TikTok: An Internet Age Truman Show.


Submitted by: Natalie Roth-Charron

In a 2020 eMarketer study, 91 % of American Marketers claimed to use social media marketing and 67% used influencer media. In a mere 12 months TikTok has gained a significant piece of this pie when it comes to both social media and influencer marketing and continues to illustrate the power of its far reach.

Why does TikTok work? Why have multiple generations become hypnotized by these 15-60 second videos? The geniuses at TikTok themselves state “don’t make ads, make TikToks!” as they are (likely gleefully) aware of the genuine audience their platform has created.

One answer could be that consumers love to see themselves reflected in the content they digest. Tik Tok continues the ideology (that Instagram started) where consumers are closing the gap, bursting the bubble if you will, between the “Famous” and the rest of the world. We are the creators, producers, and copywriters, of all the content. One video could “go viral” at any time and change your digital (and physical) life!

Although Instagram is still hailed as American Marketers #1 place to advertise or engage in influencer marketing, Tik Tok has something truly special to offer marketers or individual businesses looking for influencers to help them reach their sales goals.

Authenticity, inclusivity, and engagement.

Businesses who create Tik Tok accounts and create content become part of the users native experience – this means not having to interrupt the consumer with an ad, but rather become part of the flow. If you catch someone’s eye and they create content about your product, you just earned yourself a free advertisement. If their content catches someone else’s eye, and they do the same…. the spiral could continue into an endless stream of popularity and sold-out product!

Popular “Celebrity” TikTok-ers also have influencer opportunities that the Instagram world has been seeing for years. Random TikTokers also willingly promote brands for free, in the hopes of going viral and then landing paid work. Both scenarios boast this big difference: the community, the engagement and the proven conversions from that engagement into sales. So whether you are already internet famous, or making your first video, the TikTok algorithm creates opportunities to be seen by similar people who will more than likely support you.

Take for examples these products that saw sell-outs after being featured on the app.

“The TikTok leggings” – These Amazon leggings sold out multiple times. Here is one of the hundreds, maybe even thousands of creators (@Lillian_ee) who reviewed the leggings (Note the over 200,000 views and 10,000+ likes):


If you’re wondering what the popular Tik Tok leggings look like on a plus size body: I got you! #tiktokleggings #fatbodies #plussize

♬ original sound – Lillian💕

And then there are the Maybelline Sky High Mascara reviews, this one in particular is done by @Rocio.roses (13.2 million views 1.4 million likes):

Speaking from personal experience, I could not find this mascara in any drug store for MONTHS (if you care about my opinion… it’s just OK).

TikTok strives to diminish the lines between the celebrity/fan membrane. We become closer than ever to our idols and closer to being an idol. It reminds me of an internet age Truman Show. We root for our favourite characters and accept the inevitability of advertisements as they are just part of the natural territory. There is no pushback to the ads, native or sponsored, because they entertain us, include us and shape us…