- Footwear chain Aldo this week started its first campaign on social video app TikTok to promote fall fashions among a Generation Z audience. The effort includes the "Step Into Love" hashtag challenge that urges TikTok users to create videos for a chance to $5,000, Aldo shared via a press release.
- To participate in the challenge, TikTok users need to create a dance video with the song "Roses (Imanbek Remix)" by Saint Jhn that is available at Aldo's account in the app. Video submissions must tag the @Aldo_Shoes account and have the #StepIntoLove hashtag in the caption by Sept. 1. Videos with the hashtag had been viewed more than 112 million times on TikTok in its first day, as of press time.
- The retailer enlisted influencers Nia Sioux, Kalani Brooke, D3Mstreet, Cousin Skeether, Isabella Fonte, Mariah Amato, Gabe De Guzman, Sammy Rickey and Big Will Simmons to promote the challenge. Aldo created a dance video that was shot before the coronavirus pandemic to capture the central theme of the "Step Into Love" campaign, which will continue on a microsite and in the brand's in-store, online, out-of-home (OOH), social media and other advertising for the next eight months.
Aldo's first branded hashtag challenge on TikTok is part of its video-centric campaign targeting younger consumers who are shopping for their fall wardrobes. By urging people to create videos for a chance to win a cash prize, the footwear retailer is giving TikTok users greater incentive to participate in the challenge. As they share dance videos in the app, Aldo can harness TikTok's power to drive viral campaign reach among millions of consumers worldwide.
By enlisting influencers to promote its hashtag challenge, Aldo also can boost the reach among younger consumers whose opinions are partially shaped by social media personalities. Almost two-thirds (61%) of people ages 18 to 34 said influencers have shaped their decision-making at some point, a survey by Econsultancy found. The pandemic has led consumers to boost engagement with influencers as people increase their social media usage. Almost all (96%) social media users in the U.S. and U.K. said they engage with influencers at least as much as they had before the pandemic, per a May 2020 survey by influencer marketing platform Influencer and GlobalWebIndex. Only 4% of respondents said they're interacting with influencers less, suggesting influencer marketing remains a key strategy to engage audiences on social platforms.
TikTok's global reach is significant for parent company Aldo Group, which has more than 3,000 points of sale in more than 100 countries, per its website. TikTok had been downloaded more than 2 billion times in the past few years, researcher Sensor Tower estimated in April, before the app was banned in India and lost access to its biggest market. The app also faces the possibility of being banned in the U.S. because of national security concerns, though the outcome of that threat remains to be seen as ByteDance negotiates a potential sale of TikTok outside of China.
Aldo Group has faced significant challenges during the pandemic, and is among the retailers to file for bankruptcy protection this year to cope with a steep decline in revenue. The filing gives the company a chance to reorganize and stabilize its business, and ideally will help to provide it a stronger financial footing. With stores reopening as lockdowns ease, the footwear retailer could participate in the recovery and reach a new group of consumers with marketing efforts like its "Step Into Love" campaign.