TikTok is a rapidly growing platform, enticing users with endless scrolling of videos ranging from 15 to 60 seconds each. While brands are still trying to find the most efficient way to use these short formats, with 1.5 billion downloads, TikTok is clearly one aspect of social media that they cannot ignore, especially when looking to reach a younger population: 43% of platform users are aged 16 to 24.
A word of warning: like any other social network, not all watches featured on TikTok are genuine. We spotted a number of counterfeits while preparing for this investigation. Having an authentic presence is one way for brands to counter this problem.
After researching the hashtags for each of our partner brands, here is the top 5 with the most views. The numbers are the total number of times videos using the hashtags were viewed.
Rolex – 375.2 million
With hundreds of millions of additional hashtag views, Rolex was disproportionately popular compared to other brands. This could be because most of the TikTok videos are set to music and there are so many songs with Rolex in the name. Users also post videos of themselves dancing on a Ayo & Tayo song, and tagging them #RolexChallenge. Strong brand awareness means Rolex is popular across all demographics, including the younger age group that makes up the majority of TikTok users. Using social listening tools, we found that 32.4% of Rolex mentions online were from 18-24 year olds, who are also the most active on TikTok.
Porthole – 17M
Using social listening tools, we found that 62% of mentions of Hublot on social networks are made by 18-24 year olds. While some videos are posted by people who use the platform to showcase a collection of watches including Hublot, most of the videos are a pretext to flash a diamond studded Hublot to music. This fits into a major culture for making TikTok videos showing expensive goods.
Patek Philippe – 7M
Patek is another popular brand on social media in general. As before, some videos focus on gem-set watches and more elaborate designs. However, an equal number of posts feature classic designs and show close-ups of the movement. This suggests that the owners of Patek are more serious collectors, and while the brand is mentioned less on TikTok than Rolex or Hublot, the content comes from genuine watch fans.
Richard Mille – 6.5 million
Many posts in this hashtag are based on lifestyle, showing Richard Mille watches as part of an outfit or paired with a luxury car. The emphasis is also much more on the value of the watch: many articles quote the price in a caption or in a text. These videos are similar in tone to those for the Hublot watches, focusing heavily on the status symbol factor.
Audemars Piguet – 5.8M
Almost all of the posts in this hashtag are close-ups of watches with much more design diversity. While this hashtag features bling for bling, the emphasis is nonetheless on the watch and the design, with users adding captions inviting others to share their thoughts. Fans of the brand on TikTok, which includes a younger demographic, seem more interested in the dial, movement, and design than the price tag of the watch.