During his nearly fifteen years in the advertising industry, TikTok’s Bradley Hunter has worked in a myriad of roles from partnerships to sales to project management, and he has done so in roles at publishers, ad networks, ad tech companies and platforms. While at Google, he led industry partnerships with leading organizations, focused on driving impact in brand safety, measurement, DEI and advertising for social impact. He says it was his passion for engaging in these critical industry topics that led him to his current role as TikTok’s global head of brand safety and industry relations.
We talked to Bradley about his impact-focused career trajectory, the issues closest to his heart, and the best advice he ever received.
Emily Brogan-Freitas: You led your company’s relationship with Ad Council during your time at Google and now in your current role at TikTok. Can you talk about why you felt it was important to get involved and what the experience has been like for you?
Bradley Hunter: The Ad Council uses the power of communications to create change on America's vital issues. Iconic Ad Council campaigns such as Smokey Bear and McGruff the Crime Dog are etched in my memory from a young age—way before I knew what the Ad Council was.
When I transitioned onto the industry relations team at Google, I proactively sought out the opportunity to manage the Ad Council partnership given the collective impact that their campaigns continue to deliver today for the most important causes such as COVID-19 awareness and then vaccination.
Following my move to TikTok, I again advocated to manage the Ad Council partnership to harness the power of our unique platform and vibrant creators to drive action on Ad Council’s mental health initiatives and beyond. We have a great team here at TikTok supporting our partnership and we’re excited for what’s to come!
EBF: How has TikTok’s relationship with the Ad Council helped advance its social impact initiatives?
BH: The mission for TikTok for Good is to inspire and encourage a new generation to have a positive impact on the planet and those around them. Using this mission as our North Star, we are partnering with the Ad Council to reach historically hard to reach audiences with mental health messaging via the voices of their favorite, authentic and well-respected creators.
These creators are the lifeblood of our platform and they are leaning into a topic like mental health because it’s genuinely something they care about. Ad Council campaigns have the mission and creativity that TikTok is proud to communicate to our vast audience.
EBF: What are you most proud of accomplishing at TikTok?
BH: I’m most proud of the way the TikTok community continues to unabashedly show up as a unique and authentic place that inspires creativity and brings joy.
EBF: Is there a campaign or cause that’s especially close to your heart?
BH: The Sound it Out campaign around middle school mental health strikes a chord with me. This is such a formative time in a young adult's life and I’m hopeful that bringing this powerful campaign to our audience and their caretakers will resonate and spur action. Communication is challenging for all generations, especially the middle school audience, and music has the power to bring people together no matter the circumstances.
EBF: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
BH: Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. This was instilled in me by my parents at an early age and it always provides a good reminder that everyone is dealing with something, often unknown by most people in their lives. And this couldn’t be more true during the past few years, when COVID-19 impacted so many people and communities. Have a little grace and understanding—it will go a long way.