If anyone was still in doubt about the power of TikTok to galvanize young audiences, the “Gentleminions” phenomenon should have truly shattered any hesitancy.
The TikTok trend features male teenagers and young men attending the movie, “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” wearing suits, ties and glasses and mimicking the gestures of supervillain Gru.
The Gentleminions hashtag on TikTok currently has more than 56 million views, driven by thousands of videos showing users participating in the trend at their local theaters in the US and across the world.
The videos, such as this one, which has attracted 37 million views and 8.8 million likes, are set to a rap track.
The official Minions TikTok account endorsed the trend with this video while Universal Pictures tweeted, “To everyone showing up to @Minions in suits: we see you and we love you.”
Some cinemas have banned teenagers dressed in suits from attending the movie due to disruption, according to the Guardian, but the trend certainly helped at the US box office.
The Minions TikTok account gained 1 million followers due to the trend and the movie’s July 4 opening weekend made $125 million in domestic sales, the biggest opening for a family film during the pandemic, according to the Hollywood Reporter. In addition, nearly 90% of the movie’s audience is 25 and under, with 34% between the ages of 13 and 17, per the Hollywood Reporter.
Gentleminions show that organic memes and trends on TikTok can benefit brands in a big way – attracting teenagers in their droves to attend a movie theater is a case in point.
RPA’s Quinn Rufener explained in a recent SmartBrief article how marketers can tap into these organic moments on TikTok and other social platforms, noting, “Great ideas and executions can come from anywhere, and people are really responding to human, relatable, clever moments from brands.”
Sway Group CEO and founder Danielle Wiley writes in Forbes about how marketers can successfully engage TikTok audiences, explaining, “The most popular branded TikTok content is often evocative rather than straightforward, delivering vibes — a powerful yet abstract audiovisual communication of intuition/emotion — as opposed to sales slogans.”
Nicole Penn, president of EGC Group and co-founder of Raydeus Local, agrees, pointing to Chipotle as one example of a brand successfully driving user-generated content on TikTok with authentic and fun videos.
Penn also explains how marketers can successfully partner with TikTok creators to maximize the popularity of trends on the platform.
“It’s crucial to stay in the loop on the latest fads, as they go away quickly. If executed correctly, however, implementing a trend can be a great way to get creative and jump into the conversation,” Penn explains, advising marketers to check out the platform’s “Discover Page” for potential trends.
Marketers can also discover trend information from resources such as the LaterBlog, which rounds up the hottest TikTok trends for the week and month.
Finding the right creators may also have just got a bit easier as influencer marketing platform Mavrck is now an Official TikTok Marketing Partner, per MarTech Series. “[T]his API integration brings the meaningful first-party data directly to the marketer so they can more effectively find the right TikTok creators and measure the results,” said Mavrck CEO and co-founder Lyle Stevens.
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