Pepsi, Starbucks as well as McDonald’s use TikTok challenges to motivate individuals to market unhealthy food

While TikTok was as soon as seen as an application for teenagers, a lot of the globe’s largest brands have realised its possibility for reaching a vast target market as well as have actually launched their very own accounts.

Now, a research study has revealed exactly how convenience food brand names including Pepsi, Starbucks as well as McDonald’s are encouraging TikTokers to market their products for them, through hashtag difficulties.

Researchers from Deakin University in Australia examined videos from 16 food and also beverage brands, as well as exposed the clever methods used to drive brand interaction on TikTok.

For instance, the research highlights Pepsi India’s #SwagStepChallenge, which challenged audiences to make a ‘boodle’ indication utilizing their hands to activate Pepsi-branded sunglasses.

This difficulty hashtag was seen a monstrous 107.9 billion times and also offered Pepsi with considerable totally free advertising.

‘Our research has revealed that TikTok is an emerging resource of junk food advertising, including that created by individuals at the instigation of brand names,’ the researchers composed in their research study, published in BMJ Global Health.

‘Given TikTok’s appeal among children, our searchings for sustain the need for plans that shield youngsters from the harmful impact of food advertising, including that on social networking platforms.’

Researchers from Deakin University in Australia revealed how many brand names not just utilize their own represent marketing activity, yet additionally encourage visitors to market their items for them

Most prominent hashtag challenges
Pepsi #SwagStepChallenge — 107.9 billion sights
Lay’s #SmileDekeDekho– 49 billion views
Doritos #DoritosFlatLife– 17.6 billion sights
Cheetos #ItWasntMe– 13.9 billion sights
Starbucks #SipIntoSummer– 10.9 billion views
Doritos #DoritosDuetRoulette– 9.5 billion sights
McDonald’s #McDonaldsCCSing– 8.6 billion sights
Cheetos #DejaTuHuella– 4.8 billion views
7-Eleven #SlurpeeSummer– 2.6 billion sights
Starbucks #MadeReadyDuet– 12.7 million sights

With over one billion customers, TikTok has ended up being the go-to social networks application for people around the world, and is specifically popular among kids.

Despite this, there’s been little research study on just how processed food are promoted to young people on the app.

‘The objective of this study was for that reason to take a look at using owned media by major unhealthy food brands on TikTok, as well as the nature of branded hashtag challenges instigated by junk food brands and also the user-generated content developed in action to these,’ the scientists discussed.

In the research study, the group assessed the video clips posted by 16 food as well as drink brand names, since 30 Jun 2021.

The 16 brand names included in the research study were M&M’s, Extra/Orbit, Lay’s, Doritos, Cheetos, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Sprite, Fanta, Diet Coke, McDonald’s, Starbucks, KFC, 7-Eleven, as well as Burger King.

Their evaluation exposed that 539 video clips had actually been published by the 16 accounts, with three percent posted in 2019, 37 percent in 2020, and also 60 per cent in the initial 6 months of 2021.

4 accounts– Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta as well as Diet Coke– had actually not published any kind of video clips.

Diet plan Coke had the least followers (14 ), while Starbucks had the most (1.6 million).

Usually, the video clips received 63,400 views, 5,829 sort, 157 remark as well as 36 shares.

A lot of one of the most preferred videos urged customers to produce their very own video clips featuring the brands’ items.

Pepsi’s #SwagStepChallenge was one of the most prominent, with 107.9 billion views on the hashtag, followed by Lay’s #SmileDekeDekho (49 billion views), Doritos’ #DoritosFlatLife (17.6 billion views) and Cheetos’ #ItWasntMe (13.9 billion sights).

‘Brand task has actually swiftly raised– with the majority of videos uploaded in the 6 months preceding data collection– as well as consists of instigation of top quality hashtag challenges that urge user-generated material featuring brand products, top quality impacts or brand-supplied videos,’ the scientists composed.

McDonald’s #McDonaldsCCSing hashtag has actually been checked out 8.6 billion views, as well as challenged visitors to duet with the brand name

With over one billion individuals, TikTok has actually come to be the best social media application for individuals around the globe, and is specifically popular among children

‘Analysis of a sample of brand-relevant user-generated web content produced in action to these showed that top quality hashtag difficulties are successfully turning customers right into, in TikTok’s words, “unofficial brand ambassadors”.’

Video clips uploaded by influencers were especially reliable, gathering virtually 10 times as numerous sorts per video clip typically as those seemingly not paid for.

‘The considerable reach of influencer marketing is concerning given that direct exposure to influencer advertising and marketing of unhealthy foods has been revealed to raise power consumption (from unhealthy foods as well as overall),’ the scientists included.

The UK’s Health and Care Bill recommends that all ‘paid-for’ internet marketing of ‘much less healthy and balanced food and drink’ is prohibited from 2023.

The scientists highlight a suggested exemption in the expense.

‘ A suggested exemption for brand-only marketing (ie, marketing of a brand without recognizable unhealthy foods in the ad) risks limiting the degree to which kids are shielded,’ they explained.

‘Nearly half the top quality hashtag difficulties in our research advertised brands, as opposed to foods in itself as well as therefore appear to be out-of-scope of the proposed law.’

Based on the searchings for, the researchers are asking for far better plans to shield children from the damaging effect of food marketing online.

‘TikTok’s rising popularity likewise calls for additional research study into its possible influence on public health and also its function as a business political star,’ they wrapped up.


Board of Advertising Practice (CAP) developed a record called ‘An Influencer’s Guide to making clear that advertisements are ads’.

This body stands for marketers, media proprietors and also companies and also it is liable for composing the Advertisement Codes.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is the UK’s marketing regulator and sees to it advertisements throughout UK media stay with the advertising guidelines.

Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) can take action against people.

Sixteen stars have actually been gotten for their constant breaching of the guidelines set out by these federal government bodies.

When web content promotes certain products or services and also has a hyperlink or discount rate code the poster receives payment for each ‘clickthrough’ or sale from that web content.

This, therefore, falls under the group of advertising and marketing and also have to be considered as an ad.

Connect web links or discount rate codes might include for only a few of the web content, not al lof it.

In this instance the customer have to explain that only these areas are an ad, but that must be evident.

If they work with a brand to develop some web content that will be published on a customer’s channel.

This qualifies as an ad for the brand name if the firm (1) ‘paid’ them in some way or (2) had some editorial ‘control’.

Giveaways are included under this, not just settlement. #freebie is suggested as a tag to make this clear.

Products, presents, services, journeys, resort remains etc given absolutely free are all likely to certify as ‘a repayment’.

#ad or #sponsored are several of the evident ways the poster need to classify their web content.

It needs to also be positioned plainly at the beginning of the article, as opposed to buried away to name a few hashtags.

Influencers utilized to be able to escape proclaiming who they benefit in their biography, this will certainly no more suffice as well as each post should be sufficiently identified up.

More than one business partnership needs to additionally be specified for each blog post.

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