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TikTok Ad Formats for Different Goals: The Guide You’ll Ever Need 

TikTok Ads format

Feeling confused with a wide range of TikTok Ad formats seems to be a normal thing with all newbies on TikTok. Have you ever encountered this challenge, want to run TikTok Ad but still wonder between different formats?

However, don’t take it seriously! All you need to do is just follow our guide below about all the best TikTok Ad formats for different goals, you will definitely find the greatest business solution ever!

In-Feed Ads

As the name reflects, In-Feed Ads are the video ads that appear between user videos when they scroll through their For You Page. Those videos can blend naturally in with the native content feed. To put it simply, In-Feed Ads are similar to the ads you see while tapping through Instagram Story.


We often get asked where to start when it comes to advertising on TikTok. Our answer is In-Feed ads! Learn more about the format in this video. #AdTok

♬ original sound – TikTok For Business

This TikTok Ad format is especially dedicated to a successful branding process by increasing visibility and reaching a broader audience. Marketers will have the power to include a call-to-action button that links to a landing page or other desired destinations.

Otherwise, viewers can also interact with your videos by liking, leaving a comment, sharing or using the music to create their own content. 

On the downside, In-Feed Ads are skippable and difficult to boost your customer retention. So consider carefully your business goals before running TikTok In-Feed Ads!

Here are the specs for the In-Feed ad video: 

  • Aspect ratio: 16:9, 9:16 or 1:1.
  • Video resolution: 1280 x 720 px, 720 x 1280 px, and  640 x 640 px. 
  • File types: .mov, .mp4, .3gp, .mpeg, or .avi.
  • Video duration: between 5 and 60 seconds (short videos of 9-15s are highly recommended for the best results).
  • Video size: within 500MB. 

Spark Ads

Spark Ads is another TikTok Ad format that aligns with many business goals. It allows you to create advertising videos by leveraging organic TikTok posts. Such a best way to scale User-generated-content and drive a higher engagement rate! 

TikTok Spark Ads
TikTok Spark Ads – Source: TikTok

A little bit different from regular In-Feed Ads, Spark Ads enables you to publish ads by using your own post on TikTok or other organic posts created by other TikTokers. Just test this unique format, you will definitely be surprised by its amazing benefits:

  • Create authenticity for the customer journey.
  • Optimize ad performance. 
  • Boost customer loyalty and retention. 

Regarding the specs of Spark Ads, TikTok doesn’t have any restrictions for video ratio, video resolution, file type or file size. However, users need to choose the ad display name and text that reflect the organic post and they cannot be edited during the ad creation process. 

Brand Takeover

Compared to In-Feed Ads, Brand Takeover Ads is a full-screen mode that displays as soon as users open TikTok. This format lets brands embed a three-second image or a three to five-second video and drive traffic to your choice of destination (internal & external links).

Brand Takeover
Brand Takeover – Source: TikTok

Created for delivering mass awareness, Brand Takeover Ads guarantee high reach and outstanding performance with 100% share of voice for the day they are featured. However, only one specific brand can take over a category daily due to the ad space limited to different categories. This is why Brand Takeover Ads are less competitive but also demand a high price. 


We build brand safe solutions like Topview, Brand Takeover + more so your brand can safely build on TikTok. Head to the Brand Safety Center at our link in bio for more! #tiktokmarketing #tiktoktips

♬ original sound – TikTok for Business

Here are the specs for Brand Takeover video:

  • Video duration: 3-5 seconds.
  • Aspect ratio: 9:16.
  • File types: .mp4, .mov, .mpeg, .3gp, or .avi.
  • Text description: Not supported for Brand Takeover ad type.
  • File size: within 500 MB.

Branded Hashtag challenge

Have you ever taken part in a TikTok challenge and never gotten tired? Branded Hashtag challenge definitely doesn’t miss the huge effect created by the challenge and TikTok hashtag


What do you get when you combine advertising and TikTok creators? Welcome to your very own Branded Hashtag Challenge! #AdTok #smallbusiness

♬ original sound – TikTok For Business

It’s a perfect way to encourage content co-creation and generate millions of views. This format is suitable for companies with well-known hashtags or brands focused on raising awareness and increasing engagement. 

Here’s the way that Branded Hashtag challenge work:

  • TikTokers click on the branded hashtag challenge at the top of For You Page (FYP).
  • A Brand Challenge page with the challenge description (rules, sponsoring brands and a link to their website) is there for users to discover.
  • TikTokers create their own content based on the challenge. 

🔥🔥 @asos land with a bang! Featuring its #AySauce Branded Hashtag Challenge Plus, TopView takeover, ORIGINAL music & Branded Effects 💥💥

♬ original sound – TikTok for Business

Branded Hashtag challenge has the power to grab attention and more importantly: turn your target audience into active participants, co-creators, followers or buyers. Otherwise, brands can easily boost massive engagement and also gain organic visibility. 

Branded Effect

Different from these three mentioned TikTok Ads, with Branded Effect, users can create sharable stickers, filters and also effects on TikTok for brand promotion. TikTok marketers usually integrate this type with other TikTok Ads (especially Branded Hashtag challenge) to create a wonderful experience. 


Colgate Max Fresh deployed a super fun & engaging hashtag challenge through a TikTok branded effect for users in Saudi Arabia! Watch the video to see how this helped the brand achieve higher awareness, purchase intent & more, among its target audience 📈 #ColgateMaxFresh #Colgate #TikTok #TikTokBrandedEffect #BrandedEffect #AR #AugmentedReality #Marketing #MarketingTech #Branding #MarketingGoals #MarTech #CreativeTech #Immersive #DigitalMarketing #EffectHouse #TikTokAR

♬ original sound – alivenowInc

And if you are a creative person with strong working knowledge of software tools, don’t forget Branded Effect! It’s a powerful advertising tool to promote your brand identity on TikTok. 

Collection Ads 

Created for e-commerce, TikTok Collection Ads enables users to discover and browse products in a full-screen mode without leaving the TikTok app. This format leads your customers to an Instant Gallery Page and lets them freely search for the products of their choice.   


Collection Ads combine a TikTok ad with a fast-loading shoppable gallery! 🛍️ Link in bio to learn more #AdTok

♬ original sound – TikTok For Business – TikTok For Business

With all these features, TikTok Collection Ads give chance to e-commerce marketers to develop their businesses:

  • Easier for customers to select the products that they have a keen interest in
  • Flexible way to promote products with personalized product recommendations (Each TikToker will see diverse products in your Instant Gallery Page)
  • Ideal to satisfy customers with an immersive experience

Keep in mind that all the products that are setten up in your gallery will go through a review process. Any products that don’t pass this review can’t be displayed in your Collection Ads. You can check the result in their catalog or in the Instant Gallery Page Editor.

Here are the specs for TikTok Collection Ad video:

  • Aspect ratio: 9:16. 
  • Video resolution: 720 x 1280 px, 640 x 640 px or 1280 x 720 px. 
  • File types: .mov, .mp4, .mpeg, or .avi.
  • Video duration: between 5 and 16 seconds.
  • Video size: within 500MB. 

Dynamic Showcase Ads (DSAs)

Similarly to Dynamic Product Ads, TikTok Dynamic Showcase Ads are customized video ads that are created in real-time and based on an advertising template. This template contains relevant product information which is automatically updated on a regular basis. Until now, this type of social advertising is presently testing in a few markets and is yet available for all users. 

TikTok Dynamic Showcase Ads
TikTok Dynamic Showcase Ads – Source: TikTok

Many enterprises choose this format to promote their identity and increase sales due to these undeniable benefits:

  • Advertise a large and personalized product portfolio at scale
  • Save the cost, time management and effort due to the automatic work
  • High chance to target customers who interested in products via platforms and devices

If you want to run your Dynamic Showcase Ads in the fastest and most efficient way, then make sure that you keep your product feed up to date. It’s considered the key with a major role in Dynamic Showcase Ads. You can create the final ad by using the ad template provided by TikTok with all the product information. 

Shopping Ads

Shopping Ads is an advanced three-in-one solution that allows brands to satisfy all steps during the customer buying process. This format included 3 types: Video Shopping Ads, Catalog Listing Ads and Live Shopping Ads which are suitable for diverse demands. 

Video Shopping Ads

Based on 2 existing TikTok Ads formats: Collection Ads and Dynamic Showcase Ads, Video Shopping Ads are hyper-relevant and smart videos with personalized recommendations based on audience interactions. 

Video Shopping Ads – Source: TikTok

Those videos will display on the For You Page and allow marketers to show their unique products. Especially, a landing page will be automatically created to encourage viewers to take desired actions. 

Catalog Listing Ads

Compared to Video Shopping Ads, Catalog Listing Ads features allow you to increase engagement through product catalogs across the app. Instead of video, Catalog Listing Ads advertise products via photos which will be shown in Branded content on the For You Page. 

Catalog Listing Ads – Source: TikTok

However, Catalog Listing Ads are only being tested in the U.S market.

Live Shopping Ads

Only available in the UK, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, Live Shopping Ads is the ad type that promotes TikTok live shopping streams. This ad type enables brands to show their products in real-time via streaming events.

Live Shopping Ads
Live Shopping Ads

Designed specifically for e-merchants, Live Shopping Ads is an effective technique to improve your business scale: 

  • Simplify the customer buying process, spark demand and boost sales for your business.
  • Provide different ways to present your product and then attract new customers.

Carousel Ads

Lastly, Carousel Ads is now a trending TikTok ads solution for e-commerce businesses. Via this TikTok ad, you can upload up to 10 images which will display from left to right with unique captions and a simple URL. 

Otherwise, Carousel Ads give you a chance to increase your creativity by determining the photo order. However, running images can lead to a breakdown in communication lacking visual aid. 

Being one of the most effective ads for e-merchants, Carousel Ads is an awesome tool for:

  • Tell brand stories by using images and captions.
  • Feature products as a virtual catalog.
  • Focus on important product details.

If you have intention to master Carousel Ads, you should focus on your TikTok Ads structure to meet all the requirements. All the images and captions in a Carousel Ad must be censored in the ad review. If one element does not pass this process, your entire carousel will be rejected. 

Run the best TikTok Ad format to stand out from the crowd

Choosing the most suitable ad format will take you one step closer to achieve your must-meet goals and completely beat your competitors. So don’t forget to clearly define your objectives for running TikTok Ad, your audiences, your KPi and also follow our ultimate guide, you will make a killer campaign ever!

To help you to overcome all the advertising challenges, our teams are always here, ready to give you a hand. Feel free to contact our experts for more advice or try out our new product NestAds to master all the TikTok Ad formats. 


Meet our Author


Author at NestScale

Rosie is a professional content writer, focusing on technology and e-commerce business. When she’s not working, you will find her immersing in movies or hanging out with her friends.


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