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Social Media and UGC

8 TikTok Challenges Started by Brands and what We can Learn from Them

TikTok isn't the first social media channel for challenges, but TikTok challenges are going viral. But are brands equipped to keep up with the Gen Z dominant platform TikTok? Some are finding ways to reach new audiences with this channel, and they're using creativity and influencers to launch some of the most engaging campaigns in the form of challenges.

On TikTok, challenges are the name of the game. Although it can be applied to any social media channel, challenges on  TikTok happen when a user creates a hashtag accompanying a video and encourages others to do the same thing with their own creative take on it in their own video, using the same hashtag.  

Brands are creating their own challenges and on TikTok, that has been a big success so far. Check out these eight viral challenges started by brands on TikTok.

1. Chipotle: #LidFlip

Chipotle is one of the most popular food chains amongst millennials and Gen Z, making the brand a natural fit for TikTok. The Chipotle #LidFlip challenge involves participants recording themselves attempting to flip the lid onto the bowl without using their hands. The idea behind the challenge was to promote their new Cinco de Mayo deal with free delivery. Fans found a fun new way to engage with the brand, and the brand was able to boost awareness and sales around a prominent event.

2. GUESS: #InMyDenim

GUESS was one of the first major companies to partner with TikTok to host their #InMyDenim campaign in the U.S. They enlisted the help of many well-known influencers to promote their new denim jeans. The benefit of this strategy was that TikTok users who follow those content creators immediately hopped on to learn more about the challenge after seeing their favorite influencers take part in it. Moreover, followers were encouraged to record and share their own denim transformations. This gets people talking about the brand, thereby boosting the brand's engagement and customer base. With the help of this challenge, GUESS hit over 40 million views, and the videos continue to receive a lot of engagement. Not only does this gave the fashion brand a competitive edge but also access to a larger customer pool. The increased exposure across the platform results in greater revenue generation through a new shopping experience.


3. Crocs: #ThousandDollarCrocs

The famous footwear company, Crocs, created a challenge of its own called the #ThousandDollarCrocs challenge. The campaign originated from a Post Malone song lyric, and soon enough, it resulted in a partnership between the musician and the brand. This not only brought the brand a flood of engagement and hype; the product sold out remarkably fast. The challenge encouraged users to share what they think their $1000 crocs would look like featuring the hashtag, and it resulted in an 18% percent increase in their follower count. Ultimately, the brand succeeds in building a loyal online following while also generating new leads and potential sales.

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4. Calvin Klein: #MyCalvins

This fashion brand also hopped on the TikTok train and recruited some famous personalities to help show off their outfits using the #MyCalvins hashtag. Shawn Mendes is one of the advocates for the brand and helped them capitalize on the trend by sporting a Calvin Klein outfit in a short video. Furthermore, the campaign enlisted various other celebrities such as Kendall Jenner and A$AP Rocky, to feature their clothing items and cater to the company's audience on the platform. It helped Calvin Klein attract a diverse target audience and helped boost the online reputation and sales of the brand tremendously.

5. MAC: #YouOwnIt

The #YouOwnIt campaign by MAC cosmetics has hit approximately 2.3 billion views on TikTok, and everyone's taken aback by how successful the campaign has been. The aim of the campaign was to boost the exposure of MAC among today's teenagers, and the best way to acquire those clicks was by leveraging the infamous TikTok app. Several fashion and lifestyle influencers promoted the hashtag, so it gained traction and, eventually, escalated to viral status. The campaign brought MAC immense exposure and positive impressions from anyone who partook in the challenge.

6. elf Cosmetics: #eyeslipsface

The high-end makeup brand elf also leveraged TikTok's platform to expand its audience reach. elf dedicated a song specifically for their TikTok campaign #eyeslipsface, which was inspired by Kash Doll's hit "Ice Me Out." The song is named after the brand's very own acronym "Eyes Lips Face" and is known to be an original song commissioned for the campaign. Furthermore, with the help of some popular influencers to kick-start the campaign, the results started rolling, and they've been extraordinary. The volume of videos pouring in has been mind-blowing, and the current count stands at over 3.8 billion. What's more, this content now lives on the elf website as a content asset that helps bolster the brand's other channels.

7. Fortnite: #EmoteRoyaleContest

Fortnite's TikTok presence resonates well with its Gen Z fans. It is so popular that with only 4 videos posted on their account, they already have approximately 1.3 million followers. Fortnite launched the campaign #EmoteRoyaleContest which asked TikTok users and followers to create and share dances that can be transformed into official emotes on Fortnite game characters. Who doesn't want a character based on them? The hashtag has since been used more than 250 million times and is widely popular amongst gamers and millennials. Users can enter the challenge by submitting their video and using the #EmoteRoyaleContest and win the chance to have their own in-game emote.

8. HP: #HPCoachellaDreamland challenge

HP used the popularity of the Coachella music event by collaborating with many Tik Tok influencers, including OurFire (who has 5.3 million subscribers), to promote the brand with a younger generation. The hashtag challenge generated 176 million views in record time.

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To TikTok and Beyond

No matter what your current marketing strategy is, keeping a pulse on TikTok will separate in touch from out-of-touch brands. Whether you're looking to build a campaign, challenge, or work with influencers, it's important to see what's working already to set yourself up for success.

Nouman is an electrical engineer with a passion for writing, designing, and anything tech-related. His educational background in the technical field has given him the edge to write on many topics. He occasionally writes blog articles for Dynamologic Solutions, a Software house company in Pakistan.  

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