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adidas tiktok launch

I launched adidas performance marketing on TikTok during the Back-to-School and Holiday season campaigns of 2021. We started with creator agencies but the content being delivered didn't meet our standards, so teamed up with affiliates and got budget in exchange for links. I went out on my own and contracted athletes and creators. Together, we concepted and filmed, and edited our own content. I was able to get it approved by adidas global integrated marketing and it performed better than the agencies' content by most metrics. 

young black adidas model

Back to school


I launched adidas Performance Marketing on TikTok using TikTok's Accelerator Program. The program paired adidas with a TikTok-partner creator agency, who sourced 12 creators for us to work with. I produced the creative brief, which had guidelines for content creation, as well as the mood and messaging for our Back-to-School campaign. I vetted the creators by researching their content, followers and engagement, and went through 2 rounds of editing. Two weeks after launch, TikTok was performing as well as our other platforms, and the metrics kept steady until we launched our Holiday campaign.



TikTok will generate traffic and leads as efficiently as our other platforms.




We want to test revenue efficiency on TikTok but we don’t have a pixel on the platform. There is a sense of urgency to get onto the platform, as TikTok is all about timely marketing. Rather than wait for pixel implementation, we used traffic and leads as a proxy for TikTok’s potential to generate revenue as efficiently as other platforms. We used the Global BTS campaign for the launch, followed by Holiday for phase 2.


Challenges: TikTok is unique in that the platform’s content is made quickly and inexpensively; and overly-curated content often does not perform well. Best practices suggest that the adidas toolkit creative could come off as out-of-touch on TikTok, so we used a creator agency to produce content for the campaign. The agency sub-contracted ‘creators,’ which are TikTok users who post regularly on the platform.

Campaign Objectives:


Lead Generation & Traffic


•Interest-based: Hats, Backpacks, Education, adidas

•Video Interactions: Beauty & Style, School Edu, Campus Life, Stay in Play remarketing

•Creator Interactions: Fashion & Beauty

•Suppressions: Creators Club Members



The BTS campaign yielded traffic and leads as efficiently as our other platforms and did well, overall.


  • Total Spend: $158,266.98

  • Impressions: 31,667,404

  • CPM: $5

  • Leads: 10,997, CPA: $4.03

  • Clicks: 333,583, CPC $0.34


  • Leads: Include strong, clear CTAs in both the voiceover and text

  • Traffic: Use multiple outfits varied backdrops, with quick transitions to keep the audience interested. Show detail of the clothing, and include movement - this can be fabric stretching, person walking, or background changing behind a static subject. 

Next Steps:

  1. Continue testing on the platform with our next global campaign – Holiday.

  2. If that campaign does well, implement the pixel and test ROI.

Image 1-19-23 at 11.42 AM.jpg





TikTok will continue through the holidays to generate traffic and leads as efficiently as our other platforms.



We refreshed the outdated BTS creative with holiday creative. We wanted our creative to maintain the native and authentic look and feel, but we wanted it to be holiday-oriented - incorporating the idea of gifting.



I didn't want to use the creator agency again for our holiday campaign because they delivered late on most aspects of the Back-to-School campaign, and I didn't perceive a value-add from working with them. 



I went to Affiliates and asked if I could run a partnership campaign with their team, in which I would source 3 creators from my network to work with, and I would produce content that would provide value for both teams.

They let me choose 2 of my own creators and they chose one. I created the briefs, wrote the contracts and OIs, conceptualized the TikTok screenplays, choose business units for each of the creators to support and helped them come up with ideas for the shoot.

I also sourced friends and my own product in order to create more videos, for free. More on sourcing and production below. 

brunette girl catching footbal in red adidas holiday sweatshirt

Give Joy Give Sport


The campaign was Holiday and our global tagline was Give Joy Give Sport. I wanted to use transitions, and incorporate gifting into the videos. I used a combination of paid creators and my friends and, for the most part we used my own adidas product, and product that I borrowed from friends. I kept the creative brief as loose as possible to give the creators full creative autonomy, while still providing ample instruction so that they could deliver content in alignment with adidas messaging, brand voice, and with our Give Joy Give Sport campaign. I was present for all except for 1 video so the creative process was collaborative in real time. 


See below for creative brief:

adidas holiday crestive brief
adidas tiktok launch learnings



We ran into supply chain issues and all of the creators except one ended up using my product, as well as props that I bought so that we could meet the deadline. The creators met me in San Francisco and we did full-day shoots. I also did another half-day shoot with my friends, who worked for free.


I produced 6 TikTok videos and 20 still images from the partnership campaign for adidas Paid Social, TikTok, and Affiliates, and we are budgeting at least $100k to start, with incremental funds pending performance.  

Campaign Objectives:


Lead Generation & Traffic



Initial Holiday traffic ads with Countdown Stickers yielded a 43% decrease in CPC ($0.17 CPC). Strong performance led us to allocate incremental funds. CPC rose but other metrics yielded positive results. 

  • Total Spend: $201,865.26

  • Impressions: 58,679,325

  • CPM: $3.44

  • Leads: 41,478, CPA: $4.88

  • Clicks: 522,539, CPC $0.38


  • Leads: Include strong, clear CTAs in the text

  • Traffic: Use multiple transitions and varied backdrops to keep the audience interested. 

Next Steps:

  1. Continue testing on the platform into 2022.

  2. Implement the pixel and test ROI.

Bamboo Leaves

click below to check out the individual campaign videos

*all links are to my personal tiktok and without the voiceover because the ads are no longer running on Adidas's account

Bamboo Leaves

overall learnings

The Process:

  • We need > 1 round of edits, especially for the first time we work with a creator / agency  (we might not need 2 rounds if we develop a relationship and work consistency with the creators / agency)



  • Content must look authentic to the platform (e.g. film on smartphone, native text overlay features, etc.)

  • Include strong, clear CTA’s, in both the voiceover & text, use multiple outfits & backdrops, detail, and movement within the videos help to keep the audience interested (transitions should happen every 2-4s)

  • Although creative preferences change often, Q4 2020 preference were to see motion and closeup shots of product (for example – shoes on-model, running, and leggings stretching)

  • 06-15s duration is where we see the peak performance, but video should be as long as needed to communicate the message

  • Start video with a strong hook in the first second, telling the user why they should watch the video and value they will earn (think of a hook like something that feels clickbait-y to pull the user in and stop the scroll)



  • We may not benefit from paying for creators with a large following, if we are posting a dark post on the adidas handle



  • All parties: the agencies, many of the creators, and adidas took substantially longer than planned for, in all parts of the process

  • Supply chain issues on the adidas side caused significant delays

  • See below for ideal and actual timelines:

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