The objective of this research project was to spark academic discourse on the need for practitioner-oriented research in big data marketing applications. For this purpose, a specific TikTok Hashtag Challenge, #FordWatchMe, was selected for its over 2.7 billion campaign impressions. Little to no scholarly research was identified to critically appraise the value of TikTok’s user engagement and reported campaign metrics, despite TikTok’s growing relevancy for marketers. A sequential mixed research method was designed, consisting of interviews, qualitative content reviews and a user engagement experiment to assess the relevancy of the #FordWatchMe campaign for a defined sample. Analyzing over 450 campaign videos resulted in more than 88% campaign unrelated user generated content contributions. The user perception experiment revealed a low probability for both brand recall and content engagement. Findings showcase the need for more scholarly research on the value of superlative impression counts and their implied effect on brand recall, brand perception and purchase intent stimuli.
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