Pepsi, Starbucks and McDonald's use TikTok challenges to inspire its users to market unhealthy foods

Thursday, July 28, 2022

While TikTok was once considered an app for teenagers, many of the world's biggest brands have noticed its ability to reach a wide public, and have decided to set up their own accounts.

Now researchers have discovered how junk food brands such as Pepsi, Starbucks and McDonald's are encouraging tiki'ra-makers to market their products via hashtag challenges.

Researchers from Deakin University in Australia looked at videos from 16 food and drinks brands and were able to uncover the clever tactics that drove brand engagement on TikTok.

For instance, this study stresses Pepsi India's # SwagStepChallenge, whereby viewers were asked to make a "swag" sign with their hands to activate Pepsi sunglasses.

The challenge hashtag hit a staggering 107.9 billion times and brought in significant free marketing to Pepsi.

Britain's Health and Care Bill aims to ban all "paid" online sales of "less healthy food and drink" starting in 2023.