Fuelling the world’s fastest growing entertainment brand
TikTok launched worldwide in 2018. Today, in over 150 countries and in 75 different languages, more than 1 billion people around the world now open up TikTok every month. It’s where the world now comes to be entertained, to learn, laugh, and discover something new. This period of hypergrowth has seen plenty of challenges. Wolff Olins has worked with TikTok since it was just 18 months old—building the foundations of its brand, helping it to ‘age up’, bringing coherence to the content explosion, and helping to represent and diversify its user base—all whilst keeping the content centre stage.
We’ve delivered a growth strategy, design system, tone of voice and campaign playbooks that have acted as a single point of truth for TikTok’s many agencies, sponsorship partners, Creators and internal product design teams. We’ve helped them to encourage creative freedom within a framework, balancing the need for endless creativity and global consistency.
A brand that’s the heartbeat of global culture
TikTok’s identity captures the non-stop movement of creativity and culture. It’s brand built from the product outwards—moving in a way that reflects the core ‘upward swipe’ interaction of the platform, so you always feel it’s bringing you what’s next in culture. The design system is built on a layered grid that creates endless unique designs. It keeps content front and centre. And it has a unique, ownable style that heroes creator content and the UI of the product itself.
All of this delivered a brand at the epicentre of popular culture. It’s the go-to place to launch your new business as much as your music career. It’s home to DIY hacks, astrophysics lessons, #booktok reading groups and #foodtok chefs. It’s a brand with real soul that’s always giving people new reasons to jump on board.
A brand that’s beaten all expectations
TikTok’s growth has been exponential: The platform more than doubled its worldwide user base between 2019 and 2021 and in 2022, TikTok surpassed 1 billion active users worldwide. But the platform has matured, not just grown; initially ‘a Gen-Z platform’, TikTok is becoming more and more multigenerational. As of 2023, 31% of TikTok users are 40+. And it’s not just passive viewing. There are an increasing number of accounts belonging to users aged 60+ amassing millions of followers.
And as TikTok has aged up, so too has the content. TikTok is transforming education for Gen Z, with 1 in 4 users saying they use TikTok for educational purposes. Hashtags like #LearnOnTikTok have over 282.8 billion views, helping users learn everything from day-to-day household hacks to essential career advice.
EG+ / Dark Horses / Tom Wason, Global Principal / Stewart Davies, Senior Creative Director / David Stevens, Executive Director, Strategy / Samantha Page, Senior Strategist / Millie Tyler, Senior Designer / Sarah Kennewell, Engagement Manager
Sources: TikTok Newsroom; Insider Intelligence; Social Shepherd; Study.com
Culture and education
What We Did
Brand Strategy, Visual Identity, Verbal Identity, Research
Monthly active users since 2022
of TikTok users are now 40+
1 in 4
users come to TikTok for educational purposes