Abid Hussain Barlaskar
Social Media

It's TikTok's turn to be woke

TikTok's #AllTheDifference campaign launched in collaboration with the WEF (World Economic Forum) is an umbrella movement for social causes. The campaign has been launched just as the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting kicks off in Davos.

The latest TikTok challenge #AllTheDifference is probably the video platform's take on causevertising. Launched in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, the campaign aims to promote inclusion and diversity. However, the campaign has been executed in a very TikTok way, meaning that like its previous campaigns such as #Skills4All (partnered with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), this too is extremely massy.

Also Read: TikTok: All you need to know about this hot new video platform

With this, the brand has delivered 'wokeness' to the masses. The 'All The Difference' campaign has also left the term 'difference' open to interpretation by the masses. Users and content creators have taken a cue from TikTok's influencer videos and have crafted videos around topics like self expression, sexual orientation, body image, etc.


what people say about me < what i say about me ♡ #allthedifference #antibullying #selflove #foryou

♬ original sound - nabela

#tiktoktraditions #allthedifference our differences make us stronger ! No matter who ur and where ur from , believe in yourself #littlegloves

♬ Uptown Funk - Bruno Mars

The global campaign has been launched in over 75 global markets including the US, the UK, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, India, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Egypt, South Africa and others. TikTok has also launched a special 'I say' sticker.


This is my art Journey till today ❤️ Share yours 😊 #allthedifference tiktok_india #iqtokers #trending

♬ Uptown Funk - Bruno Mars

Nunca vas a hacer feliz a todos. Hazlo por ti, no por los demás ❤️ #allthedifference

♬ sonido original - sebasmariscal

Say YEET if you are not a bully, if not say HELP #allthedifference worldeconomicforum

♬ Beautiful - Christina Aguilera

Don’t let other people’s labels define you. YOU are beautiful inside and out and YOU matter ❤️🏳️‍🌈 #allthedifference #foryou #ad

♬ original sound - matthewandryanuk

Also Read: For a brand, what's better than one cause?

In November 2018, we had asked a question, "For a brand, what's better than one cause?" That was when food brand Modern Foods launched a campaign focusing on six different social causes, ranging from gender equality to academic stress. The TikTok initiative is probably the biggest umbrella that can fit in any and every cause there is - all that is different and not conformist fits and is a reason for celebration. The campaign comes just as the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting kicks off in Davos.

Expert Speak:

Ajay Ravindran director, Planning and Strategy, VMLY&R India

In recent times, there has been a growing sense of distrust amongst the young about those in power, be they governments or corporations. These institutions used to operate behind closed doors, but not anymore. Today, a teenager can enter the hallowed halls of the United Nations and hold world leaders to account in their own backyard.

Ajay Ravindran
Ajay Ravindran

The World Economic Forum seems to have got a key insight - In a world without walls, nothing can happen behind closed doors. So, they seem to have opened the doors to public participation before the public demands it. They have chosen a platform that not only has immense reach amongst the youth, but also gives license to youth to express themselves. I do not think any other platform today stands for 'youth self expression' the way TikTok does.

It has a sense of earthiness, is a bit loud and sometimes slapstick. It brings out the spontaneous quirks of people. While it is present in over 150 markets, it's skewed heavily towards Asia. While that’s the secret sauce of the platform, perhaps they do not want to be pigeonholed as such. They would want to command a stature equivalent to Western social media giants Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

In fact, for a while now, TikTok has been trying to associate itself with serious programmes, including #Skills4All with the National Skill Development Corporation, and Kerala Tourism. Association with the WEF gives the brand a lot of gravitas and stature. It helps introduce a new kind of conversation on its platform. At the same time, it helps the brand leverage what it's best at – giving youth a place where they can express themselves.

The topic, inclusivity, is close to young, woke, globally oriented audiences. The Event, a forum for the most powerful governments and corporations, is the right setting to get youth involved. But it’s the medium, TikTok, that is the masterstroke. TikTok is a platform for Intrepid Self-Expression. It has an ambience of irreverence, of light-heartedness and a palpable lack of fear. The medium is the message, and this one says, “Express yourself without fear, your way. And be heard by the most powerful.”

Rahul Vengalil, founder, What Clicks

The attempt would have been to change the perception of TikTok from a fun and flippant platform to a platform that can drive serious conversation and overall change. If this were the thought process, then they should have given a little more thought to how their TG would react and respond to it, before going live with the campaign.

Rahul Vengalil
Rahul Vengalil

As #AllTheDifference is a powerful theme, it can cut across many aspects. The more number of people create content with it, in their own manner, it gives TikTok the added reach and in turn more engagement and growth. Going beyond these metrics, if TikTok is trying to be a change-maker, then it is failing in my view. TikTok shouldn't have kept the theme open for individual perception. If I were to take the example of the ALS challenge on Facebook, which in my opinion did wonders to Facebook as a change-maker platform, TikTok with this campaign went too broad and lost sight of whatever it wanted to achieve.

The theme of #AllTheDifference is quite powerful, but what I fail to understand is how it is promoting inclusion and diversity. If one goes through the various videos with the #AllTheDifference, there is content that is created on food wastage, self improvement, people singing, dancing, etc. It doesn't stick to a single point and in my view, that erodes the whole inclusion and diversity angle, if there was one.

Truvya Babani, social client partner, Monk Media Network

Such a campaign would be aimed removing the negative stigma that social media carries as a critical medium, specially for young teens and tweenagers when it comes to body image, self acceptance and several social stereotypes about gender inequality.

Truvya Babani
Truvya Babani

Tik Tok is stereotyped as a new age social media platform for all things fun and whimsical. This kind of content adds weight and gravitas to the way the platform is looked at by the masses. It also diversifies the way a new and heavily trending medium like Tik Tok is utilised. Regarding the heavily influential status that Tik Tok currently enjoys amongst tweenagers, it is good to see the platform taking initiatives to encourage more positive messaging.