While brands typically seek out opportunities on TikTok to reach younger crowds, a recent campaign from Bayer and influencer agency Linqia wants to hone in on the increasingly growing older audience on the platform.

The Teach Me How to Gummy campaign launched in the summer of 2021 and targeted the 50-and-older audience on the social media app by featuring actor Alfonso Ribeiro.

“A lot of people know TikTok as a Gen Z, youthful platform, but over 10% of TikTok users are 50 plus and that number is growing every single day,” Keith Bendes, VP of strategy at Linquia, said. “It was an insight that we felt would let us stand out by targeting a group that not a lot of brands were targeting, especially as a 50 plus designated product.”

As part of the effort, Ribeiro, who starred in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and is currently the host of America’s Funniest Home Videos, danced to a new version of “Teach Me How to Dougie” to market One A Day multivitamins.

“We changed the lyrics and did a bit of a twist on the song so that it was more brand-owned as a sound,” Bendes explained.

Healthcare and wellness marketers are increasingly using TikTok to raise brand awareness and to tap into the platform’s development of what Bendes describes as ‘edutainment,’ or educational information packaged into entertainment.

“TikTok has accelerated the democratization of education to a certain extent,” Bendes said. “When you look at the younger demographics there, they’re not turning to financial advisors, they’re turning to TikTok. They’re not even turning to their doctors as much – they’re turning to people on TikTok. There’s a lot of education coming through the platform that allows consumers to get the information they need to make decisions about their own choices, especially when you talk about over-the-counter (OTC) products.”

Denise Vitola, VP of brand integration PR, social and influencer at Bayer, said the company has a rightful place on TikTok due to its work in the OTC space. 

“We look at our products as consumer packaged goods that are regulated, but they are things that we want consumers to feel something about,” she added. “We want them to feel good about the products that they’re buying.”

During the campaign period, between June and August 2021, it made more than 45 million impressions on TikTok, Bendes said. The team also saw a 102% increase in mentions of One a Day multivitamins during that period. The videos also linked to retailers, driving up to 80,000 cart transfers.

Bayer plans to continue to explore TikTok opportunities and has enlisted more celebrities to do so. The company’s most recent campaign on the platform involved an Alka-Seltzer collaboration with T-Pain.

“There was [initially] some convincing [at the company], first whether TikTok is even a place that we could see success – and then success for the 50 plus demographic,” Vitola said. “In executing this program, we do see a huge opportunity with TikTok and it’s a platform that we want to continue exploring.”