dean rojas, gassed
Image: Dean Rojas, Gassed

Tell me about your role – what does a typical day look like for you?

I’m Dean Rojas, Co-Founder and President at Gassed – one of the only full service TikTok agencies, taking brands from ad concept to customer acquisition operating in the USA.

I personally handle the creative side of the business and I’m very hands on with production/scripting and editing as well as managing the team, meeting with our incumbent clients and prospecting new ones.

We’re only a year old, but growing rapidly, so the team and myself are continually adapting to new processes regularly. Outside of that, a cold beer is always welcome and waiting.

What was your motivation behind starting Gassed? What differentiates the company?

When Mike Woolsey (my co-founder) and I were both working at the personal care brand, Dr. Squatch, we saw a lot of creative agencies come in and churn, and the biggest downfall was a lack of understanding of optimizing paid media. This is why we decided to start the agency and put the two – creative and paid – under the same umbrella.

Mike manages our paid media team and I manage the creative team. We found ourselves working well together and bouncing ideas off one another during our time at Dr. Squatch. I’d send Mike ads and once he’d launched them he’d hit me back on Slack and say “ADS ARE GASSED,” meaning he’d have deployed and made them live on the platform. That’s where the name came from!

Should all brands be on TikTok?

100%. If you’re not willing to commit the spend on the platform then still do organic or influencer by any means necessary, but get your brand on TikTok.

It’s also one of those platforms that if you don’t use it you’re going to lose it. Trends come and go so quickly that you have to dedicate time or hire an individual to spend their day keeping up.

In addition to this, the platform itself has created its own social language in a sense, and if you don’t fully speak that language you’re not going to be successful.

Although TikTok is a new ad platform, it’s been through the ringer. Now, they’re applying things on their ads manager which worked for Meta in the past and deploying them at a rapid speed, allowing the platform to learn and convert.

What marketing trends are succeeding on TikTok and why?

We run all our ads as traditional in-feed and since we’re an agency partner with TikTok, we get early access to alphas and betas.

Video shopping ads, which were released a few months ago, have been one of the biggest successes we’ve seen across our accounts. They’re basically a product carousel at the bottom of the ad that viewers can click through directly to the product.

One of our favorite ad features besides that is Instant Page. We make these internally for clients to act as an intermediary landing page so that we can match the pre-click with the post-click. Since TikTok releases ad products so quickly, there’s something new every few months. We’re currently getting all our partners early access to the second version of Video Shopping Ads which will be similar but instead used for retargeting.

What are some of the biggest mistakes brands make when it comes to social?

The Number 1 mistake we see are brands not allocating enough time and resources to their dedicated platforms. Facebook content won’t work on TikTok!

TikTok is such a quick moving and evolving platform and it takes time to warm up and learn. If you’re looking to get an account started on TikTok, you’re not going to hit your KPIs in the first week. Give it time and let the account learn. Let your team learn what creative works and what media strategy works.

There’s also a large difference between brand creative and performance creative. UGC style TikTok ads are meant for conversion optimization vs. the polished looking 8k ads shot on Red Cameras you will typically use for branding. Keep a marriage between the two, but don’t expect the latter to convert.

Can you give us an example of a favourite brand or client that is succeeding on TikTok right now?

We’ve recently started working with Ruggable. They have an excellent team who understand that TikTok is a platform that contributes to the overall Marketing Efficiency Ratio. We’ve been able to scale up and hit goals as a result since TikTok is such a fast-paced platform.

We love brands that let us push the boundaries and do something a little out of the box. For example: Shooting a rug with paintballs for a crazy thumb stop. TikTok is a fun platform and the content is meant to be fun and when the audience is actually WATCHING the content they’re more likely to convert.

What’s next for Gassed?

We’re opening up media management and creative for Meta channels soon. So far, we’ve only run a few brands’ campaigns and have seen the performance across accounts from a creative perspective. Meanwhile, we have built out a team of experienced media buyers ready for us to take over Facebook/Instagram as a core service.

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