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Brief Published: 16 Aug 2019

Macy’s Steps Up to TikTok

US department store Macy's is taking its back-to-school campaign to teens' digital hangout spaces with a challenge on social video-sharing platform TikTok.

The #allbrandnew challenge urges teens to model and share their looks for the new season on their TikTok profiles.

Macy's also promotes its offerings through a sponsorship of season three of The Dead Girls Detective Agency, an original Snapchat series. The retailer is integrated into the show's events, and during unskippable ad breaks, viewers can "swipe up to shop" back-to-school outfits.

With its hashtag challenges, TikTok presents a decent chance for brands to go viral and reach younger generations. In July, US fast-food chain Chipotle triggered 250,000 video submissions that amassed 430 million video starts on TikTok. The brand was promoting its National Avocado Day (July 31) offer of free guacamole with every burrito with a dance challenge set to US children's musician Dr Jean's viral Guacamole Song.

The #GuacDanceChallenge became TikTok's biggest US brand activation to date. It resulted in Chipotle's biggest guacamole day ever, with more than 800,000 sides served for National Avocado Day – a 68% jump compared to business as usual, according to the chain.

For more on the integration of commerce and entertainment for youth audiences, check out Retail Meets Media, part of our Dynamic Youth Spotlight. For an in-depth look at what makes TikTok so popular, read Pop Culture Close-Up: Meme Mechanics. To keep an eye on the latest directions in Gen Z media, see Teen Media Trends: 2019 Update.