Ah social media marketing, a tool of the information age to connect with consumers to build a brand, create awareness, and generate revenue. Though admittedly invasive at times, it has become a staple in the daily scrolling of our social media news feeds. But to borrow the phrase from a certain novel “not all animals are equals” and social media is the name of this beast.
Selling a brand isn’t a walk in the park, that is even more the case when that brand happens to be a Gucci, Burberry or Louis Vuitton. Matching the brand ideals so that they crossover with the platform in which they are featured is tricky task. And over the last half decade an unexpected platform skyrocketed past the metaphorical view count into the phones of millions. And that app is TikTok.
But hold on, you wouldn’t think a social media app that has eccentric teens lip-syncing to R&B with over-the-top filters inspires much confidence for promoting a designer fashion brand. Well that’s where you’d be wrong. The TikTok craze is real and these are just some of the designer brands that are jumping in on the Gen Z hype.
Italian luxury fashion brand, Moncler demonstrated this wholeheartedly by doing things the TikTok way – with a viral hashtag challenge. The #MonclerBubbleUp challenge had TikTok-ers all fleeced up until they, by virtue of video transition, slipped in a signature Moncler ski jacket. Hiring influencers Charli D’Amelio and Bella Poarch along with a custom beat, it wasn’t long before adolescents everywhere found themselves humming to the viral TikTok template. Six billion views? Not bad, Moncler not bad.
Calvin Klein’s up next with their Tiktok siege, #MyCalvins. The underwear giant pulled no punches when it came to celebrity endorsement. Kendall Jenner, Billie Eilish, Bella Hadid, Shawn Mendes, Noah Centineo and A$AP Rocky all bared their inner thoughts under the hashtag “I Speak My Truth” #mycalvins. Stripping down celebrities as they share their intimate thoughts on their lives is a clever way of showing their vulnerability, which parallels the vulnerability of nakedness. An idea which is both striking and intuitive.
Milanese designer brand, Prada refused to heel in the social media arms race. Wielding the power of all 120 million of Charli D’Amelio’s fanbase, they flew out the American dance sensation to last year’s Milan Fashion Week for a whizz through the Duomo Galleria and the “Fondazione Prada” as she met with fans and designers alike. The content received a whopping 30 million views, all possible without Prada even having a TikTok account. How’s that for a TikTok debut?
While it’s easy to take a look at the success of Moncler, Calvin Klein and Prada and think that TikTok advertising is a no-brainer, it’s not as simple as it seems. The MO of luxury designer brands is more in the “how” than the “if”. Brand image is everything and on a brand that prides itself on luxury and exclusivity, it is doubly important. Finding that sweet spot is the key. With evolving times, it is essential to stay in the loop and change with the times. Social media platforms like TikTok are not only a source of entertainment but channels through which an organization can now promote its products and services to a wider range of audiences. Like them or not, they’re here to stay.