It’s been quite a 6 weeks for Liz and the Tories. She’s perhaps one of the most memeable political leaders we’ve ever had. Over the past 45 days, the internet has been filled with her bizarre oneliners around pork markets, her outrage over the lack of British cheese and her very awkward curtseys.
According to The Guardian, when asked to describe Truss, two former Conservative government ministers both used the same word: weird. “She doesn’t have any friends. She’s just weird,” one said. “She sits far too close to you,” said another. “And when she talks to you, she keeps repeating your name. It’s weird.”
If there’s anything that TikTok loves, it’s weirdness. So as Liz and her people tanked the pound, hiked people’s mortgages, gave tax breaks to the rich and did nothing for soaring energy prices, TikTok creators have been flexing their creativity to bring some much-needed joy, laughter and nihilism to a pretty dire situation.
It’s mega refreshing to be able to finally follow politics thanks to these creators. For decades, political figureheads have spoken in Oxbridge jargon and Eton-esque banter that alienates the public by design. We have parliamentary houses filled for the most part with people who the everyday person simply cannot relate to. And when we can’t relate, we take less notice. But now, relatable and talented creators are amplifying these topics to the masses, in ways we can finally understand.
TikTok lowers the barrier to entry when it comes to understanding and engaging in complex issues, and makes these simplified takes go viral - aka the Tory government’s worst nightmare.
Seeing the soaring numbers of TikTok’s top videos around Liz Truss’ short stint, it’s a testament to how the platform is so much more than dances and POVs. You’ve got Munya Chawawa’s steady and flawless stream of musical renditions and skits that marry trending TikTok sounds with purpose-led conversation. Channel 4 fan edits. The Sugar Coated Sisters creating unhinged versions of Ed Sheeran complete with mad wigs. Quick takes from Josh Lunch Box. And the collab that was not on my 2022 bingo card - Truss x Dizzee Rascal.
With every paradigm-shifting life event that passes, we learn more and more that we simply can’t overlook TikTok as a platform that can affect real change and create seismic impact when it comes to topics big or small. If you can think of a social issue, chances are Gen Z are talking about it on TikTok. Whether they’re dissecting the gender binary, structural racism, environmental issues or messy politics, young people are using TikTok as a powerful tool for social justice. And since they’re the voters of the future, you can bet those conversations have the potential to usher in real world change.
Brands, NGOs and policy makers, take note. Whether using the platform for sentiment research or as a comms channel, TikTok provides a bottom-up window into culture, behaviours, needs and wants that we’ve never seen before. Take stock of the rich insights available on the platform, and you can communicate even the most complex of issues effortlessly. By taking the platform in your stride and taking a native approach, whether working with creators or just embodying best practice, TikTok can help you take on even the most intimidating of topics - just ask Munya.