- American Eagle Outfitters launched its first campaign with social video app TikTok to reach teens as they head back to school. The campaign includes a hashtag challenge, brand takeover and beta test of TikTok's latest ad unit, the in-feed video with badge, per an announcement shared with sister publication Mobile Marketer. The new format directs users to an external site to make a purchase, a first for the platform.
- The activation is part of American Eagle's collaboration with hip-hop star Lil Wayne, who appears in a broader campaign for the AE x Young Money 2019 fall collection. The branded hashtag challenge urges TikTok users to post videos of themselves wearing American Eagle clothing with Lil Wayne's song "Uproar" as the featured soundtrack.
- The campaign was developed with American Eagle's media agency of record 360i.
American Eagle's campaign on TikTok demonstrates how the viral app is developing a broader selection of ad formats that give marketer greater flexibility. The new in-feed video with badge format that points users to an external site will likely drive web traffic to brands' and retailers' websites and potentially increase direct sales to TikTok users who see products in video inserts.
Of the nearly two-thirds (63%) of online shoppers who have ever clicked on a social media ad, 33% made a direct purchase, per a survey by cloud computing company Episerver.
By developing a campaign for TikTok, American Eagle can reach a mass audience of teens who have flocked to the social video app, which has become one of the most downloaded apps worldwide in the past year. The retailer is among the brands that have developed campaigns to capitalize on that growing popularity.
Luxury fashion designer Ralph Lauren recently created a dedicated campaign for TikTok to coincide with the 2019 U.S. Open tennis tournament, the first time the app was used as a marketing channel around a major U.S. sporting event. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Macy's, Sony Pictures and Uniqlo have also recently run campaigns and viral challenges on TikTok to capitalize on its success with younger, tech-savvy consumers.
Teaming with Lil Wayne for a hashtag challenge that encourages users to post videos of them in American Eagle clothing demonstrates how TikTok can be utilized to drum up user-generated content. An extension of how users are already using TikTok, such hashtag challenges have shown success. Chipotle's #GuacDance challenge saw 250,000 video submission and 430 million video starts during a six-day run.
Meanwhile, commerce has become a bigger priority for social media apps like TikTok in the past few years. Facebook this week announced it had begun testing two ad formats to support direct sales, including a feature that lets marketers turn shopping posts on Instagram into ads. Snapchat last year added a "Shop and Cop" channel to the Discover section of its image-messaging app, and Pinterest in June expanded its third-party partner program to support more shopping experiences and rolled out browsable catalogs in July.