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Creative StrategiesCreative Tips | Food and Beverage

Creative Tips | Food and Beverage

Feb 07,2023
Ashley Gallin, Global Creative Expert, TikTok For Business
Creative Guidance

View the Chinese Version/中文版请查阅: 创意贴士|食品饮料


If you're here for the first time, welcome!

This playbook is designed to inspire and guide those who want to Create for TikTok, and includes some key observations from our Creative Expert team. Our aim is to help your brand develop high-performing, compelling content on TikTok.

These are observations that the team has noticed, and are not rules that must be followed.

This playbook is structured into 3 PARTS

1. Best Practices for Creative Success

  • TikTok Cheat Sheet
  • Ad Specs and Design Guidelines
  • Creative Best Practices

2. Creative Insights

  • Video Formats
  • Visual Elements
  • Audio Elements

3. Video Script Analysis

Ready to get started? Great! Lets start with the basics

Best Practices for Creative Success

TikTok Cheat Sheet

💡 HOT TIP: Brands succeed by combining quality content with community engagement. Think about community behavior when producing creative content - they go hand in hand!

AUDIENCE: Consumers come to TikTok to discover, create, and consume content.

GOOD FOR: Recipes, demonstrations, storytelling, and trend-based narratives.

SUPPORTS: Video is king, and sound-on experiences are vital.

CONTENT: Creativity and entertainment in any form. Inspire and engage with humor, skits, hacks, movement, and more. Produce digestible content that leaves an emotional mark.

INTERACTION: Like, save, or comment on videos. Follow accounts.

ENGAGEMENT: Include your calls to action in the video itself, either through text or audio - or both.

CREATORS: With a dedicated and engaged following, content creators understand what your community wants, and what they want to see on their FYP. Trust them to do their thing on behalf of your brand.

📌 Ads created for TikTok with creator partnership achieved 83% higher engagement rates. Source

Ad Specs and Design Guidelines

  • To leave an impression and deliver information, videos should always be above 10s.

  • For optimal viewing experience, videos should have a resolution of 720p and be formatted to 9x16 (vertical) aspect ratio.

  • To inspire engagement, videos should always be full screen, have a compelling narrative and/or have clear and actionable takeaways.

  • To capture attention, videos should always include audio.

Creative Best Practices

Increase your chance of high-performing creative with a larger quantity of videos and a diverse pool of creatives.

Creative Quantity

A high number of creative assets allows for better optimization of asset selection. We recommend spreading your creatives throughout multiple ad groups, while maintaining 3-5 creatives per ad group. This enables you to utilize each creative, allowing the system to learn what works best for you.

Creative Diversity

TikTok's unique approach to content, and a nuanced audience means that there is no simple rule for what's going to resonate. Exploring different content approaches and video formats will increase your chances of finding a winner!

Creative Insights


On TikTok, there's really no single formula for success. It's more about finding your own voice - being unique and authentic is what will get you noticed and excite your audiences. That said, top creatives in the Food and Beverage industry follow certain creative patterns that we will explore in this blog.

Creative Patterns

Creative Patterns can be split into 4 main groups, the Who, What, Where, and How of a video.

We hope to inspire you to experiment with different creative methods to land on the strategy that's best-suited to your brand. Because on TikTok, it pays to be different!

Explore your product from different perspectives to get creative. It can be from certain characters in your story, from the brand itself, or from the consumers. From each perspective, viewers can get an understanding of the product from a specific angle that will shed unique light on certain benefits.

Brand POV

  • The Hook: Introduce the brand and get viewers excited through unique value props and RTBs within the first 3-6 seconds.

  • Key Message: Elaborate on the initial points made and dive deeper into the product or your brand's key selling points.

  • Takeaway: This is a traditional approach that shows the product through the brand's eyes. It is more controlled, and often includes more direct language and CTAs.

Consumer POV

  • The Hook:Grab attention by starting with an unexpected scroll-stopping statement in the first 3-6 seconds.

  • Key Message: Walk through a narrative that's relevant to the initial statement, and speak to the unique selling points that drove the creator's action.

  • Takeaway: This creator POV is a refreshing approach that usually comes off as more trustworthy. TikTok is about community, and by leveraging members of the community as spokespeople for your brand, you can appear more genuine. This is great for when you want to speak to more emotional elements of your product.

💡Think about it

  • Think about your target audience. What are the features of your product that would be most attractive to them? Call them out specifically, and if possible, draw attention to them visually.

  • The customer POV is a powerful, unique spin on word-of-mouth advertising that builds consumer trust. Engage the right customers/creators, and allow them to tell their story with their own creative flair.

Product Showcase

In this Creative Pattern, the product should be the main focus. To introduce your product in a dynamic way, or to elevate your showcase, add sound, voiceover, or text to speech.


  • The Hook: Introduce the brand and get viewers excited about the unboxing within the first 3-6 seconds.
  • Key Message: Elaborate on the product and its selling points (flavor, variety, taste, benefits, use-case, etc.).
  • Takeaway: Encourage action and purchase by emphasizing a specific use case for the product.

Recipes and Demonstrations

  • The Hook: Present the theme of your content within the first 3-6 seconds so people have context and know what to expect.
  • Key Message: Provide solutions/suggestions to the theme through recipe inspiration, and by demonstrating how the product fits in.
  • Takeaway: Close with a compelling CTA that encourages audiences to try it out for themselves, based on the product benefits and solutions to common issues.

Macro / Tabletop

  • The Hook: Engage users with an attention-grabbing prompt, like "stop scrolling".
  • Key Message: Give further details after the opening prompt and explain why they need to hear about this product.
  • Takeaway: Show close-up visuals of the product so viewers can see the item in clear detail. Use the audio to drive engagement and provide a CTA that encourages action.

💡Think about it

  • In this Creative Pattern, we focus on the product itself, showcased and explored through a variety of creative approaches, such as Q&A and unboxing.

  • Think about your target audience. What are the features of your product that would be most attractive to them? Call them out specifically, and if possible, draw attention to them visually.

  • Use themes and ask questions to create opportunities for providing solutions/suggestions to certain situations. This way, you can speak to the diverse benefits of your brand/product.

  • Product showcases are a great way to move an engaged audience further through the funnel. This shows the product in detail and answers some common questions consumers may have.

Lifestyle Content

Lifestyle content focuses on the enhanced quality of life that your consumers can achieve by using your product. In this type of content, the audience is inspired to envision how the product can be incorporated into their own lives. Creating content that depicts and resonates with people's lifestyles will foster emotional connection and trust.


Skit/Creator Personality


💡Think about it

  • Lifestyle content brings your product to life through real use in specific situations, through someone who should reflect your buyer persona. This is an effective way to create an emotional connection and illustrate positive benefits beyond the product itself.

  • Spark interest, expand reach, and get clicks by connecting authentically with your audience in ways that resonate with their lifestyles.

  • Allow creators to have creative control over their expression and let their personality shine through. It’s personable, engaging, and an organic way to leverage content creators.

  • Be transparent and use real-life or realistic scenarios.


As a visual platform with countless ways to approach digital storytelling through content, effects are a powerful way to enhance your videos to be even more compelling, entertaining, and visually striking - the TikTok way.


Takeaway: Leverage transitions to create dynamic, TikTok-first creatives. Fun transitions are an engaging and captivating way to tell a story. This video ends with a clear full-frame branded logo to stay top of mind.

Graphics and text

Takeaway: Text and graphics can add an additional layer of creativity and interactivity to your video. This video ends with clear CTA encouraging viewers to try it today.


Takeaway: TikTok’s narrative-driven content uses various clips, scenes, and mixed media to get a message across. Use this to your advantage to tell your story in a compelling way.

Green Screen

Takeaway: The Green Screen effect adds a layer of interactivity and allows you to walk viewers through your brand’s app or site interface, making the consumer journey an even more cohesive experience.

💡Think about it

  • Visual effects are an effective, low-cost way to add excitement and dynamic emphasis to any video. They can be used in a variety of ways to add a layer of creativity and memorability.

  • Explore existing asset libraries for inspiration. You might find a sticker or an effect that could be used as an anchor for your creative.

  • Have you seen a video on your For You page that leverages an effect in a innovative way? Don't be afraid to use videos you've seen from TikTok creators as inspiration! Think of ways you could incorporate exciting visual and audio effects to take your creative concept to the next level.

  • Check our Creative Center for tools that will empower you to make the best creatives for TikTok. Make your videos pop with a range of effect styles made for TikTok.


Sound is powerful on TikTok, with most users expecting sound-on content. Emphasize your key message through sound. Use special audio effects and/or background music to add an extra touch of flair and excitement.

Trending Sound

Voice over

Text to speech


💡Think about it

  • Make use of today's currently trending audio and effects, to boost your chances of appearing on the For You Page and getting noticed by more users.

  • Visual effects are an effective, low-cost way to add excitement and dynamic emphasis to any video. They can be used in a variety of ways to add a layer of creativity and memorability.

  • Leverage text or stickers to complement sound and highlight key information in your creative.

  • Have you seen a video on your FYP that leverages an effect in an innovative way? Don't be afraid to take inspiration from other TikTok creators.

💡 Check our Creative Center for tools that will empower you to make the best creatives for TikTok. Make your videos pop with a range of effect styles made for TikTok.

Trending sounds help facilitate discoverability and boost your chances of getting noticed.

ASMR: If you have a product that makes a unique and soothing sound or evokes a soothing emotion, try some ASMR content. The Food & Bev industry has an advantage here, as there are many products that fit this space.

VO: TikTok makes it easy to pair sound with visuals and iterate, allowing you to repurpose existing assets however you please.

  1. You have the creative freedom to edit your visuals to fit TikTok's style, ex: speeding up, transitions, various scenes, etc. Since sound does not rely on specific visual scenarios, you can test out different visual explorations.
  2. Try mixing clips to keep things visually-striking, while maintaining your desired narrative.
  3. Swap out the VO and replace it with other VOs, sounds, or music, making this an easy, affordable, and efficient way to iterate on creative.

Text-to-speech is a great way to add VO or a narrative without using your actual voice. It can also add comedic relief to your content. Plus, it makes sure that someone who may not be able to read the captions can still understand the content.

In this Creative Pattern, creative storytelling is used to introduce the product and illustrate its benefits. Creativity is key to establishing more natural associations with the product, and memorable ways to highlight key features.


Understanding the "story" behind a brand is often what excites the TikTok community. Take this opportunity to share your brand's genuine personality and values, tell your story, and build a supportive community around it. Transparency is crucial, and revealing never-before-seen footage is a great way to be authentic.

Behind the scenes

Founding story

Brand Personality


This approach focuses more on the consumer or content creator. Here, we create a narrative and unique scenario to encourage product consideration.


Gift Idea



We tap into specific qualities about the product as our unique value propositions and provide our viewers with reasons to buy.




💡Think about it

  • Use creative techniques and different perspectives to share your story with your audience. Base your video around a specific topic that can serve as a natural way to deliver your key message - even if it's an unexpected topic or angle.

  • Think beyond your product. Get creative and experiment with different storytelling angles.

  • Test different narratives to understand what your audience resonates with most. Different narratives also fit different objectives well and including a variety of approaches will work best.

  • Use effective storytelling to accentuate and elevate your key message or to highlight product features and selling points.

Creative Video Scripts

Write with your audience in mind. Ask yourself these questions: How do they want to be spoken to? What resonates with them? To stand out from the clutter in a crowded industry, make sure your content clearly illustrates how your product is unique and why your target audience needs it.

Script Structure

In terms of flow, we can break the script down into three parts: the beginning, the middle, and the end. Each section serves its own unique purpose, with different content that supports the overall storyline of the video. Understanding the logic behind each section will help simplify the script-writing process and ensure its effectiveness.


The hook:

The first 3-6 seconds of your ad are precious. Make the most of this window of time by captivating your audience with a powerful, attention-grabbing hook that draws them in to keep watching. Make sure the hook is related to your game in some way.This will ensure a smooth transition from the initial hook to the key message that follows.


The Key Message:

Right after the hook, it's time to deliver your key message in a clear, concise, and memorable way. It's important that your key message is connected to your product in an organic and cohesive way. This time is to set the tone of the video and should be what you want your audience to takeaway. Stand out by focusing on unique product benefits and key value props.


The CTA:

End with a simple and straightforward CTA to continue the momentum and get your audience to take action. Provide an actionable takeaway for them, whether through text, sound, or direct voice.

The Hook

1. Comment reply

  • How much coffee concentrate do you use?
  • Your seasoning is seriously the best!
  • Can you do a review, please?
  • What's that box in your fridge?

2. Hacks/Tips for pain points

  • Highlight a problem/pain point and suggest a solution
    • I know I am not alone when I say [...] is such a struggle
    • My energy levels were so low before Early Bird
    • Don't know what to cook for dinner?
    • Want to be social without the hangover?
    • How to eat healthy without sacrificing taste...
    • Starbucks dupe!

3. Price and promotions

  • Price Info:
    • This coffee costs just $0.60 per cup!
    • 6 drinks for $3!
    • 6x the spice for 2x the cost if you get the larger size
  • Promotional info:
    • Do you want to receive any product absolutely free of charge?
    • $10 off cookie dough. If you're not satisfied, there's a money back guarantee!
  • Provide Gift/Gift code
    • Free gift or giveaway
    • Discounted or free gift with purch

4. Recipes

  • Gut health smoothie recipe
  • Turn any recipe into a healthier but still tasty alternative with this seasoning
  • Sweet tooth? Try this diet hack with [product + recipe]!
  • You’ll love this product because [product function]
  • I'm going to show you how to make my....

5. Raise questions

  • Do you ever want [goal] without [problem]?
    • Do you ever want that buzz without drinking alcohol?
  • Are you sober?
  • How many times per day do you need to hydrate as a breastfeeding mom?
  • Want to know how I reach my fitness goals?
  • Should I share my gut health recipes?
  • Did you know...?

6. Unboxing and audience interaction

  • A gross fact that most coffee companies don't want you to know...
  • Why [audience characteristic] are switching to...?
  • I just received this package from [...] let's try it!
  • Did you know...?
  • Why do you need [product]?
  • TikTok made me buy it

7. Urgency and gifting

  • My birthday surprise
  • Need a gift idea?
  • This is limited edition - and the perfect gift to give!
  • Turn moments into memories
  • We made a secret flavor just for TikTok
  • Perfect gift for the holiday season!
  • Limited edition flavor you have to try
  • Stock up before this batch sells out!
  • Hurry up, we're selling out fast!

8. Reviews and testimonials

  • I had to try the water bottle that EVERYONE on TikTok is talking about!
  • I love this because...
  • I'd recommend this product because...
  • I'm about to put you on...
  • One of my best decisions of 2021 was trying these Outer Aisle cauliflower thins.

Key Messages

1. Product Information/Selling Point

Ingredients and benefits

  • This [brand] [item] is unlike any other because....
  • This [product] really helps with [common issues, ex: hydration, energy, sleep, gut health, etc.]
  • I've been hearing about [product] everywhere, so I had to try it out myself!
  • This [product] is super healthy and full of [ingredients / nutrients]

Use case + Scenario

  • I have this when I'm [scenario] all the time, because they are [key selling point].
  • I love this [product] because you can take it with you to [specific moment].
  • Specific examples:
    • If you're pregnant, you NEED Baby Booster.
    • Do yourself a favor - ease your hangovers with Vita Coco.
    • I like to use this product to start my day or when I'm out taking my dogs for a walk.
    • Feeling anti-social? Chamberlain Cat Blend coffee has got you covered - drink this for a boost and to feel more outgoing!

Experiences and success stories

  • This [product] has changed the way I [previously problem], by [product features and function]
    • Ex: Waterdrop: Thanks to these microdrinks, which taste even better than soda, I'm drinking more water! It spices water up with natural fruit and plant extracts. Plus, it contains valuable vitamins.
  • Using this product, I'm [solution to original problem]
    • Ex: Som Sleep: "This is it. I've found THE product of 2021. Som sleep - best sleep of my entire life!"
  • The [key selling point] will [result]

Product functionality

  • This [product] is better than [generic] because it [unique functions].
    • Ex: Need a little TLC for your liver? Try Teatonics' I love my liver detox
  • [Product] [unique technology compared to competitors] [Outcome]
    • Ex: These Liquid IVs use new technology that rapid-fire delivers water right into your bloodstream, rather than through your digestive system. 3x the electrolytes as Gatorade!
  • [Product function] and [what you can expect].
  • Ex: I've been using Som Sleep to sleep better, and it puts me out every single night.

2. Social Proof

Positive Endorsements

  • This is my everyday [product].
  • The [product] I use every day to [scenario].
  • I tried the product that EVERYONE has been talking about!
  • The reason why I love [product]...

Personal stories

  • When I saw these, I immediately needed to test them out for myself. I have [common problem] and this [key feature] creates [result]!
  • I have [product] during [specific time].
    • Ex: I've had this for breakfast, I've had it for lunch, I've had it for dinner AND I've had it for dessert!
  • [Target audience common problem] but not anymore! [Product solution]
    • Ex: I was tired of feeling guilty for wanting my favorite comfort food. But not anymore! Camp Mac and Cheese tastes just like my favorite dish, but is actually made with vegetables!
  • Speak to why you chose to purchase the product.
    • Did you drink water today? If you're like me, you probably didn't. So, I want to share with you my new favorite and absolutely necessary thing: Circkul.

Specific communities

  • This is perfect for [community] during [scenario]!
    • Ex: I consider myself a health-conscious person. When I got my Green Tea sampler pack from Vahdam, I knew I had the perfect assortment to stay active.
  • As a [community member], this [product] is perfect for [relevant issue]
    • Ex: My inner health coach is freaking out about these gluten free/grain free sandwich thins that turn any recipe into a healthy alternative.
  • How-to make this for [community]
    • Add this seasoning to coffee grounds before brewing for a paleo and keto-friendly drink
  • Visual example - mom holding young baby with product in hand.

3. Added Benefits

Promos and popularity

  • [Product] is so [key selling point], I'm not surprised they keep selling out. Go get yourself one now while they're still in stock!
  • Added benefits
    • 25% off everything for Black Friday. There's never been a better time to get healthier!
  • Urgency
    • Buy before it sells out again!
  • Popularity
    • The viral [product] - TikTok made me buy it!

Unique services

  • Free shipping, no delivery fee
  • Home delivery right to your door
  • After-sale guarantees: the platform provides after-sale services and satisfaction guarantees.
    • Eg: easy returns within 7 days; free replacement if you receive a faulty product.
  • Buy now, pay later
  • Subscribe and save
  • Satisfaction guarantee.



Screenshot of CTA

Full video with CTA

1. Action-oriented

  • Let's try it!
  • Buy it!
  • Order yours today
  • Shop now
  • Get yours now!
  • You have to check this out for yourself.

2. Promotion

  • x% off now
  • Subscribe and save x%
  • We're doing x% off today!
  • Hurry up, discounts end tonight!
  • Yes, I recommend this product. Plus, it's x% off!
  • Get a free gift with purchase!

3. Product efficacy

  • This is how I improved my [result]. It makes me feel [emotion]! Link below to where I got mine!
  • They are [key benefit] and give you [result]. Be sure to check at XX.com!
  • How this helps with [scenario]
  • They are [key benefit] that gives you real [result]. Be sure to check it out at XX.com

4. Website Link

  • Click the link below to learn more👇!
  • Buy from [retailer]. Link in bio.
  • Buy from this link for a discount when you place an order.
  • Go to [website] to get yours today!

Try it out

Creative Patterns

  • Experiment with the above Creative Patterns on your existing assets. Test and compare with previous videos, and you might see a lift in performance. Don't be afraid to mix and match different patterns. Think outside the box and get creative.

Creative Video Scripts

  • Brainstorm scripts using the suggested "Hook + Key Message + CTA" structure. Mix and match different narratives to find the right combination that works best for you!

🙌🏻 Communities

TikTok is all about strong communities that rally around certain topics. If your product is relevant to any of these specific and niche communities, consider tapping into these groups through compelling visuals and copy that appeal to them personally.

  • #RecipeTok

  • #EasyRecipe

  • #TikTokFood

  • #Foodie

  • #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt

  • #TikTokMadeMeEatIt

  • #FoodHacks

  • #ASMRFood

  • #BeverageGirlies

  • #FoodChallenge

  • #MomTok (if relevant - share how your product improves moms' lives)

  • #MentalHealthTok (if product contains relevant functional benefits)

  • #CoffeeTok (showcase unique coffee drink ideas)

  • #GutTok (if product contains functional gut health benefits)

  • #BookTok (pair coffee/beverages with reading)

  • #SoberTok / #SoberCurious (showcase non-alcoholic beverages)

  • #TeacherTok (highlight convenience with on-the-go meals/drinks)

  • #FitnessTok (show how your product helps people meet fitness goals)

  • #AestheticTok + #HomeDecorTok (show beautiful drinkware) 

Helpful Links

Check out these resources to learn how to use TikTok to your advantage. Get inspired to make your own viral ad!

1. What's Next: TikTok 2023 Trend Report

2. Unlocking a library of creative possibilities on TikTok

3. Helping brands unlock the power of music and sound on TikTok

4. Study shows small businesses are finding their home on TikTok

5. TikTok - Food Category

Get started now by jumping into TikTok Ads Manager and let your creativity take over!

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