OLAPLEX, the innovative hair care brand that pioneered the bond-building hair category, has taken the world by storm with its cleverly branded hashtag, #OLAFLEX. Launched on August 23, 2022, the hashtag quickly gained traction and amassed an astounding 3 billion views in just 72 hours. This impressive feat was achieved through the brand’s first-ever TikTok hashtag challenge, which encouraged fans to share their hair transformation stories using OLAPLEX products.
The #OLAFLEX TikTok challenge was supported by over 400 influencers, including micro-influencers and OLAPLEX ambassadors like Tracey Cunningham, Chad Kenyon, and Christin Brown. The campaign also featured an original track created by EDM DJ and producer Felix Cartal, adding a fun and upbeat theme to the challenge. The #OLAFLEX challenge tapped into the nostalgia trend on TikTok, inviting users to post before-and-after images showcasing the remarkable improvements in their hair after using OLAPLEX’s bond-building products.
The campaign successfully resonated with both salon professionals and consumers alike, who eagerly shared their past hair mistakes and their journey to healthier hair with the help of OLAPLEX. OLAPLEX’s rapid rise to fame began in a California garage and has since grown into one of the largest independent hair care brands in the world, boasting over 100 worldwide patents. The brand remains committed to being non-toxic, cruelty-free, and vegan, with all products free of sulfates, phthalates, parabens, and gluten.
The success of Olaplex’s TikTok strategy with the hashtag #OLAFLEX offers valuable insights for other brands looking to tap into the power of this popular social media platform. By analyzing the key elements of Olaplex’s approach, brands can learn how to create their own successful TikTok campaigns:
- Authenticity and organic content: Olaplex’s TikTok challenge featured genuine before-and-after images from fans, showcasing the real impact of their hair care products. This authenticity resonated with viewers and encouraged them to engage with the brand. Brands should focus on creating content that is true to their identity and genuinely showcases the benefits of their products or services.
- Leveraging user-generated content: The #OLAFLEX campaign encouraged users to share their own experiences with Olaplex products, resulting in a wealth of user-generated content. This not only increased engagement but also provided social proof for the brand. Brands should consider incorporating user-generated content into their TikTok strategies to foster a sense of community and trust.
- Collaborating with influencers: Olaplex partnered with over 400 TikTok influencers, primarily micro-influencers, who had an authentic connection with the brand or hair health in general. This helped amplify the campaign’s reach and impact. Brands should carefully select influencers who align with their values and can genuinely promote their products to their followers.
- Capitalizing on trends and viral moments: Olaplex’s team actively monitored trends and viral moments on TikTok, allowing them to quickly adapt their content and capitalize on these opportunities. Brands should stay up-to-date with the latest trends and be prepared to pivot their content strategy accordingly.
- Investing in sound and music: Recognizing the importance of sound on TikTok, Olaplex collaborated with EDM DJ and producer Felix Cartal to create an original, upbeat track for their campaign. This added an extra layer of entertainment and appeal to their content. Brands should consider the role of sound and music in their TikTok campaigns and invest in creating or selecting tracks that enhance their content.
- Focusing on engagement over follower count: Olaplex prioritized engagement with their audience, rather than simply aiming for a large follower count. This approach helped them build a loyal community of fans who were more likely to engage with their content and share it with others. Brands should prioritize building meaningful connections with their audience, as this can lead to greater long-term success on TikTok.
- Combining education and entertainment: Olaplex’s TikTok content not only showcased the benefits of their products but also educated viewers about the patented technology behind them. This “edutainment” approach made their content more engaging and informative. Brands should strive to create content that both entertains and educates their audience, adding value to their TikTok experience.
By incorporating these lessons from Olaplex’s successful TikTok strategy, other brands can increase their chances of achieving similar success on the platform, fostering engagement, building brand loyalty, and ultimately driving sales.
Jeanel has 15 years of retail, marketing and brand management experience. She has started an ecommerce business in 2019, after working in corporate retail and real estate as a senior managing director and former consultant. She's traveled all over the world, speaks at world renowned trade shows and events, holds a Bachelor’s of Commerce (B.Comm) and a Certificate in Commercial Real Estate. You can connect with her on Linkedin.