Ralph Lauren’s TikTok Campaign Around the US Open Is a First for the Platform

The brand is asking users to participate in a hashtag challenge

The campaign runs from Aug. 31 through Sept. 8.
Ralph Lauren

As the U.S. Open ramps up with brand activations, Ralph Lauren is rolling out a new campaign tied to the sporting event on TikTok.

Ralph Lauren is using both the sponsored hashtag challenge offered on TikTok and the platform’s latest offering, which lets consumers buy products within the app, called hashtag challenge plus. This marks the first time a luxury brand has rolled out a campaign on the platform and one that’s specifically tied to a sporting event.

“We really see this as a full-funnel campaign,” said Alice Delahunt, chief digital officer at Ralph Lauren. “We think the merging of both [the hashtag challenge and the U.S. Open] is a nice intersection of culture and a unique place that Ralph Lauren gets to play in.”

The luxury brand’s campaign comes in layers: first, a series of three videos with Booksmart access Diana Silvers; a call to action with a hashtag campaign dubbed #WinningRL asking users to participate and show off a time they won a real-life challenge; and a shoppable aspect, in which consumers can shop U.S. Open-branded Ralph Lauren products. Additionally, the company is releasing U.S. Open-related stickers on Giphy, which TikTok users can then use on the app. The campaign starts Aug. 31 and runs through Sept. 8.

In addition to the videos with Silvers, Ralph Lauren is working with four to six TikTok creators with at least 11 million followers on the platform.

Ralph Lauren plans to use the campaign as a brand awareness play and as a full-funnel campaign, looking to measure engagement rate, video views, likes, comments, who’s adding to a cart and who completes a purchase on TikTok.

The 53-year-old brand decided to expand TikTok to its paid media efforts for several reasons, such as the app’s growing popularity; for TikTok, the U.S. is the platform’s third-largest market. Ralph Lauren is running paid media efforts related to the brand and the U.S. Open on other digital channels as well. The company declined to state how much it is spending on the campaign.

“TikTok is the fastest-growing social media network, so we’re testing and learning on it,” Delahunt said.

The new shoppable offering on TikTok originally debuted with grocery chain, Kroger, earlier this month.

Alessandro Bogliari, CEO and cofounder of The Influencer Marketing Factory, which helps brands with TikTok campaigns, said that currently a hashtag challenge’s minimum investment is around $100,000 to $150,000, which varies based on which markets the brand wants to target and other features. The new shoppable unit, Bogliari said, isn’t necessarily an “optimal” experience for users, since they have to tap over to Discover and and then to the “shop now” area to see a sort of microwebsite experience with shoppable products.

The campaign arrives after Adweek recently reported that TikTok is currently beta testing a native audience network for advertisers in East Asia. It also comes at a time when Hero Cosmetics, a digitally native brand that sells acne patches, stated that working with TikTok creators is a more cost-effective option, as CPM rates for video units are at around $10.

“We are working extensively with our social partners, but so many users are unique to the TikTok platform, so we’re excited to stat a conversation with them there,” Delahunt said.

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