Triller is gaining traction as an advertising platform as marketers seek to reach a growing audience for user-created videos. Digitally native brands like Manscaped, L'Oréal's NYX Professional Makeup and legacy players including Pepsi recently have developed campaigns for Triller, the buzzy app that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to let users quickly produce professional-looking music videos.
User-created video has emerged as a valuable part of brands' mobile marketing strategies, punctuated by Reddit's acquisition of video-sharing social app Dubsmash this week and TikTok's explosive growth over the past two years. That meteoric popularity has led rivals including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat to crib the format and develop similar features for creating videos set to a music track.
"There's some magic into this style [of] using well-known music clips, allowing people to mash them up together — and you create this kind of purposeful palette where the intent is not about your friends, it's about a shared experience and fun," said Brian Bowman, founder and chief executive of Consumer Acquisition, an agency that specializes in marketing apps on social media. "That is what has changed at least from the experience side."
NYX tests Triller with beauty drop, Snapchat shop
Beauty brands that were once early adopters of influencer marketing also are dipping their toes into newcomers like Triller. L'Oréal's NYX brand of cosmetics this month kicked off a campaign across Triller and Snapchat. The promotion revealed the beauty brand's spring 2021 collection and will include a virtual concert by singer Bebe Rexha and an augmented reality (AR) pop-up shop in Triller, according to an announcement.
The virtual store is the latest sign that Triller and Snapchat have developed a way to integrate their platforms after first announcing their collaborative efforts in March. At that time, the companies said they would give Snapchat users the option to post their self-made music videos to a story in Triller. In a stronger platform tie-in, NYX's campaign now looks to turn passive users of Snapchat into active participants — and potentially paying customers — through the Triller shop. It's an innovative way for the brand to extend its reach among younger audiences who are less likely to consume content on traditional channels like linear TV.
NYX's campaign also comes as Triller's audience shows significant growth. Earlier this year, it was one of the five most downloaded video-sharing apps in the U.S. and emerged as a potential rival to TikTok, according to a Sensor Tower estimate. As TikTok faced a stronger possibility of being banned in the U.S. earlier this fall, video apps including Triller and Likee expanded their share of downloads from 24% in January to 44% in August. As of early August, Triller reported 65 million monthly active users, though those figures haven't been confirmed by independent analytics companies.
Cutting in as rivals squabble
The social video app now faces a daunting challenge in taking on deep-pocketed tech giants with billions of users and legions of advertisers. However, rivals Facebook, Google and TikTok each are entangled in legal battles that may open an opportunity for Triller to fill in the gaps as brands dabble in more nascent platforms. Facebook and Google are mired in antitrust investigations that may halt more expansionary acquisitions or make them more cautious about quashing startups like Triller. TikTok's parent company ByteDance is negotiating a deal to keep its app operating in the U.S. amid its own legal squabbles.
Triller is majority-owned by Proxima Media, a Hollywood studio founded by Ryan Kavanaugh, producer of films such as "The Fast and the Furious" and "The Social Network." The video startup was in talks to go public through a merger into a publicly traded shell company, Reuters reported in October.
"There's some magic into this style [of] using well-known music clips, allowing people to mash them up together — and you create this kind of purposeful palette where the intent is not about your friends, it's about a shared experience and fun."
Founder and chief executive, Consumer Acquisition
Meanwhile, Triller has partnered with brands on original programming, such as a November boxing match between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. The "Tyson on Triller" match was sponsored by DraftKings, SmartStop Self Storage and WeedMaps, and marked the first event by Proxima Media. Snoop Dogg hosted the match, which was the first from a new boxing league that's prepping five to eight events a year on Triller.
In recent weeks, beverage behemoth Pepsi has similarly gotten into participatory events on Triller. The soda brand, which has a long history of campaigns featuring stars like Michael Jackson and Britney Spears, this month announced a partnership with rapper Fat Joe to create a reality competition show on Triller. The "Your Wildest Dreams" contest asks aspiring artists to share performance videos on the app for a chance to appear in a 2021 commercial for its Wild Cherry Pepsi variant. This month's contest demonstrates how digital platforms like Triller are creating new social media-inspired programming formats that encourage participation and allow for competitions akin to "American Idol" and "The Voice."
NYX isn't the only beauty marketer that's developing campaigns for Triller, as seen this month in a promotion by E.l.f. Cosmetics. The brand announced a plan to debut a five-song holiday album on the app while billing itself as the first beauty brand to launch a Triller campaign. The "e.l.f. the hauls" album remixes seasonal classics from emerging artists and includes videos starring social influencers. Together, these campaigns indicate that some brands are experimenting with Triller as they seek to diversify their social media efforts and broader marketing plans.