- Nerf, the toy brand owned by Hasbro, is searching for a Chief TikTok Officer to grow its presence on the viral video-sharing platform, according to an announcement.
- The "CTO" will be responsible for generating 10 to 12 approved videos on the official @Nerf account per month and will meet with Nerf's global marketing team to brainstorm ideas and connect the brand to larger consumer trends. The temporary position is remote and pays $10,000 per month, and will provide the CTO with official Nerf gear, per a promotional video that stars actress and influencer China McClain.
- Interested applicants 18 and older must follow @Nerf on TikTok and share a Nerf-related video with the hashtag #NerfApplication and @nerf tag by April 2 to enter the running. Finalists must also complete a formal application and interview process for the at-will role.
A newcomer to TikTok, Nerf is angling to have its account take off quickly by hiring a young consumer familiar with the platform favored among U.S. teens. The Hasbro line had only posted four videos on the app at press time, including the CTO announcement, and commands a follower count of about 20,800. But Nerf is quite popular among TikTok users. @Nerfers101, an enthusiast account for the brand that makes toy blasters, has 1.6 million followers, suggesting there's a sizable audience for Nerf to tap into if it can develop the right content strategy.
Nerf's marketing team — self-described "desperate" millennials trying to appeal to Gen Z — is searching for a candidate who has a sense of humor and can bring "good vibes" to the table, according to the announcement. The owner of @Nerfers101 is applying to be the CTO, per a video shared to the page.
While temporary, the position's promise of $10,000 per month might appeal to college-aged consumers entering an uncertain job market that continues to weather disruptions related to the pandemic. The three-month, all-virtual role is set to run from mid-April to mid-July, although Nerf said it will allow for some flexibility.
Gen Z and millennials have expressed a clear interest in pursuing influencer marketing as a career, following in the footsteps of social media stars that increasingly hold greater sway as cultural trend-setters compared to traditional Hollywood celebrities. Eighty-six percent of those young cohorts report they're open to sharing sponsored content online for money, a 2019 poll by Morning Consult found.
Nerf isn't the first brand to turn to gimmick executive positions in the chase for social media clout. Bud Light last year sought a "Chief Meme Officer," or CMO, to curate posts for its social media pages. The appointment, which paid $5,000 per month, focused on hyping the AB InBev line's hard seltzer.
While these temporary roles serve to drive buzz for a brand, they also speak to how some marketers are less confident in navigating social media spaces where trends come and go quickly and users can be fickle. Plenty of brands have been caught flat-footed trying to latch onto memes that are well past their expiration date.