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Is TikTok the future of fashion advertising?

As Balenciaga launches its TikTok account, BURO. explores whether the app is the future of sponsored social media content


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In an attempt to reach Gen-Z consumers, brands such as Balenciaga, Burberry and Calvin Klein are taking to TikTok. This weekend, Balenciaga released a 10-second video on the app to showcase two of its most popular bags - the Hourglass and the Shopping Phone Holder - floating mid-air like astronauts in space. Viewers were able to directly click through to the Balenciaga site to purchase the accessories, amongst other pieces.

Much like Vine, the video app that is no more, TikTok is a social media channel where users post short-form videos from 3 to 60 seconds. TikTok ‘challenges’ are a popular trend, where users partake in lip-syncing battles, comedy skits or pranks, which can spread globally within a matter of hours.

But Balenciaga isn't the first to tackle TikTok. Back in June, Burberry created its own account to celebrate the launch of its new Thomas Burberry logo. Instead of using a classic advertising format, such as a static campaign shot, the brand invited TikTok users to take part in the #TBChallenge, where one would recreate the TB monogram by interlocking their hands. According to Business of Fashion, in just one week there were 30,000 videos from users and 57 million views. Similarly, Calvin Klein debuted its TikTok account in February, which included a #MyCalvins video campaign featuring ASAP Rocky and Kendall Jenner.

With a 16-18 age bracket, TikTok is for a generation that grew up with mobile technology from day dot, not so much the millennials that still remember dial-up. Instead of static scrolling, they want to interact with social media in a much more direct and personal way. One thing that’s clear, wherever Gen-Z go, brands will follow, so expect more from TikTok in 2020.