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TikTok Made Me Buy it

A Starlight Coke can, which is red with black fading toward the bottom and white dots all over, shot from below
Photo by Rachel Van Horne

With the rise in targeted ads across social media platforms, we have seen a rise in users purchasing ads from places that haven’t previously been used as marketplaces. The Herald staff members shared recent purchases that they bought because of social media.

Rachel Van Horne:

My roommate saw a TikTok advertising the Starlight Coke and we decided to try it after seeing it in the grocery store. I dislike Coke but was willing to try this item at least once because of the pretty packaging. The first alarming feature to me was that it was bright red, not the normal brown. Upon first sip it tasted exactly like Coke Zero until the aftertaste which is more of a birthday cake flavor. Other sources on the internet also predict it may be a cotton candy flavor. Either way, neither me or my roommate were big fans of Starlight Coke.

Anna Prince:

Over the summer of 2020, I saw so many TikTok videos advertising the SunBum Tanning Lotion. I have used multiple SunBum products in the past, but never the Tanning Lotion. I have never been able to tan very well on my own so I went online to Ulta Beauty and purchased a bottle. Needless to say, I was buying another one within the month. I was able to achieve the best tan I had ever had in my life, which says a lot considering I live at the beach, and I didn’t have to spend nearly as much time in the sun. I am still obsessed with this product and my positive experience has opened me up to buying more products that are recommended by TikTok.

Ally Cefalu:

If you’ve ever been on the ASMR “side” of TikTok, you’ve probably heard the satisfying noises of mechanical keyboards. Blue, red, and brown switches are responsible for giving each keyboard a unique sound that, as TikTokkers often say, “scratches your brain.” While I never saw a sponsored post for a mechanical keyboard, the algorithm noticed that I paid extra attention to these kinds of videos and eventually, my For You Page was full of them. This was when I started to consider buying a mechanical keyboard in the hopes that the satisfying clicks would make me more productive when working on homework. I did some research and ordered a keyboard, a mouse, and a laptop stand to make myself a special setup. It turns out that, through the algorithm, TikTok had made me advertise to myself. I convinced myself that I would be more productive with a fancy, click-clacking keyboard, and I am.

By Rachel Van Horne, Co-Associate Editor


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