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  • Writer's pictureJefrey Gomez

3 Retail Companies that Upped Their Marketing Game with TikTok’s Branded Hashtag Challenge

In 2015, an average American over the age of 14 spent about $3,000 online, which was almost $340 billion in total. That same year, retail businesses that were trying to woo these potential consumers spent $58.2 billion via online advertising, just one-sixth of the amount spent by an average American consumer.

It’s understandable why companies spend so heavily on online marketing- the returns are for everyone to see.

However, the cut-throat competition that exists in the retail sector requires companies to go the extra mile to imprint their presence on the consumer’s consciousness. This would subsequently help them boost their brand awareness and stay on top of the consumer’s mind when they make a purchase.

The secret to enhanced brand awareness these days lies in creating viral content. If the content is great, that’s an added bonus. TikTok is one such platform where you can create such content using its branded hashtag challenge.

Various retail brands have also succeeded in keeping themselves at the top of their consumers’ minds and these three following retail companies leveraged the platform’s branded hashtag challenge to keep themselves the repetitive and relevant exposure that’s often needed in this industry.

1. KFC Germany

KFC wanted to increase the popularity of its founder, Colonel Sanders, in Germany and was hoping to tap on the younger German population.

Their Objectives

KFC wanted to augment its brand awareness with millions of Gen Z and German millennials.

Approach & Solution

KFC launched TikTok’s Branded Hashtag Challenge with #DotheColonel, which required users to showcase their colonel moves with a short dance.

TikTok brought onboard 22 German TikTok influencers to kickstart its campaign and demonstrate its unique dance routine. Also, they used a catchy soundtrack that motivated the users to add their own dance flair. From dancing in the KFC car park to strange outfits, the #DotheColonel Challenge had it all.

The ‘challenge page’ of the campaign consisted of the five official videos that TikTok released, the Discover page with its ‘trending hashtag’ list, all the user-generated content (UGC), and the supporting ads.

To further boost exposure and drive more users to the challenge page, KFC ran In-Feed and TopView Ads alongside the Branded Hashtag Challenge.

The Result

The campaign turned out to be a massive success and resulted in more than 216M video views and 53K video submissions. The UGC created around #DoTheColonel was also quite creative, which showed that the challenge resonated with the TikTok community. An impressive UGC engagement rate of 12.44% also bears ample testimony to the popularity of this Branded Hashtag Campaign as users liked, commented, and shared it thousands of times.

2. Kintakun

The Indonesian bed cover company, Kintakun, wanted to unveil their new bedsheet and cover collection. As most people were staying indoors due to the pandemic, they felt the time was perfect to reach out to a younger audience.

The Objectives

Kintakun wanted to drive its brand awareness with a younger generation audience who would appreciate the comfort that came with their bedsheets.

Approach & Solution

As the company wanted to reach out to a younger audience, they saw TikTok as an obvious partner and launched an integrated branding campaign centred around a Branded Hashtag Challenge.

While a Hashtag Challenge dance might lead to active participation and fetch dance videos, Kantakun sought to consolidate its brand affinity with the target audience and take it beyond than a dance. The company felt that the users would grow more familiar with the brand if they saw its products with their own eyes.

With that in mind, Kintakun launched the #darikamarKintakun Hashtag Challenge around a 2D Branded Effect. This showed off the company’s latest bed covers and formed the crux of the Hashtag Challenge too.

To participate in the challenge, participants had to interact with the 2D Branded Effect by making one of the three gestures, which triggered an animated Kintakun bed sheet and filter effect to which they could react.

The brand also collaborated with a few TikTok influencers to guide participants on how they could interact with the Branded Effects. The collaboration with TikTok influencers was also a means to reach a wider audience and drive higher engagement. These videos were promoted on TikTok to Indonesian TikTokers through In-Feed and Brand Takeover Ads.

To ramp up the campaign, the #darikamarKintakun Hashtag Challenge was featured as a Banner Carousel in the Discover Page. Also, the campaign’s branded music, “Mood Dari Kamar”, was featured within TikTok’s Music Page.

The Result

The #darikamarKintakun reached more users in Indonesia than the Kintakun’s team expectations because of its captivating Branded Effect. The In-Feed, Brand Takeover and features within the Discovery Page also resulted in 60M ad impressions. This led to 37K video submissions which accounted for 13M collective views. Moreover, the engagement rates for the campaign were almost twice what was benchmarked for the campaign.

3. Nike

Nike Football wanted to launch its latest pair of boots, Future Lab, for which it joined hands with TikTok to tap on its young target audience.

The Objectives

Nike wanted to drive mass awareness with its target audience of young football-crazy Gen Z and millennials.

Approach & Solution

After teaming up with TikTok, Nike kickstarted the #MagicBoots campaign, urging fans to showcase a football trick with their Nike boots on. For better reach and impact, Nike roped in a popular football TikTok creator, @ben.

Backed by his 2.2M TikTok followers, Ben gave the campaign a head start right in the initial stages of the campaign by creating collaboration videos with prestigious Nike Football stars like Manchester City’s Phil Foden and Liverpool defender Andy Robertson.

Next came the chance for TikTokers to win their own pair of #MagicBoots if they managed to impress Ben with their trick the most. By bringing onboard a football creator and placing him at the heart of the campaign, Nike leveraged his large following in a key demographic and generated huge organic reach from the very start.

While Nike’s official Creator videos were themselves quite inspiring and eye-catching, the user generated content was also excellent, ranging from a scaffold wheelie-bin goal to crazy keep-up skills.

To further maximize reach, Nike ran In-Feed and TopView Lite Ads for a wide scale advertisement across social media.

The Result

The #MagicBoots campaign resulted in more than 160K video submissions, which collectively fetched more than 317M views. Through likes, comments, and shares, fans interacted over 46M times with the campaign. Also, Nike’s TikTok followers grew by 215,000 in only six days.

So, Planning Your Own TikTok Branded Hashtag Challenge?

While anyone can create a hashtag challenge, the odds of your challenge going viral would be significantly low if you don’t do it in an engaging way or without a clear purpose. You will need to devise ways to make your challenge spread across the platform quickly. Paying for ads could be a way of giving the challenge a greater reach.

Laying down a clear set of goals would be critical for the branded hashtag challenge and you should be fully aware about what you want to achieve from it. This will help you measure later whether the challenge was a success or not.



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