator community, said TikTok Canada’s director of marketing, Nadia Niccoli.

“The insight that really drove this campaign was this idea that we all know about those moments where you’re in a room [and], explaining something you just saw on TikTok to somebody, and it really is that words-don’t-do-it-justice moment,” said Niccoli. “TikTok really is a storytelling platform, so how can we really lean into that.”

How: The creative imagines someone trying to explain viral TikToks to someone who hadn’t seen them before. The launch ad in the U.S. was about a woman finding a secret apartment attached to her apartment. The Canadian broadcast spot has Toronto Raptors OG Anunoby and Chris Boucher talking about skating basketball dunker Robin Worling. (See the TV version below and the TikTok version here.)

TikTok users will have likely seen the hockey dunk before, so when they see Anunoby and Boucher talking about it, they feel like they’re on the inside and already get it, said Niccoli. For non-users, it’s about wanting to see what they’re talking about. (Worling, who has 260,000 followers on the platform, also posted a “duet” of the ad last week.) Michael Bublé stars in the radio creative (below), while Sangita Patel features in other executions.

“What we really wanted to do was build urgency and intrigue for non users, so that they can really start to understand more about this brand, but we also wanted to remind our community of how fun it is to be on the inside of the story,” said Niccoli.

Slam dunk performance: The famously deadpan Anunoby gives a surprisingly animated performance describing the TikTok to Boucher. The playful banter between the two makes viewers feel like they are seeing two friends talking about a favourite TikTok moment in an authentic way, said Niccoli. “People really see that side of a fan favourite player that we haven’t seen before, and that really feel special and different.”

Why a Canadian version for a global brand: “It really is about leaning into our community, and the heart and soul of our platform is our creators,” said Niccoli. “There is a cultural nuance and resonance to that, that we think Canadians will care about. And we want to tell stories they care about and will resonate with them.”

Michael Bublé “You have to see it.”

David Brown