Issue #26 - Cerave on TikTok
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Welcome to Good TikTok Creative!
We are Simon Andrews and Anthony McGuire, two people who have been working in marketing, advertising and media for decades.
We are very excited about TikTok as a brand new platform for creativity and think this topic is severely under-explored.
TikTok Case Study #26 = Cerave
We have featured L'Oreal before, as they are true pioneers of digital marketing. In GTTC #19 we scrutinised their Halloween campaign for their NTX range which revived Melanie Martinez's Dollhouse. That was big; #DOLLHOUSECHALLENGE got 2.4 billion views.
This time we're looking at Cerave - a dermatological skincare brand owned by L'Oreal. We can see some of the history of this campaign; if you look at CeraveSkincare they first tried running videos repurposed from other channels. Which just didn't work - most videos had just a few thousand views.
Then look at Cerave - now they have gone bespoke and created content that fits the grammar of TikTok.
First they recruited the best skincare influencers;
@skincarebyhyram - big on all channels, but with 6.8m followers on TikTok,
@dermdoctor - 3.9m followers
@dermbeautydoc - up and coming with 122k followers
Then they added some star quality with Charli D’Amelio, who has 107m followers.
This mix of reach and respectability is a powerful combination - the one video so far has 132m views. And a sweepstake runs alongside - building a CRM programme and harvesting 1st party data. We imagine these spokespeople will appear in retail channels at some point - but nothing on their Amazon page yet.
This is a great example of how to use TikTok. Bespoke content designed for the platform and using the grammar of the medium.
If you look back a few months, Cerave had previously found some success on TikTok. This Buzzfeed article and CNN article, both from July 2020, describe how Cerave started gaining traction with Gen Z through recommendations from TikTok influencers.
For the brand managers at Cerave, this was in line with a key insight that young people are taking more advice on skin care from influencers rather than dermatologists. At the center of this sales boom for Cerave was the 24-year-old influencer Hyram Yarbro, known on TikTok by the handle @skincarebyhyram.
It appears that there was grassroots demand for Cerave generated by influencers like Hyram last year. If we fast forward to January 2021, Cerave (owned by L’Oreal) has now launched a major campaign with influencers including Hyram Yarbro, Charli D’Amelio, @dermdoctor, and @dermbeautydoc.
If you watch the Cerave video, it’s very much in line with authentic TikTok practices. The aesthetic is very low production. It literally looks like the videos could have been recorded in a bathroom. The background music sounds like a template you would find on GarageBand and the blue text overlay they added is something even I could have done. By the way — I mean these all as compliments!
I hadn’t heard of Cerave before, but of course I knew L’Oreal. L’Oreal owns and operates hundreds of brands, so they have room to experiment with some more than others. I would imagine that based on the success of Cerave, L’Oreal brand managers are now making calculations on what next big brand they could push on TikTok.
Let’s see what they come up with next.
TikTok takes on Facebook with US e-commerce push
This article from the FT yesterday outlines the push TikTok is making to compete more directly with Facebook in terms of commerce products. Some of these new developments include e-commerce livestreaming products, a partnership with Shopify, and a global partnership with WPP.
If you have been paying attention at all to TikTok over the last year, none of this should come as a surprise. On the topic of livestreaming, I have also written about this before and we touched on the topic last year in a webinar we hosted with David Hoctor from TikTok.
What’s left to be seen is A) How advertisers respond to this new commerce push from TikTok, and B) How competitors like Facebook/Instagram/Snap/Amazon respond.
Being a former employee of Facebook/Instagram (this is Anthony writing), I’m certain that Mark Zuckerberg will put an immense amount of resources to compete against TikTok. But I would also say—at this point I’m more bullish on TikTok.
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