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Are TikTok Edits the New Commercials?

With cable on the outs, and streaming services swiftly moving in, social media such as TikTok and Instagram are playing a larger role in advertising.

Credit: Shutterstock/Diego Thomazini

What originally began as the new Musical.ly is now replacing a wide variety of platforms and positions. TikTok is the new age music promoter, book reviewer, news outlet, shopping center, and, of course, advertiser.

TikTok edits, in particular, have been making waves steadily since 2020. An “edit,” in this sense, is a video of spliced images and video clips from certain shows, movies, books, and celebrities. These edits are a means of artistic expression, accompanied by an appreciation and love for the edit’s subject.

What may have started as harmless fun now holds significant sway in what Gen Z audiences choose to consume. Kaeli Kampschmidt, writer for The Academy Advocate, spoke on TikTok’s impact on album sales, with virality now pushing into the financial sphere.

“Take Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” as an example. A TikTok by @420doggface208 featuring this song has over 35 million views and the song’s sales shot up 184% the week the TikTok was released.”

Kampschmidt ’23, Kaeli. “TikTok’s Influence on the Film and Music Industries.” The Advocate, 11 Dec. 2020, theacademyadvocate.com/5936/entertainment/tiktoks-influence-on-the-film-and-music-industries/.

This impressive jump in sales is no outlier. In fact, Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” is just one example of a trend’s massive impact. Plenty of top trending artists such as Doja Cat, and shows, such as “Game of Thrones” can thank TikTok for the boost in success.

AniTok (Anime TikTok) and its impact

One industry in particular that owes social media editors gratitude is the anime industry. According to Market Splash, “Between 2020 and 2022, global anime demand escalated by 118%.” It just so happens that “AniTok” also gained immense popularity in those years.

2020 started strong with edits of certain cosplayers and trends such as the “dancing” fanmade animations of beloved characters. Now, in 2023, video edits have taken the cake as anime’s main “advertisement” online.

How many times have you been watching television or scrolling on Instagram and you saw an official ad for an anime series? Not too many, right? Anime has a unique journey in media because it rarely airs on American television episodically. Instead, viewers watch it on streaming services or independent sites such as “Crunchy Roll.” Because anime does not rely on airtime and is instead searched for on a person-to-person basis, traditional commercials aren’t much help.

This is where the TikTok editors come in. There is no mystery that the most popular anime series in the United States also has the most-viewed TikTok videos. One example in particular is “Jujutsu Kaisen.”

The “Jujutsu Kaisen” Effect

Jujutsu Kaisen has soared to the top of popularity polls in the last two years and a lot of that social climb is due to the increase in edits. The most notable character in recent months is Gojo Satoru.

Jujutsu Kaisen art covers mall wall in Akihabara, Japan. Credit: Shutterstock/InfantryDavid
Jujutsu Kaisen art covers mall wall in Akihabara, Japan. Credit: Shutterstock/InfantryDavid

“Twitter User Kaikaikitan shared the results of the latest popularity poll conducted by LINE Research for “Who’s Your Favorite Character In Jujutsu Kaisen,” proving that Gojo Satoru is the most popular character among all age groups that follow the Shonen series.”

Valentine, Evan. “Jujutsu Kaisen Overtakes Popularity Poll Thanks to Gojo.” Anime, 8 Dec. 2021, comicbook.com/anime/news/jujutsu-kaisen-popularity-poll-gojo-dominates/.

The “Gojo” hashtag on TikTok has 26.8 billion views, while “Gojoedit” trails with 2.1 billion. Edits of this one character alone have more views than some professional films could dream of. Now, take in the show as a whole: the hashtag “Jujutsu Kaisen” has 93.5 billion views, with “Jujutsu Kaisen edits” trailing with 10.1 billion.

For an example of just how commercial TikTok edits have become, watch the video below by Usoppfandom, with 1.4 million views.

The anime industry has seen a global boom in viewers and sales thanks to its relationship with social media editors. Other mediums may have to take inspiration to stay afloat in the world of streaming and media.

What’s Changed in Advertising?

It is clear that the method of advertising has shifted from television commercials to social media ads and trends. But what brought on this shift? The cynic would blame shortening attention spans, but the optimist would say it is simply the shift in the viewer’s age.

Millennials, Gen Z, and Gen Alpha have made the swap to streaming services and pirating sites, while older generations still rely on live television. According to Tech Penny, “the median age of a live TV viewer is 56.” This is remarkable in comparison to Statista’s findings that “around 75 percent of respondents aged 18 to 34 subscribed to Netflix as of mid-2021, compared to just 44 percent of those aged 65 or above.”

To adjust to the new viewing population, networks and promoters need to switch marketing strategies. What better way to advertise to a generation constantly surrounded by screens than to put the ads where they look most: their phone.

Credit: Unsplash/Firmbee.com

The idea of transforming commercials from the big screen to the little screen is not a new one. YouTube has featured highly viewed commercials for a while now. However, nothing yet has been so effective in its spontaneous bursts of popularity than TikTok.

What’s in Store for the Editing Community?

One downfall of using social media as a gauge of what to watch is the speed at which trends die. The same instantaneous increase in popularity for certain shows and artists is what can take all the fame away. Whether something is “canceled” or the trend is simply forgotten, TikTok is just as brutal as it is generous.

However, there is no need to fear. The editing community has lived long before the creation of TikTok, starting on YouTube with AMV (anime music video) edits. While the longevity of certain trending sensations such as “Jujutsu Kaisen” may not last, the widespread impact media editors have on audiences is here to stay.

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Written By

Hello all! I am a writer from Baltimore, Maryland currently pursuing an English degree at Ohio University. I write in a variety of mediums including poetry, shorts, novels, articles, and screenplays.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Dakota Meekins

    December 28, 2023 at 6:06 pm

    The lions gate edits are the only reason I watched songbirds and snakes 😭

  2. Dr. Patricia Mabry

    January 17, 2024 at 1:00 pm

    Extensive research-based reviews and impressive commentary.

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