Issue #81 - JD on TikTok
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TikTok Case Study #81 = JD on TikTok
Is it possible to do a good old-fashioned TikTok campaign or is the platform still too new for that?
The new JD Sports activity on TikTok is a great example of getting the basics right. With a compelling offer - win a custom pair of Nike Air Maxs and £2k to spend in store - they use a cool filter and a bespoke tune from Lady Ice, as well as a call to action of tagging a mate.
Their organic game is good - regular postings picking up on TikTok trends as well as posts with brand appropriate creators. This has earned them 1.6m followers and over 18m likes - around 300% up over the last year.
But this ad campaign goes to the next level. Smart tricks, like using the hashtag #MyJDAirMax in the title of the music, announce the Branded Mission and it has achieved 1.7b views. Over 4800 videos have been made using the filter, as the creator gets to find out which Nike Air Max they are. And TikTokers love miming to music - here JDSports get them doing it to a brand message.
Getting this degree of involvement shows how important TikTok is becoming.
The Branded Mission is a powerful new tool - an evolution of the branded hashtag, this allows brands to offer a boost to participating creators - aligning their interests with the brands, as they both lust after more views.
We have looked before at how JDSports use TikTok and wrote about their Love Island activity last year. This campaign doesn’t have the borrowed interest of a sponsorship but stands up well - demonstrating that those brands that have leaned in to the platform and invest in testing and learning do well.
As a smart Google friend used to say about Mobile - it’s not too late to be early.
On March 26th, Nike commemorated the 35th anniversary of their Air Max shoe through Air Max Day, the company’s annual celebration of one of the most beloved silhouettes in sneaker history. Each year, Nike is prompted to invest in a series of activations. This year, Nike built a virtual Air Max exhibit in Roblox, special immersive billboards in Japan, and released a handful of new sneakers. To take advantage of the noise around Air Max Day, we can expect retailers like JD to capitalize on the ‘holiday’ with their own campaigns.
Taking to TikTok, JD launched a classic giveaway campaign allowing people a chance to win a pair of shoes and in-store cash credits. As per the TikTok playbook, the brand partnered with a stable of creators who could spread the message amongst their respective communities. Using a branded AR filter, the creators would ‘play roulette’ as they shuffle through a set of different Air Max models to answer the question ‘Which Nike Air Max Are You?’ When the AR filter selects a specific Air Max model, the creator would strike a pose and do a dance wearing that shoe. Afterwards, they would encourage people to participate by creating their own TikTok videos.
This ‘AR filter roulette’ plays to a fun trend people are excited to participate in on TikTok, particularly last year. These AR Filters, which also exist in similar formats on Instagram and Snap, are silly lighthearted ways for people to answer questions like ‘What Disney character are you?’ This is all very modern 2022-esque marketing, but as Simon mentioned—at this point looking at dozens of case studies, this is classic TikTok.
The campaign is easy to pull off—anyone can put on a pair of Air Maxes and spin around for the camera. At the same time, this campaign is only going to appeal to a high signal audience. Not everybody owns a pair of Nike Air Max and a very small percentage of people own several different models of Nike Air Max. However, those people are likely some variation of Nike fan or sneakerhead. These people can be obsessive, or at the very least proud of their passion for sneakers. These folks would be perfect to show off their shoes on a TikTok video and especially if it could give them a chance to win some shoes!
The branded mission is a really compelling product feature on TikTok. You can see a select group of the successful entries and look at a kind of ‘dashboard’ of the campaign’s progress. This makes us—as viewers—invested in the campaign, whether we are participants or not. I predict that the branded mission ‘dashboard’ has increased user engagement in these campaigns.
So JD has created a simple challenge that’s easy to follow, yet would likely appeal only to a select group of people—but in a very effective way. With that combination, they would encourage a strong, enthusiastic community to contribute TikToks and participate in the challenge. This further builds the brand equity of JD and allows them to run a successful marketing campaign around Air Max Day..
Ad Age recently released an article ranking their Top 5 TikToks posted by brands throughout the month of March. Here’s the latest list:
Oscar Mayer’s Wienermobile
Doja Cat’s ‘fucking jingle’ for Taco Bell
St. Peter’s Peacocks
Pepsi taps Khaby Lame
Duolingo is Dua Lipa’s #1 Fan
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