The Oracle/Walmart Deal: What Marketers Should Do About TikTok

TikTok, please stop putting us through this soap opera.

…please stop putting us through this soap opera.

On Friday: The U.S. banned TikTok downloads and planned to ban the app entirely come November 12. 

  • As of Friday, at least marketers had the option to stay—an anonymous agency executive told Ad Age that “Trump’s order does not cover media buying, so ad campaigns seem to be OK to run.” 

But then: As of Saturday night, President Trump gave “tentative approval” to a restructured deal preserving TikTok, in which Walmart and Oracle form a corporate entity with a U.S. HQ called TikTok Global, per NPR

And as of Sunday night, President Trump delayed the TikTok download ban until September 27. 

Should I stay or should I go? 

With everything that happened this weekend, advertisers on the platform are faced with a difficult decision. Should you continue using the app and live with the chaos, or forgo the wunderkind marketing channel?

The case for TikToking on: 

  • At this point, marketers on TikTok are able to strategize around what will likely happen if Trump ends up backpedaling on the deal—there would be a pause in downloads and a potentially full ban after the election. 
  • Apparently, there’s no better growth hack for an app than making it a limited time offer like “you only have a week to download our app.” TikTok app downloads increased by 12% on Friday from the day before. 
  • Plus, until a full ban goes into effect, TikTok will feel more like an exclusive in-group for users, which could be a good thing for marketers. 

The case for Tik-walking out the door: 

  • It either isn’t on-brand for a business to be associated with a platform that the U.S. government flip-flops on calling dangerous for national security…
  • … or it doesn’t want to spend time investing in a channel that could completely disappear in a few months. 

Bottom line: Whether marketers stay or go is a bit of a catch-22, but having a tech-savvy lawyer sit in on the decision-making process probably wouldn’t hurt.

Via Morning Brew

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