Portillo’s Leverages Awareness on TikTok to Drive $0.22 CPCs


Net Conversion and Portillo’s boogie down to impressive Awareness campaigns utilizing TikTok’s self serve platform to drive two different targeting strategies within the same time frame. 

wine bottles on shelf


Known for their famous Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches and more,  Portillo’s paid media strategy objective is  heavily focused on driving in-store sales and online orders.  As part of our 2021 media strategy recommendation our team suggested testing one of the newest partner platforms available for awareness strategies –  the TikTok’s self-serve platform to Portillo’s. The opportunity of TikTok would allow increased interactive engagement with qualified targeted  audiences and a younger demographic. The task at hand was to  expand into the new platform and ensuring to reach  the client’s qualified target audience for their two new campaigns – Hiring for Portillo’s and Direct Delivery, while maintaining similar performance to current awareness social platforms . Portillos’ was eager for a new audience to ‘See the Beef’.


Asterisk Create an awareness strategy within the self-serve platform to reach younger qualified consumers who are likely to be searching for a job, or interested in direct delivery 

Asterisk Drive awareness tactics with CPC’s lower than currently live social channels                          Asterisk Reach a new demographic using machine learning from TikTok


Using the self-serve platform,  we built two campaigns specific to each of the tactics with their respective targeting. Initially, TikTok recommends beginning campaigns with broad audiences – therefore we focused on age and location targeting for the campaign launch. Once we observed and analyzed initial key learnings, we then layered on food specific interests to the Direct Delivery campaign, while keeping broad targeting within the Hiring campaign  due to positive performance.

 Consumers who fell within the geographic  targeting of the  respective campaigns were delivered various high-performing creative assets that were created within TikTok’s Creative Optimization Tool. These ads included videos of employee’s crafting italian beef sandwiches with enticing calls to actions for the hiring campaigns, and a swift but eye-catching video of the Portillo’s self delivery process.


From August 2020 to present day, TikTok’s awareness campaigns drove an average of a $0.22 CPC, and resulted in a new full time job for a team member who fell within the targeted demographic. Additionally compared to social awareness platforms previously used in our paid media strategy, TikTok saw a lower CPCs by $0.50 than search and -88% CPCs than Facebook. Our efforts have surpassed our goals, creating a drive thru window for future testing within the platform. Future testing includes testing specific menu items as well as honing down on targeting to test the machine learning capabilities within the platform. Stay tuned for more learnings.

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