The Top Luxury Brands Using TikTok
TikTok has maintained its position at the top of the monthly app download charts for months now, despite the rising competition with YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram and the app being banned in India (its biggest user market at the time of its removal). Yet, more and more users keep coming to the short video app, which is on track to become the next billion-user platform at some stage this year.
Historically luxury brands have been slower to adopt new trends but they are increasingly ready to bet on TikTok, and how well they are performing too. TikTok marketing and TikTok campaign strategy is something all luxury brands need to be thinking about as part of their digital marketing strategy.
TikTok may not seem like the opportunity for a luxury brand given it’s perception of Gen Z users, yet our audience analysis and 3rd party data tool shows high net worths more than ever are taking to the platform, and using it as a core place to research brands and products (20% – GWI Q4 2020). Amber Coleman, Senior Account Executive working on client strategy, looks at which luxury brands are getting their TikTok marketing right, as well as some of the key brand TikTok campaigns that have worked in driving results for the luxury sector.
Gucci is one of the first brands to use TikTok for marketing purposes, and is an example of perfect adaption to the space, launching a quirky and extremely successful #AccidentalInfluencer campaign. This campaign was their first foray which uprooted their vintage-inspired Gucci Tennis 1977 sneaker with videos including bespoke choreography for TikTok (Dance routines being a core content pillar adopted by the TikTok community). This saw phenomenal traction, demonstrating that TikTok transcends generations. The campaign saw the TikTok community mimic the dance routine, as well as take on the art direction of the campaign, with identically dressed people wearing the Gucci 1977 Tennis sneakers. The TikTok community mimic the dance routine, as well as take on the art direction of the campaign. This campaign proved TikTok transcends generations and acts as an outlet for luxury brands to showcase a creative and fun side.
Additionally when the ‘Gucci model’ meme started flying around TikTok, Gucci tapped into this early on, creating their own versions of the funny challenge. The audio for this trend was created by Chilling Adventures of Sabrina star Lachlan Watson, which acted as the backbone of the Gucci model campaign.
The audio speaks on each essential element to becoming a Gucci model and pokes fun at the mis-match aesthetic of these runway models (apparently all you need is a colourful turtleneck, a shirt that doesn’t match, a bright coloured jacket, a miniskirt, a headscarf, sunglasses, clear heels and socks). This TikTok marketing campaign garnered thousands of user-generated content and the #guccimodelchallenge drove an astounding 230.7 million views.
Moncler closed out 2020 with the viral #MonclerBubbleUp challenge. TikTok’s most followed influencer Charli D’Amelio, amongst others, was hired to take part. These challenge videos leveraged Moncler’s signature puffy winter coat look, encouraging users to recreate the look with a sleeping bag, fluffy robe, garbage bags, whatever you fancy. This was set to the catchy song ‘Bubble’ by 24hrs, feat. Ty Dolla $ign. The challenge reached over 4.7billion views on TikTok – one of the biggest end-of-year viral hashtags.
JW Anderson #HarryStylesCardigan
One of the best TikTok marketing campaigns to date is JW Anderson’s cardigan of which TikTok users started recreating the rainbow-coloured knitted garment from JW Anderson’s Spring 2020 men’s collection. The cardigan was worn by singer Harry Styles during a rehearsal for his performance on The Today Show back in February 2020. The hashtag #HarryStylesCardigan on TikTok has since accumulated more than 33M views. It was one of the first instances when a brand, especially an emerging one, has not just enjoyed this level of organic virality, but also inspired millions of people to brush off their knitting skills and take action, especially at a time when the world was going through various lockdowns due to Covid-19.
Fenty takes a unique approach to TikTok: they started the first branded TikTok house in early 2020. Fenty’s TikTok marketing strategy has been producing unique, often viral content focusing on highlighting diversity, and the brand’s unique personality. This edgy beauty brand is fronted by Rihanna, who often makes an appearance on the brand’s page. With 10.6 million likes and counting, they’re ticking all the boxes for TikTok growth. Brands can learn from Fenty: they’ve leveraged ‘marketing with a purpose’, focusing on messages of embracing diversity and inner beauty. Their videos are produced by ‘in-the-know’ Gen Z influencers, who use trending audio, pop culture trends and ‘insider hacks’. Fenty Beauty comes across as genuine, likable and trustworthy on TikTok.
Balmain brought its 75th anniversary fashion show to life on a boat on the Seine and was the first brand to broadcast a fashion show live on TikTok. The engagement level showed just how well TikTok’s fashion community responds to this kind of content, with the #BalmainsurSeine hashtag reaching 15.6m views. This might be an unusual approach, but makes strong business sense. For one, luxury fashion houses like Dior are heavily reliant on world markets like China, and TikTok has 400 million active Chinese users. Secondly, McKinsey and The Business of Fashion report that digital shows have become essential to brand survival, as COVID makes it increasingly impossible to hold live fashion weeks in the traditional sense.
A good example of TikTok influencer marketing is Prada. Prada has a TikTok account set up, with close to 300k followers, and although their organic content is not yet groundbreaking, yet they came onto the TikTok scene in a totally different way. Before Prada had even started posting their own content, the company relied on TikTok influencer, Charli D’Amelio to create buzz for them. This is a smart strategy on Prada’s part by putting the onus on creators before jumping fully into TikTok content creation. During Milan Fashion Week, 15-year-old influencer Charli D’Amelio showed up at Prada’s show (AW21) to capture content for her followers. She posted seven videos wearing Prada and tagged the brand in five of those posts. One video showcased D’Amelio with three models on the runway, while dancing to Avril Lavigne. Her best performing post for Prada totaled 5.7 million likes, 64,300 shares and 36.8 million views.
Jacquemus – Mini Adele Concert
There are many brands taking to TikTok after spotting a viral moment and wanting to make the most of it. For this to work effectively, brands need to take a look at what the TikTok community is already saying about them on the platform and what’s featured in people’s For You Pages. That way, they can leverage these trends early on in the ‘viral moment’ hypecycle. One of the best examples of this was Jacquemus recreating an Adele concert with its handbags. This video is so incredibly pure. One small chiquito bag singing “Some Like You” by Adele to a choir of other small Chiquito bags.
It’s time to take on TikTok
TikTok is swiftly becoming the luxury brands go-to social channel. This is a great time for luxury brands to be on TikTok, especially with the prediction of TikTok’ssocial commerce rumoured launch later this year. We hope these 7 luxury examples of brand marketing are some good takeaways you can learn from. Should you want to hear more about our TikTok offering at VERB, get in touch and let’s chat! We are currently working with brands to make their next move into the space, so don’t be afraid to do the same.