Spark Ads 101: Make TikToks into ads

November 02, 2021
With Spark Ads, brands can grow through real connections with our community by delivering native content for greater authenticity.

Since the global launch of Spark Ads in July of 2021, brands have been using the unique ad format to drive brand discovery through real connection with the TikTok community.

Spark Ads offer the best of both worlds, allowing brands to create ads from organic TikToks while maintaining the native feel and functionality of organic posts — a powerfully authentic way to reach your audience and promote your business. 

Here we’ll walk through the basics of Spark Ads, what sets them apart from other ad formats, and lay out some best practices for making the most of TikTok’s revolutionary digital marketing format.

Content is the heart of TikTok

People come to TikTok to be entertained and TikTok videos lift their spirits more than any other platform.¹ TikTok content is so captivating because it's an immersive full-screen and sound-on experience. The platform's short form content gives viewers quick and engaging entertainment at anytime. This TikTok style content enables communities to connect from around the world in shared humor, interests, and passions. This creates a huge opportunity for brands to reach TikTok users with engaging native content.

Now, with Spark Ads, TikTok content can also connect brands with these communities. On TikTok, brands can show up as any other member of the community by leveraging the creativity and authenticity of native content to connect with users. Native ads allow brands to reach new audiences, inspire trends, and build loyal communities.

Endless creative discovery is what makes TikTok different. Nearly 9 in 10 TikTok users said that they discover new content that they enjoy while using the app, and around half of the users discover new products through advertisements posted by a product or brand.²

  • 🛍  84% of people have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a branded video.³

  • 📚  67% want a variety of different storytelling approaches from brands.⁴

  • 💌  52% of internet users want brands to be authentic.⁵

Meet Spark Ads

So, what exactly is Spark Ads? Spark Ads is a native ad format that allows advertisers to tap into authenticity by boosting organic content. This ad format allows the same user interactions as organic videos: users can comment, like and share; they can visit your brand's profile by swiping left, or clicking the handle name or profile picture; they can even follow your brand's account by clicking the + icon on the profile picture.

With Spark Ads, brands can grow through real connections with our community by delivering native content for greater authenticity. This is possible due to Spark Ads’ ability to combine the reach and scope of TopView and In-Feed Ads with the engagement and functionality of organic content.

TikTok users can also create a new video with the same soundtrack or co-create with you by making a Duet or Stitch. Just like regular In-Feed Ads, it's possible to add a call-to-action (CTA) button to drive users to a landing page. Plus, with the new Spark Ads interface, part of the landing page will be visible to users when they click through to your brand's profile. This added exposure to the landing page can in turn increase the ad's click-through rate.Spark Ads delivers enhanced ad performance compared to non-Spark Ads and efficient buying options, while weaving organic and paid strategies together.


The impact is clear: Spark Ads have a 134% higher completion rate and 157% higher 6-second view-through rate than standard In-Feed Ads.⁶ Spark Ads' new profile landing page UI also delivers a 69% higher conversion rate and 37% lower CPA than ever before.⁷


So how do you know when to promote your own brand account's organic videos or a creator's organic videos?

Here are some scenarios to help you decide: 

Boost your brand's organic posts as Spark Ads when:

  • You want to build social presence fast on TikTok and grow your following

  • You have a mix of marketing objectives, and want to retarget followers later in lower-funnel campaigns

  • You're running an always-on strategy that combines organic and paid methods

Boost a creator's organic posts when:

  • You want to scale your campaign with the  impact of TikTok creators

  • You want to add paid traffic to your branded creator content to maximize ROI from your partnership

  • You need to supply a campaign with high-quality, native-feeling branded videos

Launching Spark Ads is easy

Learn everything there is to know about launching Spark Ads by checking out our Spark Ads Creation Guide here!

How to bring Spark Ads to life

Spark Ads allows brands to maximize the success of existing content, so it is important to choose the right TikTok video to boost.

We know it can be hard to pick out the best TikTok videos. After reviewing more than 500 top-performing Spark Ads, we came up with some guidelines and observations to set you on the right track.

Here are three starting points to keep in mind before you start a new campaign:

  • Select TikTok videos that can reinforce your brand message.

  • Find your fit among TikToks that can reinforce your brand message.

  • Look beyond your vertical and choose creators and content relevant to your potential audience.

  • Plan a diverse content strategy, from viral dances to product tutorials, to hit every high note along your consumer journey.

  • Choose videos that have garnered strong organic performance whether it be a high number of views, likes, comments or shares.

  • Use the Trend Discovery Tool to learn about what's trending on the platform for your audience and industry

6 creative tips for launching Spark Ads

1. Embody authenticity and positivity

Almost all of the best-performing Spark Ads tell their stories in emotionally appealing ways. A Spark Ad with a lighthearted and positive undertone is more likely to resonate with viewers.

Vegan beauty brand Isle of Paradise already saw organic viral success on TikTok for its Glow Drops product. They reached out directly to a series of creators from the TikTok Creator Marketplace and who had already created organic testimonials about Glow Drops, and worked with them to repurpose their content for the campaign.

The brand then used TikTok Ads Manager to launch Spark Ads featuring the original creator videos and user-generated content. Results included a 500% ROI, 45 million video views, and a 68% increase in revenue per week.

2. Be entertaining

To launch a new ready-to-bake cookie dough product line, Supermarket chain Shufersal collaborated with a popular foodie TikTok creator who produced four organic TikTok videos for the brand's account, each showcasing a different recipe. The tone and style of the videos was a perfect fit for TikTok, incorporating entertaining recipe trends such as quick editing and the use of ASMR sounds.

As a second step, Shufersal partnered with three more creators who were all asked to "Duet" one of the videos, and show their own version. Those videos were then promoted as Spark Ads to gain maximum visibility and impact.

Shufersal saw an increase of 251% in sales compared to the two weeks prior to the campaign. The share of online sales spiked from 10% to 37%, providing a significant boost to the brand's e-commerce channel.

3. Get the soundtrack right

The second you open TikTok, it's a sound-on journey. TikTok unleashes the power of music. Most top trends in the community have a catchy track. To make production easier for you, TikTok has thousands of commercially-licensed tracks ready for you to use. You can even think about telling your story through music and sounds, like by re-contextualizing lyrics or interpreting them literally.

Monnalisa needed to raise widespread brand awareness for its latest fashion lines. The brand collaborated with three hugely popular Italian creators, asking them to perform a dance routine in a brand new Monnalisa outfit and post it to their existing followers. The creative was simple but effective, set to a funky new music track, and associating Monnalisa outfits with something fun, current and popular. Adding Spark Ads led to a resounding success, reaching over 1.5 million users and 8 million impressions.

4. Build upon the latest trends

Many of the best videos are rooted deeply in existing platform trends and co-developed with the community. Utilizing new trending effects, editing styles, or storylines in Spark Ads can be a true performance driver. To ride on these trends, monitor trending topics and plan for fast turnarounds. The TikTok community values timeliness over perfection!

Bridal jewellery retailer James Allen wanted to convert new users across a series of soft conversion events on their website, including newsletter sign up, ring completion and add to cart. The brand launched a prospecting campaign, showcasing its engagement rings and website, with creative based on a popular trend using voiceover and text box to give it a native tone and style.

James Allen utilized Spark Ads, which helped to improve campaign performance, resulting in a higher CTR (+ 25%) and higher CVR (+ 24%) compared to non-Spark Ads. The CPM was also lower by 66% and CPC was lower by 67% on TikTok compared to James Allen's other social advertising channels.

5. Overlay concise and informative text

Stories on TikTok are told in fast-paced, visual ways. Adopt this editing style by including text overlays in your videos and work with effects or stickers.

Photomyne wanted a new way of creating high-performing content at low production costs while increasing app installs. To achieve these goals, Photomyne used TikTok Creator Marketplace to partner with creators on Spark Ads. With 12 organic posts from 10 mid-tier creators, Photomyne began serving the best-performing videos as Spark Ads via TikTok's auction platform in order to maximize targeting capabilities and reach.

The innovative approach resulted in a 5x increase in video views and 2x increase in engagement. Photomyne also achieved an impressive 27.5% conversion rate for app installs and was able to decrease CPA by 50%.

6. Spark interactions by breaking the 4th wall

What makes TikTok content unique is how creators address the community directly, often looking the audience straight in the eye. Some of the top Spark Ads feature creators demonstrating product features in a real dialogue with viewers. In this format, creators can ask questions and provoke reactions.

Schwarzkopf wanted to promote its LIVE Colour hair dye range. The transformation trend was already big on TikTok. So to show up natively on the platform and tap into what was already trending with our community, Schwarzkopf harnessed the creativity of top lifestyle creators. Each creator posted two TikToks, the first showing the audience the steps to dye their hair and the second highlighting the creator's transformation.

As part of its test-and-learn strategy with the platform, the Schwarzkopf team ran an A/B test across traditional In-Feed Ads and Spark Ads to determine which solution was best suited for this campaign. This test proved that Spark Ads were more effective in driving results for the brand.

Turn up the flexibility and efficiency with your next campaign. Boost videos in ways that fit your campaign objectives.  You're in charge.

👉 Visit Spark Ads in the Business Help Center to learn more.

👉 Check out the Spark Ads FAQ for quick answers.


  1. Nielsen custom Authenticity Study commissioned by TikTok, Persons 18+, 5/1/2020 - 6/19/2020

  2. Nielsen custom Authenticity Study commissioned by TikTok, Persons 18+, 5/1/2020 - 6/19/2020

  3. State of Video Marketing 2021, Wyzowl, 2021

  4. Creative Variety Study, Celtra, 2020 Q3

  5. Global Internet User Data, Global Web Index, 2021 Q1

  6. 2022 Spark Ads Internal AB Test Result Data - Brand Auction

  7. 2022 Spark Ads Internal AB Test Result Data - Performance Auction