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TikTok Ads Creative: Every Element and Spec to Win the Audience

TikTok ad creative Specs elements

In 2021, TikTok ranked as the most downloaded app worldwide with over 1.5 billion monthly active users. Available in 154 countries, TikTok has broadened its reach and penetration, which is tailor-made for brands to advertise and interact with their target audience.

Advertisers are estimated to reach nearly 890 million users aged 18 and above on TikTok in 2022 suggesting that TikTok marketing and TikTok ads can be megabucks for businesses. In this post, let’s break down some of the most effective TikTok creative elements and the specifications for TikTok ads to make your ads more appealing.

5 popular TikTok creative elements to elevate your video

While TikTok is dominating social media with its short-form, vertical video content, there’s no doubt that creative elements significantly contribute to TikTok’s success. Let’s discover the 5 powerful elements to make a viral video.

creative elements
Most popular creative elements – Source: TikTok

Attractive audio sound

Sound is a potent attention-grabbing element on TikTok because 93% of users spend time on the app with sound on, especially music. As a result, this most widely-used type of audio accounts for 3 out of 5 of all TikTok ads. Although less common, voiceovers also feature in 39% of ads. Being in only 20% of analyzed ads, text-to-speech is the least used sound on TikTok.


Unfold joy like TeamGalaxy’s Millie Bobby Brown. #UnfoldChallenge with #GalaxyZFlip3 #GalaxyZFold3

♬ Butter – 방탄소년단(BTS)

Amazing text and captions

Text is a prominent way to highlight key messages. Text boxes are employed in 86% of all ads while text overlays and branding in the caption are also included in most ads (71% and 76% respectively).


TikTok tip: add your captions in TikTok bc it helps TikTok understand what the video is about and what YOU are about #socialmediatips

♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) – Danilo Stankovic

Catchy Calls to Action

CTAs aim to encourage viewers to take action so they are likely to appear as a CTA button or textual language on a landing page to make a purchase or to “Download Now.” 

Famous TikTok creators and talent

Creators give a personal touch to their creative work by frequently addressing viewers directly and having one-on-one conversations with them. 41% of TikTok ads use this strategy.


goodies for the guests 🤍 thank you @the crème shop @ABH Cosmetics @onesize @PRIME @Elsewhere @Baked by Melissa

♬ Swaggy Christmas – Official Sound Studio

Stunning visual effects

Visual effects are one of the most advantageous options to make your TikTok video more dynamic and attractive. The most popular effects on the platform comprise filters and transitions that can draw the audience’s attention and reach more target users.


Swarovski Jewelry makes everything better✨💛 @Swarovski #Swarovski #RevealYourFacets #SwarovskiLucent #ad

♬ I love U – Official Sound Studio

TikTok Ads creative elements best practices for successful campaigns 

Now that you are aware of the common creative components that are exclusive to TikTok, let’s delve further and examine how they affect creative performance on the platform and what makes them important from a business standpoint.

There is no “one size fits all” recipe for success, it all depends on the goals of the campaign. The best strategy to maintain the viewers’ attention throughout the video and improve understanding and memorability is to keep the topic simple and authentic without overusing the elements.

Don’t forget to keep the beat on playing

On TikTok, people are more likely to skip a sound-off ad. Keep sound on and don’t skip it out, since sound is obviously a critical component to hooking viewers and engagement. Depending on what you want to accomplish, both musical and non-musical choices (voiceover, ASMR) are available for your ads.

Studies show that users strongly prefer recognizable music, and when they hear the song they love, brands feel more familiar and relatable. On the other hand, when it comes to building brand awareness and brand recall, custom-made music may bring more success. The advantage of creating your own music is that it will be exclusively associated with your brand.

The usage of voiceover is the most effective alternative for music. Voiceovers outperform other non-musical techniques in terms of memory and recognition. Compare to a normal, natural voiceover, the impact of voice-overs may be amplified by using vocal effects, which can result in a +1.7x larger boost in consideration.


@BrookieandJessie have their laundry routine down, do you? #SamsungWashingMachine #SamsungSong

♬ original sound – Samsung – Samsung

Pay attention to the appearance of text overlays

Text is useful for illustrating or underlining important information, but it must be used with care to strike a good balance between volume and timing. Don’t exaggerate and pay attention to when and how it appears. Once they read the title, brand name, or CTAs in on-screen captions, viewers are more likely to be into the rest of the advertisement.

Think fewer and sooner when putting text into your TikTok ads. In comparison to different timings, TikTok’s sweet spot for displaying text has been found to be between 5 and 10 words per second. Additionally, according to a worldwide study, viewers of sponsored ads consume information more thoroughly and process captions 38% quicker than they do for organic ads.

Deliver clear CTAs to lift conversion

CTAs usually come in the form of text to guide your audience in taking the next step. Hence, clear CTAs are more persuasive and effective in reducing hesitation and leading to conversion

According to a US study, CTA display card ads increase recall by over 45% and likeability by 19%. Additionally, placing a CTA in the opening frame boosts conversions by more than 44% compared to placing it later in the first two seconds. 80% of the best-intended ads feature a call-to-action prompt, according to an analysis of the similarities across high-performing brand lift campaigns.

Incorporate a human touch into your brand

An advertisement might feel more personal and provoke an emotional reaction by including a human touch, nevertheless, the ideal method differs.

Numerous data sets indicate that demonstrating a brand’s variety through a diverse group of individuals effectively drives the audience’s post-exposure behavior. Nonetheless, don’t feel obligated to stick with one spokesperson, just feel free to mix things up and show the inclusivity and diversity of your values.

Besides, consider having a creator display your product because people + product = success. Since they may offer validation, demonstration, results, and product feedback all in one, creator posts with a product emphasis will have a significant impact. When influencers, verified users, or creators content about a product or company, 65% of people say they really like it.

>>> Read more: TikTok Brand Collaboration 101: How to Pursue Win-win Situation


Presenting the #DiorSpring23 collection, with a side of Robert Pattinson.

♬ original sound – Dior

Make special effects entertaining and engaging

Keep in mind that TikTok’s success as a platform is largely due to its prominence in the entertainment industry. Effects and transitions have a significant impact on creative performance due to their undeniable entertainment component. Transitions that are unexpected and enjoyable enhance the brand’s distinctiveness and affinity.

As it had been seen, a +53% increase in brand memory has increased brand consideration by +19%. Identify the spot in your videos where transitions or effects could be possible, then bring them to life.


Join us! Live sustainably with iconic Z Flip4 covers made from recycled materials. #GalaxyZFlip4 #EcoFriends #EverydaySustainability #DoItEco #Samsung

♬ 오리지널 사운드 – Samsung – Samsung

Different specifications for awesome TikTok Ads video

Image ads specs

TikTok Image Ads would appear at best in the following formats.

Global App Bundle
PlacementResso: Take over
Ad compositionImage + Brand/app name (logo) + Skip ad button and [Landing page URL] + CTA button
File type.jpg, .jpeg, .png
Size & ResolutionSize within 100MB and resolution 720*1280px

Video ads specs

The table below refers to the specifications for the video ad that apply to the TikTok ad placements and Global App Bundle.

TikTok Video AdsGlobal App Bundle
PlacementTikTok In-Feed AdsResso: Take over
Ad compositionVideo + Ad display image + Brand/app name (logo) + Ad description + CTA buttonVideo + Brand/app name (logo) + Skip ad button and [Landing page URL] + CTA button
Aspect ratio9:16, 1:1, or 16:99:16
Video durationUp to 60 seconds (suggest short videos of 9-15s)30 seconds
Video resolutionMinimum resolution of 540*960px, 640*640px, or 960*540px720*1280px
File type.mp4, .mov, .mpeg, .3gp, or .avi.mp4, .mov, .mpeg, .avi
File size & bitrateSize within 500MB and bitrate ≥516 kbpsSize within 500MB and bitrate ≥516 kbps
Profile imageAspect Ratio: 1:1
File Type: .jpg, .jpeg, .png
File size: <50 KB
Aspect Ratio: 1:1
File Type: .jpg, .jpeg, .png
File size: <50 KB
video ad specs 1
 Source: TikTok Business Help Center

Bonus tips: Suggestion for optimizing TikTok Ads Specs

To help you make the most of TikTok ads, there’re a few things you need to memorize.

For the brand/app names

TikTok supports 2-20 Latin alphabet letters and 1-10 Asian characters for the brand names and doubles that number for the app names. Furthermore:

  • ​Emojis in the brand/app name are not supported
  • ​Punctuation marks and spaces count as characters
  • Longer text may not be appeared in the display area on the screen depending on the mobile phone model and operating system

For ad description

Ad description can contain 1-100 Latin alphabet letters and 1-50 Asian characters. There’re some notes that are similar to the brand/app name:

  • ​Emojis or these special characters: “{ }” or “#” are not supported in the description
  • Punctuation marks and spaces count as characters
  • Longer text may not be appeared in the display area on the screen depending on the mobile phone model and operating system

Crafting better ad performance and user experience

Remember to keep the key creative elements in the center of the screen. This keeps them from being obscured by the description or logo and having their sides slightly cropped to adjust to various display sizes.

Recently, TikTok has developed its own image cropping tool to simplify the user experience. With that, you can create and upload image ads of any aspect ratio and resize them to meet the quality requirement.

In addition, ads should be localized, and they shouldn’t be presented in languages other than the official local language too frequently.

video ad specs 2
 Source: TikTok Business Help Center

Ready to create high-performing ads?

It’s not big of a deal to master all the TikTok ad creative elements and effectively use appropriate specifications. With the basic information above, you can leverage your ads and drive your campaign to success. 

If you’re still confused with diverse TikTok ad creative elements and specs, good news: we got your back! Find out more ideas in TikTok Ads Creative Best Practices or feel free to try our product NestAds and let our experts expand your business.


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