5 D2C Ad Trends We're Seeing on TikTok

With the release of TikTok’s Creative Center, we’ve been taking a deep dive into the Top Ads section to find some trends in what is working on the platform. It’s a great resource for brainstorming new ad ideas for your ads.

With the release of TikTok’s Creative Center, we’ve been taking a deep dive into the Top Ads section to find some trends that are working on the platform. It’s unclear how specifically this section is being populated, but there are a lot of great filters that allow you to hone in on specific industries (apparel, travel, etc) , conversion objectives (traffic, app installs, off-site conversions), and formatting (duration, aspect ratio, etc). The section spans all advertisers and can be sorted by reach, engagement, and 6-second view rate. It’s a great resource for brainstorming new ad ideas for your ads. We focused on identifying some trends we’ve been noticing in the D2C space and wanted to share some examples and callouts as to what makes these ads work.

Note: all of the images link out to the full ad


A tried and true ad format that I’m sure a lot of advertisers have run before. But what’s great about the unboxing format is that it gives you a great hook without a ton of work. It creates a desire for the user to find out what exactly is in the box, allows you to visually show off your product, and squeeze in a quick value prop or two. What’s great about this example is how short it is, clocking in at only 15 seconds, it quickly speeds through a lot of information. Visually it shows off a wide range of products and by leveraging the voice over is able to get through quite a few value props in a short amount of time. 

Comment Response

This is a format I think we’ll start to see a lot more of in the near future. What we particularly like about it is how similar it is to content that normally shows up on user’s For You Feed. If you spend a considerable amount of time on TikTok, the algorithm does a pretty good job of showing users replies to comments from creators whose content you consistently consume. So there’s a natural tendency to stick around longer, even if the ad is coming from a brand a user might not be familiar with. 

Online to In-Person

A format we’re seeing a lot especially with apparel brands. What’s great about this format is that it naturally creates a level of trust with the users. By transitioning from a screenshot of a PDP to a real life shot of the product, it allows a user to have a better understanding of the product (fit, color, etc). What’s also really interesting about it is it gives the user the opportunity to preview what the on-site experience is like. Even though those screenshots are only on screen for a few seconds, users have an idea of what to expect once they click on the ad. 

With Us/Me

A variation on a traditional How To style ad, but opens in a way that’s more natural to the platform. By leaning into a more influencer style opening, users are less likely to immediately realize that they’re watching an ad. What’s impressive about this example is that each step either solves a problem or answers a question, all while managing to show off multiple products. The speed at which it does this is also very important. A lot of advertisers with experience on other platforms might not be used to the breakneck speed of content on TikTok, but this is a great example of how to pace an ad to fit in a ton of information in a short amount of time. 

Stills with Over the Top Transitions

One of the biggest difficulties for a lot of brands is actually shooting content that feels natural on TikTok. What’s great about this format is you don’t really need to shoot any new footage. By leveraging brand assets that advertisers probably already have access to, all that’s needed is a solid video editor to get these made. Just pair those up with some of the pre-cleared music already on Tiktok and let a video editor run wild. 

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