The challenge

Our initial challenge was to resonate with a new and untapped audience for Hilton and drive engagement by creating a campaign that was unique to TikTok and relevant and relatable for its audience.

Launching a travel campaign in October 2021 post-lockdown whilst there was still travel uncertainty in itself was a challenge; and we needed to differentiate ourselves from competitors to ensure we created an optimistic and light-hearted tone to celebrate the return of travel.


increased watch time across various methods




viewer retainability

The approach

We started with an insight and research phase, focused on diving deeper into how our audience were already using the platform; what kind of travel and holiday content were they already sharing and how could this help us engage with them? We found that users who were posting about travel were generally looking for fun, light-hearted content with a humorous tone and real, relatable experiences. Additionally, we knew we didn’t want to conform to the types of travel adverts we were seeing arise by competitors which mainly focused on travel restrictions and concepts related to the ‘Dream Now, Travel Later’ look and feel. We wanted to celebrate the restrictions starting to lift and create something optimistic, light-hearted, and relatable.

We also knew we wanted to launch this campaign with a bang to drive strong ad-recall and increase consideration for Hilton. Our creative was shot in a way that felt natural and organic to the platform, using recognisable creators in the content such as Ehiz who has over 12.4M followers featuring in our hero asset. Therefore, we felt that the media also had to be high impact and high reach and this lead us to use some of TikTok’s highest impact formats such as TopView on the day of the launch and OneDayMax to continue that high impact momentum whilst maintaining an always on presence through auction buys

The outcome

We surpassed TikTok’s benchmark performance in terms of average watch time by over 20% across all three methods: Topview, OneDayMax and the auction activity. Over the course of 6 weeks we generated over 11m views (126% against plan) and generated a six second VTR of 15.94% - over 166% higher than TikTok’s average performance.

We’d also shifted brand metrics with over 23% of people who viewed the ads remembering them two days later, with Kantar’s norm here being 5%, this was a significant increase.  We were also able to successfully shift brand favourability by 4.7%, meaning people were more likely to favour Hilton over competitors if they had seen our ads. Kantar’s benchmark of success here is +1.7%.

Want to see more?