Categories
business Campaigns e-commerce Editor's pick mobile product Retail social media technology

6 examples of brands winning on TikTok

If there’s one social media platform buzzing right now, it’s TikTok, a space that allows users to create and share short lip-sync, comedy and talent videos.  

With an audience of almost half a billion users in its two year existence, and a +237% monthly growth rate between 2017-2018, brands are now thinking about how they can tap into it. 

The platform, which is owned by Chinese tech giant Byedance, and was merged with Musical.ly in 2018, has proven wildly successful among Chinese consumers. This has since transferred to the US, with 2.6m actively users taking to the platform in February alone, placing it as the most downloaded app in the country during Q1. The loyalty of Generation Z and Millennials have been driving usage particularly, with 66% of users reportedly under the age of 30. 

While the likes of Snapchat and Instagram are being questioned – both in terms of popularity on the one hand, and functionality on the other, TikTok has swooped in to grab some of the key market share. Importantly, it’s doing so by thinking about functionality first – its recommendations are much more accurate than other social media platforms, for instance, meaning viewers get better content tailored to their interests, which spurs advocacy for the app further. It has also added the functionality of shopping by allowing brands to drive users to ecommerce-enabled microsites that open directly within the TikTok app. 

As a result, we’re seeing brands and retailers taking to TikTok to push products, increase engagement and drive loyalty among younger consumers. Here are six examples of those incorporating it into their marketing strategy today…

Hero Cosmetics
Hero Cosmetics holy grail patches

Direct-to-consumer skincare brand, Hero Cosmetics, utilized TikTok in its new ‘Get Ready with Me’ campaign, featuring 20 creators sharing their morning routines. The campaign was targeted at Gen Zers, and plugged into a #schoolsurvivivalkit hashtag to tie it to back to school essentials. The videos, which reached 4.3m users, had a 12% engagement rate compared to only 4.5% for Instagram, the brand said.

Uniqlo
Uniqlos #UTPlayYourWorld campaign

Apparel retailer Uniqlo teamed up with Tiktok as part of its #UTPlayYourWorld campaign to promote its 2019 spring/summer collection. Users were encouraged to upload videos wearing their favourite outfits from the collection and would be entered into a competition to get their video played in store. The campaign was available for those in the US, France, Japan and Taiwan and generated over 600m views on the platform.

Burberry
Burberry Fall 2019 campaign

Even luxury brands are jumping on the TikTok bandwagon to gain traction with younger consumers. Burberry challenged users to upload videos of themselves attempting to do a “TB’ hand gesture, reflecting the Thomas Burberry monogram newly instated from creative director Riccardo Tisci. 30,000 videos were uploaded to the platform, generating 57 million views for the brand.

NFL
NFL TikTok Campaign

The NFL signed a two year agreement with TikTok to post content on the platform, including highlights, sideline moments and behind the scenes clips. To celebrate the collaboration, a #WeReady hashtag challenge was created to encourage users to show their support for their favourite teams. The challenge is the beginning of the NFL’s strategy to engage younger consumers in sports, as only 41% of Gen Z reportedly watch sports on television, compared to 75% of Baby Boomers.

Ralph Lauren
Diana Silvers, the face of Ralph Lauren’s campaign

To celebrate the US Open Tennis Championships, Ralph Lauren used TikTok as its campaign platform of choice. Consumers were asked to share a time when they won a real life challenge, by using the hashtag #WinningRL. Ralph Lauren face Diana Silvers, an actress and tennis player, took part in the campaign with a series of three videos that made use of TikTok’s latest shopability widget that lets customers buy directly within the app. Users could discover the brand’s US Open collection, which featured polos, tennis skirts and shorts.

Chipotle
Chipotle’s #GuacDance challenge

To celebrate national avocado day, Chipotle launched a TikTok campaign called the #GuacDance challenge. The food chain called on its customers to upload dancing videos to express their love of the food. The campaign was the platform’s highest performing branded challenge in the US, receiving 250,000 video submissions.

How are you thinking about technology? The Current Global is a transformation consultancy driving growth within fashion, luxury and retail. Our mission is to solve challenges and facilitate change. We are thinkers and builders delivering innovative solutions and experiences. Each of the rules referenced above is matched by one of our products and services. Interested in how? Get in touch to learn more.

Categories
business Campaigns Podcast social media technology

TheCurrent Debate: Is there real value in CGI models?

Balmain CGI Models
Balmain CGI Models

CGI models are having a moment in luxury fashion right now, but it’s up for debate as to whether they hold true value for the brands embracing them, according to the latest episode of the Innovators podcast by TheCurrent.

Co-hosts Liz Bacelar and Rachel Arthur, who discuss various technologies pertinent to the industry every month on this show, bring opposing viewpoints to the table.

Listen here: Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

CGI or virtual models have been used in fashion advertising campaigns to an increasing degree over the past few years, with big name brands including Louis VuittonPrada and Balmain all employing them. Some of those involved, including one called Lil Miquela, and another named Shudu, have generated enormous buzz and impressively large social media followings as a result, as though they were indeed influencers in their own right.

Lil Miquela for UGG
Lil Miquela for UGG

Most recently, Lil Miquela featured in UGG’s 40th anniversary campaign, blending in seamlessly alongside two real-life influencers as though she were a natural part of the cast. For the unsuspecting onlooker, it’s not immediately clear she’s not.

One of the questions raised during the episode is whether such a move is merely about gaining from some of the hype such models currently present, or if they can in fact drive ROI for the brands making use of them long term. Rachel presents some interesting statistics that show how engagement of for CGI remains significantly lower than any example of a ‘human’ influencer, but Liz counters that view with the argument that what we’re looking at here is a form of artistic expression.

The duo also dive into what such flawless representations of women mean for beauty ideals in the era of fake news we currently live in, as well as the notion that we may all have a CGI or avatar version of ourselves in the future, not least the real life influencers who could ultimately gain increased revenue opportunities for themselves, even posthumously.

Catch up with all of our episodes of the Innovators podcast by TheCurrent here. The series is a weekly conversation with visionaries, executives and entrepreneurs. It’s backed by TheCurrent, a consultancy transforming how consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

Categories
business digital snippets e-commerce product Retail social media sustainability technology

ICYMI: Farfetch’s IPO, everything to know about CGI influencers, Bitcoin hairspray

Farfetch IPO
Farfetch IPO

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • Farfetch files for IPO, testing investors’ appetite for luxury [BoF]
  • The numerous questions around the rise of CGI models and influencers [Vogue]
  • You can buy hairspray with Bitcoin now [TheCut]
  • Yuval Noah Harari on what the year 2050 has in store for humankind [Wired]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Amazon is losing its smart speaker dominance [AdWeek]
  • Microsoft’s HoloLens mall demos bring early AR glasses to the masses [VentureBeat]
  • Los Angeles subway to become first in the US to use body scanners [DigitalTrends]
SUSTAINABILITY & PURPOSE
  • Fur: A reality check [BoF]
  • Is clothing rental the secret to making fashion sustainable? [Independent]
  • Fashion for Good launches toolkit on how to develop Cradle to Cradle denim [FashionUnited]
  • Why Instagram’s ‘outfit of the day’ hashtag is bad for fashion – and bad for the soul [TheGuardian]
  • German outdoor brand Vaude starts upcycling community [FashionUnited]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • McDonald’s unveils new Apple store-like Chicago flagship location [HypeBeast]
  • Superga, Cos, Rains and Fred Perry join Coal Drops Yard lineup [Retail Gazette]
  • 5 reasons why LA is the place to be for retailers [FootwearNews]
  • Consumers opt for marketplaces, fast retail, personalization [WWD]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Neutrogena, Sonos beta test use of video in Amazon search campaigns [MobileMarketer]
  • Alibaba’s to host first fashion show in China [JingDaily]
  • Rebecca Minkoff to present new brand identity during NYFW [WWD]
  • It’s never been easier to buy a pair of Yeezys [GQ]
  • Counterfeiting make-up is a new trend in Chinese how-to videos [JingDaily]
PRODUCT
  • Everlane is launching ‘clean silk’ in a move toward greater sustainability [Fashionista]
  • This digitally-knitted sportswear is like 3D-printed clothing [Wired]
  • River Island launches homeware [Drapers]
BUSINESS
  • Why the gender discrimination lawsuit against Nike is so significant [Vox]
  • Mulberry hit by House of Fraser collapse [FT]
  • $500 million in counterfeit Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel Goods seized in one of the largest busts to date [TheFashionLaw]
  • Bringing affordable fast fashion to Africa [WWD]
CULTURE
  • How make-up swatches became a political battleground [Dazed]
  • In hype beast homes, Supreme accessories are the hot decor [Fashionista]

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

Categories
Campaigns Editor's pick film

ASOS launches influencer video series exploring identity through beauty

ASOS
ASOS

ASOS has launched a YouTube mini series exploring gender and identity through the lens of beauty, hosted by its influencer network, known as Insiders.

The series aims to further promote diversity and self-exploration to its Gen Z audience, continuing the message first established when it launched the Face + Body category in September 2017.

The first video, which explores “gender, identity and performance”, begins with all five Insider hosts introducing the viewer to the “challenge” that one of the Insiders, in this instance Joel, has to complete.

As viewers find out, Joel is tasked to find his drag alter ego with the help of performer Dinah Lux. Meanwhile the remaining Insiders set out to explore what the topic means by interviewing peers that transform themselves into different characters through performance art.

The second instalment of the series, released yesterday (July 30), explores biodegradable glitter and body confidence and sees Insider Alice create a full body look using nothing but glitter.

Below each video, ASOS prompts viewers to further explore the topic and shop their Insiders’ looks through dedicated pages on ASOS.com.

Are you thinking innovatively enough in your brand messaging? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

Categories
business Campaigns digital snippets e-commerce product Retail sustainability technology

ICYMI: Fashion embracing AI, how Apple is using AR, breaking down Gucci’s innovation model

AI in fashion - artificial intellgence
AI in fashion

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • How fashion should (and shouldn’t) embrace artificial intelligence [BoF]
  • How Apple will use AR to reinvent the human-computer interface [Fast Company]
  • Breaking down the Gucci-inspired ‘innovation model’ that’s taking over Kering [Glossy]
  • In fashion’s hype-driven era, Hermès is doing its own thing [Dazed]
TECHNOLOGY
  • Blockchain, Internet of Things and AI: What the newest luxury startup accelerators are investing in [Glossy]
SUSTAINABILITY
  • What really goes into a fashion sustainability ranking & how brands game the system [TheFashionLaw]
  • Millennials say they care about sustainability. So, why don’t they shop this way? [BoF]
  • Report: Levi’s is ‘all talk and no action’ on sustainability [Glossy]
  • Beauty brands are finding innovative ways to reduce packaging waste [Fashionista]
  • The young designers pioneering a sustainable fashion revolution [Vogue]
  • TheRealReal, Stella McCartney flaunt high-fashion recycling [MediaPost]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Is video the future of online shopping? [BoF]
  • Amazon will now deliver packages to the trunk of your car [TheVerge]
  • Fast fashion’s biggest threat is faster fashion [BoF]
MARKETING & SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Outdoor Voices uses AR to launch OV Trail Shop running collection [FashionNetwork]
  • Oakley forgives you (even if others don’t) in this lovely ode to athletic obsession [AdWeek]
  • Adidas Originals traded pieces from Alexander Wang’s new collection to get to Coachella [AdWeek]
PRODUCT
  • Disney made a jacket to simulate physical experiences, like a snake slithering across your body [TheVerge]
  • Adidas is testing how to mass-produce custom shoes like those it makes for elite athletes [Quartz]
BUSINESS
  • Balenciaga issues second apology after claims of discrimination against Chinese shoppers [Reuters]
  • Sephora’s lawsuit with obsessive compulsive cosmetics is a staggering case study in how beauty products are sold [Racked]
Categories
Campaigns Editor's pick technology

adidas to create 30,000 personalized videos for Boston Marathon runners

adidas at the Boston Marathon
adidas at the Boston Marathon

adidas will be using individual RFID tags to create 30,000 personalized videos for runners participating at the 122nd Boston Marathon happening on April 16. The feature is part of the “Here to Create Legend” campaign, which also helps commemorate the sportswear brand’s 30-year partnership with the Boston Athletic Association (BAA).

To achieve the feat, adidas will be using data generated by RFID chips on the runners’ race bibs, such as pace and split times, combined with ultra-high frequency radio signals fed from street mats to antennas. In order to create each individual video, the company is working with digital agency Grow to capture footage using seven cameras and a 20-person crew stretching the 26.2-mile length of the course. Moreover personal footage will be captured at the 15K finish line.

In order to efficiently deliver the individual videos to runners within hours of the race, adidas has completed trial runs at other races and developed shot lists, sound effects and pre-set camera angles that will help the team eliminate excess footage and edit more speedily.

“We’re capturing the excitement, support and celebration that is Boston in a way no one has ever done before,” said Paul Bowyer, head of adidas Running US “In our 30th year of partnership, adidas and the BAA are creating an epic moment for Boston by harnessing the power of technology and 30,000 runners and to highlight the pride, firsts, wins, personal records and energy of runners who will become legends on April 16.”

To access the film after the race, runners will receive an email from the BAA with a link, while videos will also be available at heretocreatelegend.com and searchable via bib numbers.

Categories
Campaigns Editor's pick

The North Face celebrates female explorers with campaign to inspire future generations

The North Face "Moves Mountains"
The North Face “Moves Mountains”

The North Face has launched its first-ever campaign focusing on women and celebrating the achievements of female explorers around the world.

Move Mountains is an initiative that aims to empower the next generation of explorers by highlighting the stories of courageous and adventurous women, and by partnering on a multi-year outdoor adventure collaboration with Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA).

The campaign features a series of short videos telling the stories of trailblazing women including alpinist Hilaree Nelson, climbers Ashima Shiraishi and Margo Hayes, and ultrarunner and activist Fernanda Maciel. The North Face is also featuring women who are paving the way in their respective fields including NASA scientist Tierra Guinn Fletcher, musician and activist Madame Gandhi and women’s rights advocate, America Ferrera.

According to Tom Herbst, global vice president of marketing at The North Face, the theory behind Move Mountains was simple: if women and girls could see female explorers represented more widely, it will create a new generation of female role models.

As part of the initiative, The North Face has made a commitment to represent women equally in all advertising, social media and content moving forward.

The Move Mountains initiative is also being applied to the internal business with increased investment in women’s product design, a renewed focus on employee development and an ensured closure of the gender pay gap on the athlete team. The brand will also be expanding their Explore Fund grants to $750,000 with a new program focused on enabling female exploration.

Inspiring a new generation of explorers is a cornerstone of the campaign and The North Face is collaborating with GSUSA to enable women to further push the boundaries. The collaboration includes the creation of 12 new Girl Scouts outdoor adventure badges, with skills ranging from mountaineering, backpacking, hiking and trail running.

Categories
Campaigns Editor's pick Retail technology

Ikea promotes AR app launch with YouTube game series

Ikea Matchers Keepers
Ikea Matchers Keepers

Ikea is promoting the launch of its Place AR app on Android with “Matchers Keepers”, a YouTube mini series where real life couples or housemates pair up to see how well their tastes align.

The idea is to diffuse any potential arguments that typically arise during Ikea store visits with a fun and interactive game, encouraging people to reach consensus on their furniture and decorating choices. The initiative thus uses the Ikea Place app, which first launched for iOS in September 2017, and uses augmented reality to enable users to “see” what the furniture looks like in place in real life.

Hosted by lifestyle blogger Caroline Solomon, each short episode promoting the Android launch focuses on one duo who go through a series of challenges using a piece of furniture – such as a couch or lamp – and the app to complete them.

One challenge, for instance, sees two housemates individually place the couch virtually in a room, to challenge whether they agree on its placement. If their placements match, they can take the real item home.

“When we first launched Ikea Place, we gave our customers the opportunity to ‘try before you buy’ for the first time since Ikea was established,” said Michael Valdsgaard, leader digital transformation at Inter Ikea Systems. “Customers truly appreciate that and we are now helping them to create a better life at home using our AR technology. Today’s release is about bringing the ease of Ikea Place to over 100m Android devices.”

The Android launch also announces an added feature – working with computer vision startup GrokStyle, the app now allows users to photograph a piece of furniture and receive a suggestion of a similar Ikea item, with a link to buy it.

Earlier this year, Ikea CEO Jesper Brodin spoke at the World Economic Forum about how major shifts in technology, such as the development of artificial intelligence and digital realities, has been the catalyst for the retailer to begin creating connected experiences for their customers.

Categories
Editor's pick film social media

Diesel hides digital “easter eggs” in latest campaign film

Diesel S/S18 campaign video
Diesel S/S 18 – “Keep the World Flawed”

Diesel’s campaign video for the spring/summer 2018 season, titled Keep the World Flawed, features hidden clues that engage viewers across multiple digital platforms.

Encouraging a life lived in a less than perfectionist manner, the satirical video tells the story of a boy and a girl who met after they both chose to get rid of physical flaws. It was directed by François Rousselet and developed by Publicis Italy.

Throughout the creative work, various digital “easter eggs” can be found hidden. On pausing certain frames, viewers can find web addresses and social media handles, such as @wantedsocks, which leads to an Instagram page selling mismatched Diesel socks, for instance.

Meanwhile, the spot’s fictitious restaurant, called Bluffet, is backed by a real website at Bluffet.com, where in collaboration with Buzzfeed’s Tasty, three video recipes aim to fuel flawed behaviour. The final clue, Layover.it, sends users to a flight engine platform that suggests booking real flights with as many layovers as possible.

The spot, which is accompanied by a print ad photographed by Florence & Nicholas, continues the brand’s “Go with the Flaw” campaign strategy, which aims to celebrate imperfections.

Layover.it
Layover.it

To hear about Diesel’s approach to challenging conformity, listen to The Current Innovators’ podcast episode with Diesel’s CEO of North America, Stefano Rosso.

Categories
e-commerce social media Startups

SimplyBe and MyTheresa partner with start-up to deliver shoppable social videos

SimplyBe's shoppable Instagram Story, thanks to Smartzer
SimplyBe’s shoppable Instagram Story, thanks to Smartzer

British e-tailers SimplyBe and MyTheresa have partnered with interactive video startup Smartzer to release shoppable videos via social media.

Smartzer’s technology, which has so far been used by the likes of John Lewis and Zalando on their websites, allows customers to click through and buy items while watching interactive videos. The latest update will enable brands to share shoppable video content on social apps such as Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

When watching a video, consumers can swipe up from an Instagram or Snapchat story, or via Facebook Canvas, to trigger the interactive experience that features clickable hotspots.

The MyTheresa partnership saw Italian label Valentino benefit from the new feature on its AW17 pre-launch. MyTheresa produced a film showcasing items from its range, as well as a behind the scenes Instagram story, using the Smartzer shoppable technology. Meanwhile SimplyBe used the technology to make its The Curve Catwalk event at London Fashion Week entirely shoppable via Instagram within an hour of the show.

“Our aim is to enable all brands from the highstreet or high end to offer these kinds of interactive, customer-centric experiences – while providing detailed analysis of customer interaction. In an ever-evolving landscape where technology is constantly revolutionising the way that consumers shop, it’s imperative that brands listen to what their customers really want,” says Smartzer founder AND CEO Karoline Gross, who launched the company in 2012.

Gross emphasises the importance of customer-centric strategies in the current retail scenario: “Take Amazon for instance – partnering with Nicola Formichetti to offer catwalk to doorstep delivery in just one hour. We see shoppable video as a core part of that process – enabling customers to find the piece they want instantly. In a few years, we could be seeing shoppable live streams which allow customers to click through to the item they want, purchase it, and have it delivered the next day, or even within an hour.”

Retailers have been dipping their toes into social commerce for years, often creating and using tools that work around platform limitations, such as RewardStyle’s Liketoknow.it app. In 2016, media company Popsugar also introduced Emoticode, an e-commerce companion app to Snapchat where users could post screengrabs of snaps that featured items they wanted to purchase. Meanwhile Tommy Hilfiger is leveraging the ‘instant gratification’ demand this season by enabling fans to buy looks straight off the runway with click-to-buy functionality on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest.