Brands Ramping Up Their TikTok Spending: H2 2023

November 8, 2023

US ad spend on social media is projected to grow 9% this year, and return to double-digit growth in 2024, per eMarketer. In part, that growth is driven by a surge in TikTok advertisers. If you think the platform is just for teens and Gen Z, think again. Over 3 billion people have downloaded the app, and 37% of those are over the age of 30. The opportunity to target these consumers has catalyzed emerging and established advertisers to pour their marketing budgets into the platform, and if you’re looking to reach TikTok advertisers, Winmo has you covered.

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We used Winmo Social to surface brands increasing spending on TikTok in H2 2023…

1.  ESPN

In a shift to align more with sports betting, ESPN recently established a $2 billion branding partnership with Penn Entertainment, a casino operator. The two will team up on a new sportsbook, ESPN Bet. The deal kicked off in the fall of 2023 in the 16 legalized betting states in which Penn is licensed. This effort will include a mobile app, website, and mobile website platforms.

Over the coming ten years, Penn will pay ESPN “in exchange for media, marketing services, brand, and other rights provided by ESPN.” ​​​​​​​The deal may be extended for another decade after this one ends. This new sportsbook will replace Penn’s current Barstool Sportsbook. ESPN’s programming will advertise the new service in efforts involving on-air talent participation. The brand has spent the past several years bolstering sports betting content in its digital programming, linear TV programming, radio, and editorial coverage.

ESPN will likely:

  • Continue ramping up spending to fuel awareness of the new sportsbook
  • Make additional roster shifts following a recent AOR hire
  • Keep shifting strategy

Digital and social insights (digital ad spend, effectiveness, impressions, and performance)

  • YTD spend: Since the beginning of 2022, the network has allocated roughly $46m toward digital ads, a 29% increase from the roughly $35.7m allocated within the same 2022 timeframe.
  • YTD data: ESPN has earned about 6.3b digital impressions YTD via Instagram (39%), Facebook (37%), YouTube (11%), desktop display (10%), Twitter (2%), and mobile display (1%) ads.
  • Last year: The brand’s estimated full-year 2022 spend, $78.6m, reached 37% more than that of $57.4m in 2021.

Agency insights: Reach out soon to see if any media, PR, digital analytics, experiential, programmatic, influencer, and/or multicultural hires follow last year’s creative AOR shift. Current agency roster:

  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Arts & Letters: Creative AOR
  • Droga5: Creative AOR
  • 160over90: Digital AOR
  • Starcom Worldwide: Media and digital agency partner

ESPN TikTok

2.  HelloFresh

HelloFresh recently teamed up with Marvel’s third Guardians of the Galaxy movie on new snacks and recipes. An accompanying advertising push started with a giveaway that requires no subscriptions. The company is also working to raise awareness of its meal kits. The target demographic is Millennial and Gen-X women, especially moms.

HelloFresh will likely:

  • Continue ramping up efforts for the snacks and meal kits
  • Keep adjusting its strategy under its new CMO
  • Pursue similar movie partnerships
  • Continue increasing spend
  • Seek new agency partners

Digital and social insights (digital ad spend, effectiveness, impressions, and performance)

  • YTD spend: The company has spent approximately $19.8m on digital ads YTD, 23% more than the approximately $16.1m spent by this point last year.
  • YTD data: Since the beginning of 2023, HelloFresh has earned ~2.6b digital impressions via Facebook (49%), Instagram (26%), YouTube (23%), and desktop display (2%) ads.
  • Last year: The company’s estimated full-year 2022 spending, $39.8m, only reached about half of that of $79.1m in 2021.

Agency insights: Get in touch sooner rather than later to get on the radar of Marcus von Franck, HelloFresh’s US marketing SVP and CMO since March 2023. The current agency roster includes PlusMedia​​​​​​​ as a media agency partner.

HelloFresh TikTok

3.  American Eagle

American Eagle Outfitters has experienced sustained momentum, largely credited to innovative marketing. Execs are currently focused on providing efficiencies across the business while improving profit flow-through. These exec’s priority specifically involves utilizing unique marketing to bolster brand awareness and amplify AEO’s products.

The company’s recent Aerie campaign, “Hidden Gems,” did well, and American Eagle will launch a new one this fall. This 360° campaign includes partnerships with popular dating apps along with celebrity influencers, active social campaigns, and experiential activations via live events. The brand has also ramped up its Gen-Z efforts by teaming up with Summarize in Pretty, which included a live Amazon shopping experience, which was a “strong success.”

American Eagle will likely invest in similar experiential activations, influencer and brand partnerships, and social channels

Digital and social insights (digital ad spend, effectiveness, impressions, and performance)

  • YTD spend: Since the beginning of 2023, AEO has spent roughly $16.3m on digital ads, up 72% from the roughly $9.5m spent by this point last year.
  • YTD data: The retailer has earned around 2.4b digital impressions YTD via Instagram (59%), Facebook (30%), YouTube (7%), and desktop display (4%) ads.
  • Last year: AEO spent approximately $18.1m on this channel 2022, 36% more than the approximately $13.3m spent in 2021.

Agency insights: American Eagle may seek new agency partners as its strategy continues shifting; reach out soon to see. An advantage may go to those able to offer experiential and/or influencer services since AEO is bolstering related initiatives. Current agency roster:

  • VaynerMedia​​​​​​​: Media and digital AOR
  • ICF Next: Creative agency partner
  • Shadow PR: PR agency partner

american eagle tiktok

Winmo connects the dots between TikTok advertisers, agencies, CMOs, and decision-makers who control these budgets (plus when they’re planning).

Request a Winmo trial today


If you liked this blog post, check out:

  1. The Hottest Winter Brands Increasing Digital Advertising
  2. AWNY 2023: Winmo’s Top Industry Takeaways
  3. eBook Download: 47 Marketing Leads from the Fastest Growing Tech Brands in Winmo (Q3 2023)

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