- SmileDirectClub, a direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketer of teeth aligners, launched a hashtag challenge on TikTok to reach U.S. teenagers, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer. The #SuperlativeSmiles challenge asks teens to dress up as their favorite yearbook superlative, such as "best dressed" or "most likely to succeed," for a chance to win a teeth-alignment treatment. The challenge racked up 1.5 billion views as of press time.
- SmileDirectClub enlisted several influencers to promote the challenge, including Michael Evans Behling from the show "All American" that this year started streaming on Netflix after premiering on The CW network. Behling shows off his football skills with the "most athletic" yearbook description and "best smile." Austin Felt, TheDawnDishSoap and Ashley Newman also are promoting the challenge on their TikTok feeds.
- The DTC brand also created a landing page with a downloadable PowerPoint presentation that teens can customize and present to their parents to help explain SmileDirectClub's clear aligners. PowerPoint is an effective way for teens to pitch big decisions to parents, the company's research states.
SmileDirectClub's large viewership for its #SuperlativeSmiles challenge on TikTok points to the campaign's strength as users of the app created videos for a chance to win teeth-alignment treatment. It also shows how TikTok can be effective at reaching teens, with more than 40% of U.S. consumers ages 13 to 16 using the app, making it more popular than Facebook, Twitter and Twitch among the group, according to Morning Consult research.
The campaign comes as the DTC startup faces a steep decline in revenue, which fell almost 45% to $107 million in Q2 from a year earlier as the coronavirus pandemic negatively affected the economy, causing many people to have less discretionary spending for cosmetic treatments like teeth aligning. The company spent $35 million on sales and marketing during the period, or 32% of revenue, compared with 72% in the prior quarter, per its quarterly earnings statement. About 60% of customers who bought aligners in the quarter hadn't been prior leads, a percentage that was consistent with prior periods. It's too early to tell how its TikTok campaign will drive future sales, though the participation in its branded hashtag challenge may be positive for growth and marketing awareness.
SmileDirectClub is the latest brand to develop a campaign for TikTok to reach its growing U.S. audience, which jumped 48% to 52.2 million unique users during the first three months of 2020 as pandemic lockdowns went into effect, according to Comscore data cited by eMarketer. Footwear chain Aldo this month started its first campaign on TikTok with its "Step Into Love" hashtag challenge that urged users to create videos for a chance to prizes. The company also recruited influencers to promote the challenge, generating 2.8 billion views in its first week. DSW's first branded hashtag challenge, which urged TikTok users to share videos of themselves wearing shoes for any occasion, racked up 3.4 billion views for videos with the #TooManyShoes hashtag.