TikTok’s Save Small Businesses in Thailand CASE STUDY
In 2021, TikTok came to us with an extra special brief. As COVID-19 tore through Thailand, small businesses and restaurants began to close, with no government strategy outlined to help. Enter TikTok’s Save Small businesses campaign.
At least 50,000 restaurants closed in Bangkok alone, and 500,000 workers lost their jobs because of new restrictions. Delivery food apps were taking off, but advertising on these platforms was costly, way out of small local restaurants’ budget.
TikTok were looking to create a campaign that was socially responsible, useful, and relevant. They wanted to target 18–35-year-old TikTok users, who are familiar with technology and enjoy playing or uploading to social media regularly, as well as those whose use had lapsed.
Food was a focus area for TikTok in H2, and they were looking for a campaign that was scalable nationwide.
From our research into the target audience, we learned that this group was eager to help others, that they have their own individual favorite local store or restaurant, and often have an incredibly good relationship with these businesses.
Vero’s campaign positioned TikTok as a platform for the greater good, helping small/local restaurants to have more exposure. The campaign would create momentum amongst users, activating both TikTok users and lapsed users to help restaurants together!
The strategic task was to create a participative movement through the platform. To raise participation, we chose to leverage the audience’s sense of proximity by making geography and geolocalization the competitive element for content creation. Each Tiktok user could then have an impact on their immediate vicinity, on the small businesses which sit right next to them.
Amplification through a few KOLs would encourage outsiders and lapse users to join the campaign, as well as emphasize TikTok’s image as a social supporter. To Save Small Businesses, the voices of choice were the consumers and KOLs, both having the most authentic reasons to participate. The campaign would be scaled up from local to national, in an inclusive effort.
To help restaurants gain more business via food delivery apps, Vero developed an integrated communication plan, including designing the UX and UI for TikTok’s platform, developing localized press releases, and running a social media campaign.
Vero helped TikTok launch a challenge that asked people across Thailand’s five regions, to create a post about their favorite café or restaurant, tagging the province.
We worked with local KOL’s from each region to encourage their followers to join the challenge using the hashtag เซฟร้านทั่วไทยกับTikTok or #savelocalstoreswithTiktok.
TikTok used its algorithm to rank and identify the regions with the highest participation. The top four users who posted from these regions won exclusive prizes and a 30baht discount to use on food delivery apps.
We all have a favorite small or local restaurant. A place that you frequent often and rave about to your friends.
Vero homed in on this love and asked people to come together as a community to help save small and local restaurants from the brink of extinction. Besides a strong impact on impressions, the campaign made actual impact for businesses, as testified directly by some owners.