- Fashion brand Guess partnered with TikTok, the short-form mobile video platform that merged with and replaced Musical.ly, on a viral campaign targeted at millennials and Generation Z. As TikTok users open the app, they are directed to the #InMyDenim challenge that urges them to post videos with the hashtag, according to a press release.
- The #InMyDenim hashtag challenge marks the first promoted hashtag challenge on TikTok in the U.S. and the official launch of the app's U.S. brand partnerships program, and runs Sept. 1-6. Guess is promoting the challenge with the support of popular content creators including @ourfire, who has 2.3 million followers and @madison_willow, with 983,000 followers, among others.
- ByteDance, the Chinese company that acquired Musical.ly in November, last month combined the popular music-video app with its TikTok app. Musical.ly had about 100 million monthly active users, and became part of ByteDance's strategy of breaking into the U.S. market, per The Verge.
The hashtag campaign from Guess is geared for young adults and teens who enjoy sharing images of their latest looks and fashions on social media. Fashion brands and retailers — such as Forever 21, H&M and Nordstrom, among others — have had success reaching out to consumers using influencers and celebrities on social media platforms to increase engagement.
"These digital natives' tastes and desires govern the future of social media and culture," said Edward Park, SVP of retail and digital at Guess, in a statement. "A cluttered brand space demands unique, engaging content and integrated participation."
TikTok's parent company ByteDance is seeking a stronger foothold in the U.S. after its Douyin app has grown to more than 300 million users in China, per The Verge. The company faces formidable competition from social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat that are popular with young adults and teens. There are signs that TikTok is making inroads. Data from Sensor Tower cited in the release indicates that TikTok was the most-downloaded iOS app in Q1. Two years ago, Snapchat surpassed market leader Facebook as the most popular social network among U.S. teens, a trend that researcher eMarketer predicts will continue. Snapchat will add 1.2 million new users in that age group by 2022, while Facebook will lose 2.2 million, the researcher said.
Guess also is making an effort to reach Chinese tourists as they visit the United States. The fashion brand in July announced a partnership with payment platform Alipay that lets Chinese customers use the Alipay Mobile Wallet app when making purchases at more than 50 Guess stores, according to a statement. Chinese consumers tend to seek out Guess-branded products when they visit the U.S., Souheil Badran, president of Alipay Americas, said.