Red Bull is turning its yearly "Dance Your Style" competition into a virtual event on video-sharing app TikTok, per an announcement.
Starting Nov. 5, TikTok users can enter for a chance to win by uploading a 30-second video of their street dance moves and selecting the song "Get Loose Now" by the Black Eyed Peas as the soundtrack; no other music will be accepted. Videos must also have the @RedBullDance handle and the #redbulldanceyourstyle hashtag in the caption and be posted by Nov. 15. Users can vote for a winner using TikTok's poll function from Nov. 25 to Dec. 13.
Judges will choose eight dancers from the audition round to compete against eight pre-selected dancers in the finals. The winner will be "guaranteed a fast track towards a spot" in next year's final, which was postponed because of the pandemic.
Red Bull flipping its annual "Dance Your Style" competition, which started in 2018, into a TikTok event makes sense given that the app has made stars out of people like Charli D'Amelio, the teenager whose dance videos helped her to amass a record 97 million followers. As it's built out its advertising business, TikTok has put a bigger spotlight on features like hashtag and dance challenges, where brands can latch onto trending topics that are boosted by the platform's content-recommendation algorithm.
With more people stuck at home, and as more countries reintroduce lockdown measures to curb a second wave of coronavirus infections, Red Bull can reach consumers who are turning to social media for entertainment and to stay connected with others. As a virtual replacement to live events that Red Bull typically hosts in dozens of cities worldwide, the TikTok dance competition is another sign of how experientially-minded marketers are adjusting their operations to better fit the digital world.
As TikTok users share their dance videos and urge others to participate in the contest, Red Bull can potentially reach hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide. TikTok tends to more popular with young adults and teens, who also are more likely than older demographic groups to drink Red Bull, according to shopping data company Numerator.
Red Bull's "Dance Your Style" contest follows other efforts to reach younger consumers through digital platforms. Last year, the energy-drink marketer collaborated with professional gamer Tyler "Ninja" Blevins on a campaign that included a fan contest and limited-edition packaging. The brand asked people to upload a photo or video showing how they game for a chance to win a gaming session with Blevins. Before that, Red Bull also partnered with Kia and professional racecar driver Collete Davis on a three-part YouTube series.
TikTok, which is owned by Chinese tech giant ByteDance, has been the most popular app worldwide so far this year, surpassing 300 million downloads in the first and second quarter, according to researcher Sensor Tower. With more people stuck at home during the pandemic, TikTok was among the social media apps to see a jump in usage. TikTok also was the most popular app in the third quarter, but faces the possibility of being banned in the U.S. because of national security concerns. However, it may avoid the ban either through an agreement to sell its U.S. operations or through successful legal challenges.