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TikTok can famously present established brands, artists and musicians with unexpected sources of attention, like when a clip of a skateboarder drinking Ocean Spray introduced some Gen Z viewers to Fleetwood Mac. But when audiences have access to new-to-them cultural territory, virality can have deeper implications for a brand than upsetting fan gatekeepers of ’70s music.
The potential downsides of virality can be seen in the case of fashion and beauty influencer Alix Earle, who faced criticism earlier this year for endorsing Mielle oil, a product designed for textured hair.