Paris Hilton made a ten minute TikTok. It went viral and now the industry is rethinking TikTok marketing conventions to include long-form content. But did it go viral because it was 10 minutes long or because it’s content starring Paris Hilton? Maybe both…
Even by Hilton’s standards, however, the content was viral, receiving over 4 million views and thousands of comments within just 48 hours. The video currently sits at more than 35 million views and nearly 500,000 likes, along with over 28,000 comments from users expressing how much they enjoyed the company’s TikTok romp and hailing it as “genius marketing.” This means that TikTok users “spent over 1.3 million minutes with the full video,” said Dan Reynolds, VP of content marketing and digital strategy at Hilton, which equates to roughly 130,000 people watching through the entire 10-minute video.
Despite its virality, it doesn’t mean that a full 180 is what is occurring here and many social media marketing experts are advising that brands shouldn’t abandon anytime soon the punchy, fast-paced video format that propelled TikTok to cultural prominence.
“There’s a lot of people creating longform on TikTok just for the sake of doing it, and I don’t think that’s the best approach from a brand perspective,” said Annelise Campbell, CEO and founder of influencer marketing agency CFG to AdAge. “If brands are going to use that time, the video has to be thought out, relevant and make sense for an audience. Otherwise, they’re just going to skip right through it. They’re not going to care.”
The Hilton video was in partnership with hospitality company TBWA\Chiat\Day New York whose executive strategy director of social and content, Lesley Parks and her team were determined to leverage the new format when it launched only last month.
The decision to craft a video that hit TikTok’s maximum video length wasn’t simply driven by the novelty of posting a long-form video on the rapid-fire platform. It’s part of Hilton’s overall marketing push to emphasise the enjoyment of “the stay” at one of the company’s hotels or resorts, which Hilton and TBWA translated to social media by inviting TikTok users to “stay” for the full video and spend time with their favourite creators, Parks added.
The decision to craft a video that hit TikTok’s maximum video length wasn’t simply driven by the novelty of posting a long-form video on the rapid-fire platform. It’s part of Hilton’s overall marketing push to emphasize the enjoyment of “the stay” at one of the company’s hotels or resorts, which Hilton and TBWA translated to social media by inviting TikTok users to “stay” for the full video and spend time with their favorite creators, Parks added.
“With increasingly shortened attention spans, most brands are using snackable content to engage with consumers on social platforms,” said Dan Reynolds, VP of content marketing and digital strategy at Hilton, in an email. “But our campaign is built around breaking conventions and we wanted to do the same with this program. We wanted to give viewers something to sink their teeth into, while staking our rightful claim that Hilton owns The Stay in a manner that is funny, engaging and truly outside of the box.”
This social strategy seems to have worked for the company. Beyond drawing millions of views and thousands of likes and comments, in the two weeks after Hilton posted the video, it had boosted the company’s overall TikTok following by 25%, or over 70,000 people. “With results like that,” Reynolds added, “there’s always the possibility of creating long-form videos in the future if we have the right story to tell.”
Nevertheless, Parks cautioned that brands looking to experiment with longer videos on TikTok should ensure the video still conveys an engaging story and underlying message that will keep viewers’ attention, rather than just relying on the novelty of a long-form TikTok video to pull users in. In this case, they could risk users quickly scrolling away when the video begins to feel drawn out or tedious. Hilton and TBWA specifically teamed up with several TikTok influencers in an effort to maintain consumers’ attention throughout the video and leave them anticipating which creator would pop up on their screen next.