On TikTok, Stars Are Just Like Us (Safer at Home)

April 20, 2020

By: Jill Robben, Client Manager, Celebrity & Influencer                                     [Header image credit: Canva]

As COVID-19 compels people to try new forms of entertainment at home, one of the fastest-growing pastimes is TikTok, a social networking app used to create dance, comedy, DIY, and lip-syncing videos.

The app saw a 27 percent increase in downloads in the U.S. between March 1-23, versus the same period in February, as reported in Music Business Worldwide. As long as “safer at home” remains the dominant way of life, we anticipate continued growth.  

While ordinary users have the ability to create content that may go viral in minutes, mainstream celebrities have jumped on board, too.



♬ #hiteverybeat – lulbabyynelii

Stars like Justin and Hailey Bieber, Jack Black, and even Dr. Phil are leaning on this platform to get more personal with fans during this hard time. Though many of these celebrities have used social media in a multitude of ways in the past, they have turned to TikTok as the place where fun, goofiness, and audience interaction can bolster their online presence.

For example, Jason Derulo, who has been on the app for years, has seen his following continue to grow by taking part in trends and uploading relatable content that his 13.7 million plus fans are not used to seeing on other platforms. Stars like Bella Hadid, Normani, Kylie Jenner, and Ashley Benson are using the app to re-create popular sound bites or take part in viral dances, all while putting their own spin on them. Low-quality production is no problem on TikTok – in fact, it’s part of the platform’s appeal.



♬ original sound – jalaiahharmon

TikTok has seized an opportunity to partner with celebrities and influencers to connect with users during the Stay at Home movement. From that, they have created the series “Happy At Home,” where each day presents a different theme for talent to contribute live streams (i.e., Motivation Monday, Kick Back Tuesday, Show & Tell Wednesday, EduTok Thursday, Sound Check Friday). This is bringing audiences together and encouraging them to stay connected. 


Thank you for 20M. ##happyathome ##quarantinelife

♬ original sound – cosine_yeet

Brands and marketers are also jumping on this trend by creating their own challenges.

P&G’s #distancedance challenge helps raise money while encouraging users to keep their distance and keep dancing. In order to make this go viral, they partnered with one of the best known TikTok stars, Charli D’Amelio, who is motivating her followers to get in on the challenge.


Stay home & do the ##distancedance. Tag me & the hashtag in your video. P&G will donate to Feeding America & Matthew 25 for first 3M videos ##PGPartner

♬ Big Up’s (feat. Yung Nnelg) – Jordyn, Nic Da Kid

D’Amelio has attained mainstream fame after accumulating over 46 million followers on the app, and has even appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” to showcase viral dances from the app.

TikTok users have found that they can turn to the app as a diversion from the world’s troubles, a reliable place to share some laughs. By their participation, celebrities have made themselves more visible and more relatable, letting fans see them experience life’s ups and downs and silly dances along with the rest of us.  

Celebrities who have started creating TikTok content during quarantine:

Justin & Hailey Bieber

Quarantine Crew – Hannah Brown and Tyler Cameron

Vanessa Hudgens

Bella Hadid

Megan Thee Stallion

Alex Rodriguez & Jennifer Lopez

Ashley Benson

Tracee Ellis Ross

Tommy Dorfman


Emily Ratajkowski

Kristin Chenoweth

Shay Mitchell

Millie Bobby Brown

Jack Black

Celebrities who have ramped up TikTok activity during quarantine:

Jason Derulo

Kevin Hart

Ashley Tisdale

Joe Jonas


Jessica Alba


Meghan Trainor

Derek Hough

Niall Horan

Jimmy Fallon

Key takeaways on TikTok during Coronavirus…

  • TikTok is a fast-growing platform, with growth accelerated by COVID-19.
  • It is a very different form of engagement from other social networks; the lingua franca is no-budget productions of dancing, visual gags, and silly stunts.
  • TikTok delivers a new way to engage celebrities and influencers, who are swiftly adopting it.
  • P&G and other brands are moving in with TikTok user challenges supported by partnerships.