March 19, 2024

Cuppa 16: TikTok subcultures, Brand vs. Growth, Mystery boxes, Euphoria

Sasha Jeppesen
Head of Creative

Welcome to the latest issue of Cuppa, a quick-fire newsletter for internet-first brand builders. Filled with analysis on the art, science and culture of building breakout brands in a digital age, it's quick enough to read over a cuppa. (Or something stronger if you need it..."damp January" is all the rage). To get it direct to your inbox every other Tuesday, subscribe here.


“An espresso shot of creative energy”

Have the January blues put you in a creative funk? You're not alone. A wise man (Adam Ross) once told me: to avoid spiraling into a creative rut, step outside of your category as often as possible. It's how some of the best ideas come about. Every month Adam shares the things that have caught his attention in recent weeks and things that may spark a thought or an idea for something you're working on, and his first edition for 2022 doesn't disappoint.

Nike and Adidas in the metaverse. Who will become the blueprint?

If you're feeling overwhelmed by Web3 and how your brand should evolve into this next tech chapter, read this. Nike and Adidas were among the first to activate their Web3 metaverse strategies, and both have approached it quite differently. Only time will tell who has the most effective strategy, but for now, both brands prove that it's beneficial to lean in, experiment, and make mistakes, rather than get left behind.

The art of capitalising on the past

It wouldn't be a Cuppa without an article from Ana Andjelic - she nails it every time. Her latest article delves into the power of secondary marketplaces, and how brands can use their past or invent one to capitalise on the collector economy, now and in the future.

Gucci x The North Face tap into TikTok niche

I'm not lying when I say a dramatic squeal of  “OH. MY. GOD.” filled the air at Charlie Oscar HQ yesterday when this campaign dropped. If you haven't already seen, TikTok's favourite trainspotter (and Britain's latest national treasure) Francis Bourgeois is the face of the new Gucci x The North Face collection. Brands tapping into TikTok subcultures is nothing new, but how brands tap into them can determine how much cultural capital they earn, and this collab is a great proof point of how to do it well.



The activewear market explained in data

Investment in water-repelling outerwear increased 18% YoY, while trekking boots and sneakers designed for trail running grew 8%. Yoga wear climbed 55% YoY across both active and fashion brands, paired with product comms leaning more into rest and restoration rather than sweat-inducing exercise. In other words - products for the great outdoors (aka Gorpcore) are in, and yoga wear is the new loungewear.

London-based start-up Heat raises US$5 million seed funding

The mystery box market has been bubbling away for a while, but LVMH is now betting on the format's future in luxury fashion with their recent investment in UK fashion start-up, Heat. The company taps into Gen Z's appetite for social commerce and sustainable resale by selling surprise selections of high-end products.

Marketing teams don't win on TikTok

This channel experiment conducted by women's health brand, Ovira, is a brilliant reminder to approach socials like a human, not a company. Ovira spent 6 months on TikTok making content as a “marketing team” and gained 150k followers. They then spent 4 weeks making content as a "creator" and gained over 1M followers. This twitter thread on proven TikTok engagement hacks, also proves this theory.

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Approach socials like a human, not a company


Euphoria drives commerce

Season 2 of the dark teen drama landed on our screens last week and just like season 1, its impact on fashion and beauty is already being realised. In the 48 hours following the first episode’s premiere, search terms for specific items worn by characters in the show increased by a whopping 890%. It's good practice to keep your eyes on influential shows, you never know when your brand could have a lucrative alignment.

Reminder: buying an NFT does not give you IP rights

For a good chuckle read up on the latest instalment of what I'd like to call “The Adventures of Crypto Bros." In this chapter a collective known as Spice DAO spent $3M (far over the estimated price) on a copy of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune book, with the vision of turning it into an animated series. However, what they failed to realise is that they simply bought a copy of the book, and not the actual rights.

Sasha Jeppesen
Head of Creative
charlie oscar