In the cursed year of 2022, audiences no longer want to see buttoned-up brands on social.
They want chaos.
They want to see brand TikToks topless on Spring Break, taking body shots off other brands. And much to our delight, some brand TikTok accounts have been knocking it out of the park by harnessing their most unhinged energy. Others have by creating brand characters and taking risks with trending sounds. We love to see it.
Earlier this year we gave you our Top 10 Favorite Brand TikTok Accounts, but now we have to show a little love to some new contenders who have been taking notes. Here’s a look at some unexpected breakthrough brand accounts of the year that impressed and/or shocked us:
San Diego Zoo – 2.3M Followers
Let’s start with some wholesome content.
With the variety of animals in their facility, the account gives us updates on pregnant animals, opportunities for the animals to show off their unique skills (cue the Kookaburra laugh that haunts my dreams) and trending sounds using their insanely cute red pandas (Here comes the boy, indeed!).
From the educational to the feel-good to the downright unbearably adorable, the San Diego Zoo account really knows how to leverage its resources. Like, I didn’t have following Mstituni the Giraffe’s physical therapy journey on my Bingo card, yet here we are apparently!
@sandiegozoo Mstituni’s living her best life brace free #transformation #giraffesoftiktok #cuteanimals #sdzsafaripark ♬ original sound – San Diego Zoo
Scrub Daddy – 2.7M Followers
With a name like Scrub Daddy, this brand was bound for social greatness.
Sadly, a Daddy nor a Mommy are faces of the brand, but a smiley face sponge is the brand mascot.
The most successful (read: insane) content utilizes trending audio like this one where the flavors are in fact melting on its tongue. In a hilariously risky PR move, they respond directly to their haters and find really odd, unexpected connections in popular culture to their brand in a way that’s honestly very impressive, like this Zoolander/Hansel meme:
@scrubdaddy They never saw it comin >:) #scrubdaddy #smile #cleantok #cleaningtiktok #americasfavoritesponge ♬ Yotube AstroCapella – AstroCapella
GoPro – 2.4M Followers
GoPro takes the POV format to the extreme with their content.
While showcasing how their product can be utilized, they showcase wish fulfilment, like what it looks like to surf with dolphins or jump a canyon on a bike – something you couldn’t do with a regular camera or without a trained stunt professional.
The impressive athleticism, the beauty of the environment and some festive content (wakeboarder wearing a jack-o-lantern, sure!) have made GoPro a worthwhile follow on TikTok.
@gopro This doesn’t count as a helmet, but it sure is festive 🎃 @Ryan Gaeta #gopro #gopromax #halloween #pumpkin #jackolantern ♬ original sound – GoPro
Ryanair – 1.9M Followers
From airplane humor to unhinged interactions, Ryanair somehow shows that it’s possible to make an airline likable.
Clearly inspired by our lord and savior Duolingo, the Ryanair account wants to engage with celebrities and build a rapport – like this Timothee Chalamet post or this Jenna Ortega video. The account also utilizes the Eyes and Mouth filter to anthropomorphize their airplane, making it the main character. Unrelated, planes should not have faces! Terrifying!
@ryanair Welcome back to the party 😈 #ryanair ♬ original sound – Ryanair
TLC – 7.5M Followers
It’s impressive that a brand like TLC has been able to build a following of over 7 million with content that’s centered around regular people in extraordinary situations, not celebrity content. TLC leverages their fandom with titles like Sister Wives and Little People Big World to pull out intense, emotional or quote-worthy clips.
They hop on trends sometimes, but for the most part, they showcase content you can’t find anywhere else, like a 22-year-old “stuck” in an 8-year-old’s body driving a car for the first time. Color me intrigued, TLC.
@tlctv With the help of a booster seat and a cushion, Shauna can see the road for the first time from the driver’s seat! #IAmShaunaRae ♬ original sound – tlc
Teen Vogue – 1.9M Followers
Much like social titans Netflix and Hulu, Teen Vogue understands the value of capitalizing off of talent with a rising star.
Their talent capture game is strong; their social team seems to understand how to ask entertaining questions to get quotable soundbytes, like this red carpet interview with Keke Palmer. And more importantly, they’re in tune with who Gen Z wants to watch: like BTS access of Phoebe Bridgers’ music videos and all the Jenna Ortega content right now.
@teenvogue Jenna Ortega is simply iconic ✨ Full video at the #linkinbio 🖤 #wednesday #jennaortega #wednesdayaddams #addamsfamily ♬ original sound – TeenVogue
Gymshark – 4.2M Followers
Gymshark could’ve been an account filled with helpful fitness tips and gym hacks…but in this economy you have to shoot for the unexpected.
Sure, I guess there’s the occasional sincere post every now and then, but Gymshark prioritizes humor above all else with memes and sketches about the gym.
They also incorporate influencers you wouldn’t expect and hop on trending audio in fun ways. Basically, this isn’t a regular gym TikTok, it’s a cool gym TikTok.
@gymshark I think she likes me #meme #gym #Gymshark @millyg_fit ♬ presleywalker – PresleyWalker
Nickelodeon – 13.2M Followers
Iconic. Nostalgic. Orange. Nickelodeon’s TikTok wisely curates clips that feel nostalgic but also have some relevance today – often times through the talent that’s featured (Ariana, what are you doing here?!) who have continued to level up in Hollywood.
The brand page also features colorful animation that made Nickelodeon so special in the 90s/00s with crafting and how-to-draw demos.
@nickelodeon the voice over definitely nailed that Tori impression 😂 #victorious #torivega #victoriajustice #lizgillies #jadewest #impression #voiceeffects #voiceover #voicefilter #throwback ♬ original sound – Nickelodeon
AND OUR AWARD FOR THE MOST UNHINGED BREAKOUT TIKTOK ACCOUNT GOES TO…
Milwaukee Public Library: 85.2K Followers
It’s the libraries that you never expect to go in… but MPL? They turn up.
Their librarians wear costumes, they do viral dances and they ask a 90-year-old (Employee? Local? Unclear) to show her love for manga and her distaste for anyone who questions her.
They cater to the bookworm and to the person who just uses the library to use the restroom. And best of all, they create unexpectedly hilarious educational content about how you can best utilize your library resources. All in all, they make libraries extremely cool.
@milwaukeepubliclibrary When you’re around I got arrhythmia (literally). I’m on multiple medications for it. #Girlfriend #HemlockeSprings #OldPeople #Elderly #Manga #Comics #Anime #fyp #FlippingOff #Birdie #MiddleFinger #FlipTheBird ♬ girlfriend – Hemlocke Springs
If 2022 has taught us anything, it’s that our perception on a brand can change so quickly if their TikTok game takes risks. Me? I just invested millions into Scrub Daddy. So what will 2023 have in store for us? Hopefully even more insane engagement and characters inhabiting the ever-growing landscape of TikTok.
If you’re a brand that needs help leveling up their TikTok account, contact Movement Strategy.