Timothy is the founder of Fanbytes, a leading Gen Z agency.
Once overlooked as a fad, TikTok has now captured the attention of the digital marketing community, offering a unique opportunity for brands to engage with, and captivate the attention of, young people and adults alike. Toy World spoke to Timothy Armoo, founder of Fanbytes, to find out what the platform offers the toy community.
“At Fanbytes, we’ve activated 200+ blockbuster TikTok campaigns with some of the biggest brands on the planet; and the continued momentum we see the platform attracting passionately fuels our creativity,” he explains. “Using our in-house analytics tool Bytesights, we’ve gained an unprecedented insight into the inner mechanisms of TikTok, with the ability to see which trends are about to blow up, and data that identifies key growth in the popularity of the platform.
TikTok was born in 2018 following a merger between apps Douyin and musical.ly, and in the short time since has become one of the most valuable tools in a marketers playbook with 500m monthly active users – putting it ahead of Snapchat and Twitter. And on TikTok, influencers rule the roost, with creators pulling in millions of fans with 15 second clips; whether that be hilarious skits, pranks, dance-routines… you name it.
With the outbreak of Covid-19, the short-form video platform has continued to sky-rocket in popularity, catapulting itself further into popular culture. The app was installed 85m+ times between March 1-23, up 5% from the previous month. With Bytesights, we can see that since the beginning of the UK Corona crisis at the start of March, various TikTok influencers with over 1m followers, (including those from our in-house talent agency Bytesized), have been growing at more than 150% their average weekly rate compared to the period before lockdowns and quarantine were imposed in Europe and the US. This indicates that many are seeking comfort in these uncertain times through light-hearted, easily consumable content made by creators, and also shows a clear indication of the growth within the platform itself.
As the popularity of the app grows, clear opportunities are emerging for toy/game brands to capitalise on this. One of the first companies to using TikTok to help its range go viral was Hong Kong based firm Zuru, with its product Mini Brands. The novelty toy, which is a little capsule containing five tiny versions of everyday household goods including Dove Soap and Lipton Iced Tea, successfully used TikTok to drive brand awareness and sales. Initially, influencers were sent the product to make viral videos with. And since that initial boost, the brand has become a major trend, with users posting unboxings of the toy and tagging it with #MiniBrands. This tag has attracted 34,000+ pieces of fan-generated content, with 571m combined views. We can see on Bytesights that, despite this trend going on for well over a year now, it’s showing no signs of slowing down, increasing by 31m+ views in the past 30 days alone.
Mini Brands isn’t the only toy to become an overnight viral sensation. Take Orbeez for example; who would’ve thought little beads that inflate in water would become such a smash hit? But indeed they are, with 400m+ combined views across associated hashtags, forming the basis of various TikTok challenges and pranks. Trends have also been built around Mattel card game Uno, with its hashtag gaining on average around 5m+ views per day, with users sharing hilarious content including OTT reactions to winning/losing, and comedy sketches incorporating the game. Since the middle of March, an average of 2,000 posts are uploaded to #Uno each day, up from an average of 500 during the preceding months. This is a key indicator of both TikTok’s growth, and also the impact Covid-19 is having, with families becoming closer to one another through toy/game nights.
We are also seeing major manufacturers putting a great deal of effort into building a dedicated TikTok fanbase via a brand account. One of the best examples of this is pop culture based party game What Do You Meme. With over 578K followers, and an average of 80K views per post, the brand has truly cemented itself into TikTok culture. What Do You Meme uses popular influencers, including those from our managed talent roster, to create fun, hilarious content. This goes out on both the influencers channels, tagging the page to grow the following. This tactic is proving fruitful, with @whatdoyoumeme growing 5,000+ followers per week.
As TikTok continues to skyrocket in popularity and further insert itself into the mainstream, the time is now for toy/game brands to jump on and start to build a presence on the platform. The unique opportunities it poses, with the ability to seamlessly win the hearts of young people all over the world, should not be overlooked. TikTok is taking over, and those companies who take an innovative approach to the platform and what it offers will reap the rewards.”
To find out more, contact Timothy on firstname.lastname@example.org.