It’s no secret that the people love TikTok. Having recently overtaken Google to become the most visited website ever, the app and video content platform has launched careers, ended them, and provides over a billion people with entertainment everyday. And no, this is not an ad.
However, speaking of ads, the platform has also become the newest marketing venture for brands everywhere – with once seemingly corporate companies experiencing virality for ‘letting loose’ and gamifying their reputation with their presence on the app. It’s no stretch, then, to see that this has developed into a whole new arena for advertising – with brands brainstorming ways they can tap into TikTok’s overwhelming success and extraordinary reach – especially with young people.
And whilst some brands are still struggling, creating very obviously inorganic advertising and marketing concepts that read as transparent and, well, millennial, others are using innovative concepts and tapping into internet culture to get their name out to TikTok’s vast audience. One of which is Burberry.
You may have seen the brand’s launch of its new bag, the Lola, via Bella Hadid’s horse-girl leaning campaign. Or maybe, you saw it somewhere entirely more unexpected – in one of TikTok’s most loved accounts’ new videos. The account in question? Sylvaniandrama – which produces videos of Sylvanian Family figurines acting out scenes and, as its name suggests, drama. Loved for its tongue-in-cheek approach and passive aggressive nature, the channel’s videos are set to music, with dialogue typed out as subtitles and of course including emojis for dramatic effect.
With each video racking up millions of views, and the account amassing a following of nearly 2 million, its content represents what TikTok can do best – which in this case, is spotlighting niche internet humour, combining that with the Gen-Z nostalgia of forgotten toys, and broadcasting it on a global stage. However, despite this, it was still a surprise that a big fashion brand, such as Burberry, recognised its potential on an advertising level.
But why? Well, essentially, it’s just weird to think of the marketing execs at such a huge luxury corp watching and consuming the same content as millions of teens sat at home. There’s a wider disconnect in how society perceives the forces behind advertising as a whole and their reality. In fact, as more young people who are tuned into all corners of internet culture begin to enter the workforce, perhaps we’ll start to see more of this type of tactic.
Before the alarm bells start ringing surrounding separating work and play, or blending worlds of advertising and organic, entertaining content, this campaign is an example of a brand getting it right. The move, although signposted with the classic #ad, sits within Sylvaniandrama’s existing content pretty seamlessly. What’s more, the account not only fully discloses it, but also preempts the ad’s reception on TikTok – hashtagging #omgburberrycollab in the sponsored content’s caption.
We don’t doubt that we’ll continue to see a multitude of examples of brands getting it wrong with TikTok ads – but with this campaign, Burberry has proved that there’s merit in taking the time to fully understand internet culture, what’s trending, and adapting their approach to fit whoever they want to work with.
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