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TikTok Turns to Nuns, Veterans and Ranchers in Marketing Blitz

In a TV commercial, Sister Monica Clare, a nun in northern New Jersey, walks through a church that’s bathed in sunlight and sits in a pew, crossing herself. Her message: TikTok is a force for good.

“Because of TikTok, I’ve created a community where people can feel safe asking questions about spirituality,” she says in the advertisement.

Sister Monica Clare is one of several fans of TikTok — along with drawling ranchers, a Navy veteran known as Patriotic Kenny and entrepreneurs — whom the company is highlighting in commercials as it faces intense scrutiny in Washington.

“TikTok definitely has a branding issue in the United States,” Sister Monica Clare, 58, said in an interview. “Most people that you talk to, especially people above the age of 60, will say that TikTok is just a bunch of superficial garbage. They don’t use it. They don’t understand what the content is.

“It’s very smart of TikTok to say no, that’s not what we are — we’re a lot more than that,” she added.

That seems to be the idea driving TikTok’s multimillion-dollar marketing blitz on TV and rival social platforms nationwide — tagged #KeepTikTok — as the Senate considers a bill that would force the company’s Chinese owner, ByteDance, to sell the app or have it face a national ban. Many lawmakers from both parties have said the app could endanger American users’ private data or be used as a Chinese propaganda tool.

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