Beyond the Brief: A Dazzling TikTok Campaign

Tessa Reid
Sr. Content Marketing Manager
Published12 Oct, 2023

If tapping into TikTok is high on your list of to-dos, take a look at the strategic insights behind this successful campaign. From balancing brand with a platform-native approach to identifying trends that will resonate with a target audience, learn how to five times your reach on TikTok, like SUZANNE KALAN.

Trying to crack TikTok?

The trick may be in the trends. For LA-based luxury jewelry designer, SUZANNE KALAN, a trend based on mothers and daughters dressing in the same fashions served as the inspiration for a campaign that increased views on TikTok by 5,124% in three weeks alone.

Using #DoubleTheLove, this dazzling TikTok campaign highlighted a mother and daughter bonding over one-of-a-kind pieces bound to become family heirlooms.

As Darren Suffolk, Creative Director of Video Services at Superside, explained, "We didn’t choose to hang the campaign on an existing hashtag. But we did use the idea of a mother and daughter bonding over these high-value items that serve as both a wonderful gift and inherited heirlooms full of family history and memories."

This approach had heart—and legs on TikTok. And though the key was a trend, finding the right fit required strategy. So, if you’re wondering how to unlock TikTok for your brand, keep reading for a behind-the-scenes look at the strategic insights that drove this campaign.

The Brief: Tapping Into TikTok

SUZANNE KALAN wanted to figure out how to use TikTok to reach a wider audience. Read: Gen Z. Relatable, right?

But their premium product—hand-crafted, luxury jewelry—wasn’t the most obvious fit for TikTok. As more of a fast-moving consumer goods platform, TikTok content (or at least, high-performing TikTok content) is known for its unrefined authenticity. For SUZANNE KALAN, a design-oriented company with a strong dedication to brand, this posed a challenge.

There was a delicate line to tread with SUZANNE KALAN’s creative. We wanted to create content that would perform on TikTok, and as we all know, native and user-generated content performs best. But at the same time, this is a premium brand and they didn’t want to completely put their tone and style to one side. The content still needed to feel polished and high quality.

Darren Suffolk
Darren SuffolkCreative Director of Video Services at Superside

A delicate line to tread, to be sure. But as this campaign proves, not an impossible one…

Beyond the Brief: Doubling the Love for SUZANNE KALAN

The traditional way to unlock a wider audience on a platform like TikTok is to use an influencer. With this route, you’re getting access to a pre-established audience. The tradeoff? Influencers have their own brand to consider, and by asking them to communicate for you in their tone of voice, you lose a lot of creative control over the content.

For brand-conscious SUZANNE KALAN, this wasn’t the best solution.

With influencers, they have their own brand to consider, as well as yours. By working with an influencer, you have to accept that what they do is appropriate for the platform and how they engage with their audience. For SUZANNE KALAN, we wanted something that had the hallmark of authenticity without necessarily sacrificing that brand voice.

Darren Suffolk
Darren SuffolkCreative Director of Video Services at Superside

The better solution: Finding professionals with a social media presence willing to be connected to the SUZANNE KALAN brand. In this instance, working with a real model and mother gave the content a feeling of authenticity and greater exposure through connection to genuine accounts—all without sacrificing SUZANNE KALAN’s brand identity or tone of voice.

Of course, the campaign’s concept was also key for tapping into that authentic, platform-native feeling.

To arrive at #DoubleTheLove, the strategy arm of our video services team dug deep into research. As TikTok natives, they had a good idea of what kind of content would resonate for a jewelry brand like SUZANNE KALAN, but they didn’t take anything for granted.

Starting with an analysis of SUZANNE KALAN’s TikTok content, the team identified what was working—and what could use some work. They also looked at several competitors, gauging how they used the platform and the types of content performing for them based on engagement numbers.

They distilled these insights down into a few, simple pros and cons for each brand, like:

✓ Eye-catching visuals
✓ Regular cadence
✗ Too polished for TikTok
✗ Overly promotional
✗ No participation in trends
✗ No influencer or creator partnerships

While this part of the research shed light on content opportunities (trends, partnerships, a more native approach), audience research informed the right angle to take. With Gen-Z, social responsibility and value for money were essential. To feed that desire for value, the team knew the concept should lean into SUZANNE KALAN’s brand promise:

“Wear them today, tomorrow and twenty years from now.”

The last piece of the strategic puzzle was identifying the perfect trend to convey this concept. Now, knowing TikTok was the main distribution platform for this campaign freed the team to focus on a truly native approach. That’s why every potential creative concept they put forward had a foundation in a high-performing TikTok trend.

Were we creating content for multi-channel distribution, we might not have leveraged platform-specific strategy quite that heavily. But knowing the ROI SUZANNE KALAN wanted, knowing TikTok was the focus as a distribution platform, we felt the insights we gathered from our strategic research into performance, competitors, sectors and trends to do with fashion and jewelry, were too valuable not to guide our creative thinking.

Darren Suffolk
Darren SuffolkCreative Director of Video Services at Superside

The winning concept didn’t just #DoubleTheLove for SUZANNE KALAN—it quintupled it. Because what’s better than gifting your mom something she’ll love? Gifting her something you’ll both love and pass down through the generations for your daughter and her daughter to cherish, too.

TikTok Campaign Takeaways

When asked what his top takeaways for someone looking to create this type of TikTok campaign would be, Suffolk said, “Just get a Superside subscription.

We had a laugh about that, then got back to business. Suffolk’s less cheeky advice included:

  • Hyper-focus on TikTok. Your content needs to feel native. And that means it needs to be entertainment first. If you’re just trying to sell, that’s not going to work on TikTok. What you need to do is entertain first, and as part of the value you’re giving the viewer, put your product into their consideration.

  • Identify trends on the rise. More than any other platform, TikTok hinges on trends. If you’re focusing on this platform exclusively, make researching relevant trends part of your process. You don’t necessarily need to use a trending hashtag, but understanding what’s popular can (and should) guide your creative concepts.

  • Dig deeper than demographics. Gen-Z users are in their early twenties. Gen-Z users care about a brand’s values and whether their purchases make a difference. Clearly, insight number two is more useful! When researching your audience, go beyond demographics. Figure out what they really care about and let that inform your concepts.

  • Work with creators vs. influencers. Though influencers are great at building their own brand, they may not align perfectly with yours. If you’re highly brand-conscious like SUZANNE KALAN, consider working with creators or professionals who can connect with your audience, expand your reach and rep your brand instead.

  • Show behind-the-scenes (BTS) footage. Did you notice the BTS vibe of this campaign’s creative? It was purposeful! The irony of TikTok as a platform is that often the BTS side of production can outperform the actual footage. So, be conscious of capturing BTS gold when shooting your campaign.

A last note from Suffolk: The SUZANNE KALAN campaign wasn’t an isolated undertaking. It was an amazing, collaborative effort from some very creative and talented people.

If you’d like to put those people to work for your brand, start a conversation here.

Explore Superside's Video Production Services
Explore Superside's Video Production Services

Explore Superside's Video Production Services

Increase brand awareness, engagement and conversions with our world-class, hassle-free Video Production Services.

Tessa Reid
Tessa ReidSr. Content Marketing Manager

Tessa is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Superside with a background in conversion copywriting and B2B marketing for SaaS companies. As a publishing graduate and a digital marketing agency veteran with almost a decade of experience, she has a deep appreciation for the art of storytelling and the power of human emotion combined with creativity. When she’s not putting metaphorical pen to paper, she can be found (literally) herding cats, reading books and crushing crosswords. You can connect with her on LinkedIn here.

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