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What is TikTok Ad Creative?

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TikTok Ad Creative is classified as any TikTok ad that users see on your website or app. Creative is the ad users see on a webpage, app, or other digital environments. Creatives can be images, videos, and other formats that get delivered to users.

To deliver an ad, the creative must be added to a line item in a TikTok Ad Campaign. They can also be added to the creative library for a later association to a line item. TikTok Ad Campaigns are a great way to find new users for your mobile app.

What is TikTok Ad Creative?

These campaigns let advertisers create ads where people can download an app directly from an ad. TikTok Ad Campaign ads – and all the settings available for TikTok Ad Campaigns – are designed expressly to generate app installs.

TikTok Ad Creative Types

There are various creative types you can add to your campaign, between video and display, depending on the ad experience your advertiser is trying to create.

Display Image Sizes:

  • 300×250
  • 336×280
  • 728×90
  • 300×600
  • 320×100

Producing Enough TikTok Ad Creative to Stay Ahead of Creative Fatigue

Most in-house creative teams struggle to stay ahead of “creative fatigue,” aka the dip in ad performance that happens when audiences have seen an ad so often they start to screen it out.

Ironically, the more successful creative teams are, the harder they must work. Because if their ad creative does well, ad spend usually increases. And as ad spend increases, their new ads burn out faster. They must work harder to maintain the same results.

Even if a creative team can keep pace with the demands of scaling up, they’ll often run into another challenge: Getting out of their creative “comfort zone.” This is the inherent tendency of sticking to what works. It isn’t a bad thing – focusing on what works drives performance – but creative teams often get stuck in the ruts of just sticking to what’s worked in the past. Eventually, the creative gets a little stale, performance dips, and you must think beyond what’s worked in the past.

Three Ways to Get Out of a Creative “Comfort Zone”

1) One proven way to stretch beyond the curse of “what’s worked before” is to do regular competitive analyses.

Doing regular, documented competitive analyses can help creative teams come up with more ideas. But it also helps them to be more data-driven. That’s critical for success right now.

2) Another way for creative teams to stretch is to participate in an “agency bake-off.”

This is where the in-house creative team competes against an external creative team. The bake-off has rules, and information on ad performance is shared between both teams every week. We do agency bake-offs in 30-day sprints, with set rules designed to maximize learning and performance and minimize any downsides of competition. To date, we haven’t lost one. But be aware that 30-day tests often fail.

3) Then there’s the most common way to expand a creative team’s capacity: to outsource.

Our Creative Studio does that for hundreds of advertisers. It gives them access to a world-class team with Disney-level storytelling skills and data-driven user acquisition expertise. We’ve built a streamlined system that makes it easy to request and approve any amount of TikTok ad creative you need.

So, if you’re ready to move beyond a one-off style of TikTok ad creative development, it can be done. Using an outside team like Creative Studio can be particularly helpful if you want to scale quickly, or if you want to be able to expand or contract your creative development without having to hire (or fire) an internal team.

But just having “enough” TikTok ad creative is only the beginning. Next, you must test it. Finding that new magic ad as efficiently as possible is an advertiser’s best competitive advantage, especially now that Google and TikTok have given every advertiser access to machine learning-driven tools that make many third-party ad tech tools obsolete.

How to Use Quantitative Creative Testing to Optimize TikTok Ad Creative

Quantitative Creative Testing

Quantitative Creative Testing is an A/B split-testing methodology we’ve developed specifically for TikTok ad creative. It’s designed to be super-efficient with both time and ad spend, to find the sort of breakout ads that can replace a campaign’s previous control.

Quantitative Creative Testing separates new mobile ad creative into two buckets: Concepts and Variations. Concepts are totally new, out-of-the-box creative approaches. They tend to fail a lot, but when they succeed, they often blow the doors off everything else. About 20% of the mobile ad creative testing, we do is with Concepts.


Variations are just what they sound like. They’re small tweaks we make to existing creative to see if we can get it to perform better. Testing Variations is much “safer,” in that Variations don’t tend to tank as hard as Concepts do, thus they don’t risk wasting as much ad spend. Testing Variations also lets us find out which elements of an ad are driving its performance. This is precious information for optimizing the ad and for refreshing it later. Being able to refresh creative lets us extend its life and thus radically improves the ROI of creative assets. Strategically expanding the audiences we advertise to helps a lot as well.


To do Quantitative Creative Testing for TikTok ad creative, we take batches of new Concepts and run them against each other in an ad set. Each new Concept gets about 50,000 impressions before we decide if it’s a winner or a loser. If it’s a winner, it gets moved up into another ad set where it will run against other winning mobile ad creative, including the current control. If the new ad can outperform all the other ads in that ad set, then it gets moved into another, primary ad set and gets the bulk of the campaign spend.


TikTok Ad Campaigns are one of the best tools a user acquisition manager has for growing a user base and monetizing it. If you aren’t investing and testing your TikTok ad creative effectively, it’s time to up your game.

tiktok ad creative

Read our blog post, UA Media Buying Model, and see how it works in tandem with our Ad Concept Model. Learn the media buying best practice strategies for Facebook Android, Facebook iOS SKAN, Google, and TikTok.

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