Musical.ly, a lip-syncing app that has more than 200 million mostly teen users, is focused on user growth, but brands like Beiersdorf, Disney and Kit Kat are using influencers to crack the audience there.
The lip-syncing feature makes Musical.ly an easy fit for movie studios and record labels, said agency executives. Some advertisers do their own influencer outreach on Musical.ly and pay those individuals per post, while Musical.ly’s investor Cheetah Mobile started pitching agencies and brands with influencer ad packages.
“Musical.ly is not enthusiastic about advertising right now, but as an investor, we started testing monetization there over the past 10 months,” said Arthur Wu, head of global branding sales for Cheetah Mobile. “I think influencer marketing is a win-win-win strategy: Influencers make money, Musical.ly gets more creative, and advertisers get more impressions through good content.”
Wu said his team set a $15 CPM for vertical videos, which show up in a featured section on Musical.ly’s homepage tab. One video typically costs around $50,000, according to Wu. For instance, in a recent campaign called #SprayandPlay that targeted 14- to 18-year-olds, German skincare brand Beiersdorf worked with five girls — Enyadres (who has around 2 million followers on Musical.ly), Laura Sophie (1 million followers), Chany Dakota (745,000 followers), Naomi Jon (1 million followers) and Katulka (609,000 followers) — to promote five scents of its 8×4 deodorant.
Playing around with 8×4 product names like Dance like a Flamingo and Dream like a Unicorn, each of the five Musical.ly stars represented one scent and formed a team correspondingly: Cat, Toucan, Flamingo, Unicorn or Mermaid. Each influencer then challenged her followers to post homemade music videos with dance moves that could match the creature. The 8×4 Germany account on Musical.ly gained 4,365 fans and 61,000 hearts (“likes” on Musical.ly) within five days after the campaign started, according to Wu.
He said with a budget of £50,000 (around $65,530) in August, Disney Channel UK also ran one vertical video ad and two standard influencer posts by GemmaandAmy (295,000 followers on Musical.ly) and Sophia Grace (around 3 million followers) to promote the premiere of the second season of the sitcom “The Lodge” on Musical.ly.
But not every brand forms an official influencer partnership with Musical.ly or Cheetah Mobile. Joe Gagliese, co-founder and managing partner for talent agency Viral Nation, said his team has done a couple of influencer campaigns on Musical.ly on its own. The most recent one was for a top record label, where around 40 artists (between 18 and 21 years old) lip-synced 15 new songs combined from the music studio.
“Musical.ly is a good platform to promote artists. And it only works for brands that have really young targeted audiences, like around 10- to 20-year-olds,” said Gagliese. “When you are making a song, your viewers can do the same while watching. The app shows you the number of people who made the same song after you.”
But at the same time, Gagliese said that since influencer marketing is nascent on Musical.ly, there is no standard on an individual’s “influence,” and the pricing can only be based off of the person’s past work because Musical.ly hasn’t yet opened its application programming interface to advertisers. The pricing per branded video on Musical.ly can range from $200 to $20,000, according to Gagliese.
“There isn’t a lot of analytics — the only measurement you look at on Musical.ly is likes and comments,” he said.
A couple of influencer agencies also said they have pitched Musical.ly as a value-add but they haven’t yet seen an overwhelming demand from advertisers. Marco Hansell, founder of influencer company Speakr, said what is attractive about Musical.ly, though, is that the platform encourages young people to test waters as creators, as some are able to transfer a good amount of their Musical.ly fans to other platforms like Instagram and YouTube.
“The next generation of influencers will probably come from Musical.ly,” said Hansell.
Magna research: The do’s and don’ts of native and repurposed advertising on TikTok
Advertisers on TikTok need to follow a few best practices if they're going to succeed on the platform, such as always thinking vertically, and being comfortable with the creator's style they work with.
Covid and the case for labor movements: The Return podcast, episode 3
In the third episode of Digiday podcast The Return, Fitzco sees its first positive case of Covid-19. While the team is disappointed, there are no active plans of turning back the clock to pandemic lockdown.
How contraceptive brands are increasing online advertising since SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade
Contraceptive brands such as Plan B, Favor and Phexxi have in some cases doubled or even quadrupled their online advertising to reach consumers.
SponsoredConsumers expect brands to be authentic in their DE&I commitments
Sponsored by Amazon Ads With consumers looking to brands to take stances on global and social issues that impact their lives, it’s hard to argue the important role brands play in our society. With this great opportunity also comes great responsibility, and consumers are paying attention. New research commissioned by Amazon Ads with Environics Research […]
‘Lack of commercial incentive’: Google’s third-party cookie delay is a flip to procrastinators
Barely a week has passed since the announcement that the third-party cookie's execution has been stayed further and there's already evidence that ad execs are using it as an excuse to slow down preparation plans.
Why Google and Samsung partnered with TikTok personality Addison Rae for ’90s nostalgia-filled campaign
The new campaign taps TikToker Addison Rae to explain Samsung Galaxy Android-powered devices and the apps and services Google offers on them.