Issue #48 - MAC Cosmetics on TikTok
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Over the past year we have featured a number of cosmetics brands that have used TikTok really successfully, including L’Oreal NYX and Cerave. Recently Estee Lauder have made their first steps - opening their official account.
But we are drawn to Mac (owned by Estee Lauder), who have been active for a while and going from strength to strength. Their first activity in 2019 was really good - using a diverse range of creators including plus size influencer Anna O’Brien to drive the hashtag #YouOwnIt. This authentic take on the transformative effect of make up resonated with TikTok users and the campaign was seen as a big success. The hashtag #YouOwnIt clocked up 2.8bn views.
Mac now post most days, using influencers like isaiah_nyc who has 8.5m likes and still posts (occasionally) about other competitive brands. Their big focus this year was #LoveMeMode which came with its own song - credited to Mac Cosmetics feat Cale D. The song has been used in over 1100 TikToks and the hashtag has reached 11bn views. One interesting development was the use of an augmented reality (AR) branded effect showing off four Love Me Liquid Lipcolour shades.
The campaign extends beyond TikTok with a partnership between TikTok and Spotify promoting the Mac lens;
Alongside this, the brand is also sponsoring a selection of feel-good playlists on music streaming platform Spotify, including Confidence Boost, Feelin’ Myself and Mood Booster, complete with bespoke audio ads and video content by TikTok creators promoting self-love and positivity to lift listeners' spirits.
The influencers they use are a world away from Charli D'Amelio and what you might see as mainstream creators. EvaRankin, AdultsDrink and layloqasim look and act differently and are in some ways niche - but still have pretty big follower numbers. And for Mac representing the entire range and diversity of how their customers look is right on brand.
The activity is a good example of how marketers' use of TikTok is evolving. Mac really understands their customers and found just the right creators to collaborate with. The positive messages resonate with how people enjoy TikTok and by using their own song, the new AR lens and the nascent partnership between TikTok and Spotify they are testing and learning.
Given how smartly Mac use TikTok we have high hopes for Estee Lauder.
Cosmetic brands can really shine on TikTok. It’s a platform about sharing your experiences authentically, without judgment. The app does its best to serve as an inclusive space for all types of creators, particularly from underrepresented groups you may not classify as the fitting the ‘traditional influencer aesthetic.’ While beauty and fashion brands can receive criticism for promoting unhealthy expectations among young people, Mac fits in the exact opposite category for this campaign.
The #LoveMeMode TikTok hashtag is a direct celebration of loving yourself. The initial videos have specific messages to the viewers, “I am bold. I am unique. I am strong. I am confident, and I am ME.” It’s a message of self-empowerment that associates the MAC Cosmetics brand with positive emotions. The campaign works with a diverse group of creators who create more of a feel-good relatable vibe compared to huge influencers like Addison Rae.
Audio is such an essential part of TikTok and brands that invest in creating the right sound aesthetic enter a new level of TikTok sophistication. Cushioned by their partnership with Spotify, MAC literally came out with their own song for this campaign. Though most inspired by TikTok, MAC could use this audio asset for other marketing activity in the future. With the right creators, the right song, and the right message, brands can deliver impactful messages that drive their business.
MAC demonstrates that they know what they’re doing over TikTok. This has come from experimentation over time as the brand has been active on the platform since 2019. TikTok clearly isn’t an afterthought, but a critical part of their marketing plan that involves thoughtful consideration and strategy. Compared to their earliest campaigns in 2019, MAC has more data, more internal best practices, and more confidence in how to use TikTok. That advantage took them a while to build.
The beauty industry overall is putting a bigger emphasis on body positivity. Everything about the #LoveMeMode campaign speaks to this broader context of beauty, fashion, and health. TikTok’s aesthetic fits well within this modern culture and so far is the best platform for showcasing inclusive beauty.
Mobile App Analytics company Sensor Tower has just released data on TikTok’s global downloads. TikTok has reached 3 Billion downloads globally, becoming the very first Non-Facebook Mobile App to reach such a number. It’s an important milestone to contextualise the growth of TikTok so far and where it could go in the future.
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