TikTok first boomed in popularity in Spring 2020. People suddenly had seemingly endless amounts of free time on their hands and had an innate need to be entertained. TikTok began to slowly fill the content hole many didn’t know they had.
As TikTok grew, so did TikTok creators. TikTok content was a new format many hadn’t experienced before, and allows for much more authentic and off-the-cuff content. As people were in various lockdown situations, many took to TikTok to create online connections with TikTok creators.
The sheer volume of initial TikTok users allowed rapid growth of creators. As with any other social media platform, engagement and popularity grew further when creators began collaborating with other popular creators.
From this, TikTok Houses were born.
TikTok Houses are literal houses (often mansions) where primarily Gen-Z TikTok creators live together and create videos for TikTok. The concept of a TikTok house isn’t new; content houses have been popular on other platforms for years, namely YouTube.
The first two TikTok Houses were (unsurprisingly) in LA, and helped some of the platform’s most prominent personalities gain their fame. The Hype House and Sway House included names like Charli D’Amelio, Addison Rae, Noah Beck, Chase Hudson, Daisy Keech, Avani Gregg, Bryce Hall, Griffin Johnson, and Josh Richards—all very exciting names to some TikTok users.
TikTok Houses were popping up all over the globe, uniting unlikely names in a bid to grow some level of fame. But, as with any social media trend, TikTok Houses became embroiled in drama and scandals, resulting in an eventual demise.
However, in 2022, we have begun to see a new type of TikTok House; but this time, they’re branded.
Branded influencer trips and events are about as new news as sliced bread. Around a new launch or campaign, influencer trips have often become expected. So, what better way to spice up something bland than jumping on a TikTok trend? That’s exactly what some brands have begun doing.
For Coachella 2022, HUGO created a TikTok-centric House, using famous TikTokers like Beji Krol, Desi Iuila, and Euphoria actress Chloe Cherry. HUGO invited creators to stay at a HUGO-decked house, with HUGO furniture, a built00in studio and all Coachella merch imaginable, including exclusive shades created by HUGO’s eyewear partner, Safilo.
@hugoWELCOME TO HUGO HOUSE! Say hi to our housemates @Desi, @Nils Kuesel, @Markell Washington, @Chloe Cherry, @Noen Eubanks, @Liv, and @Benji Krol 🤗✨♬ original sound – HUGO
@hugoKnock, knock, look who’s here! Who better to show us around Palm Springs than our favorite foursome, @The Old Gays? 🚗🏜️♬ original sound – HUGO
The HUGO House hosted a DIY session where the photo studio was put to use, showing off the stars’ custom-dyed T-shirts and patched denim layering pieces, all made-to-measure on the premises.
Content created at the HUGO House was posted to HUGO’s official TikTok channel (and Instagram), and also to the influencers’ accounts.
Jack Wills House
The impact a TikTok House can have on a brand is incredibly obvious with Jack Wills. The fashion brand’s decision to create a TikTok House in Ibiza took its average TikTok views from 3,000 to over 100K.
So, how did Jack Wills manage to make a hype around its TikTok House?
Jack Wills launched the TikTok House with various teasers on its own TikTok page, as well as its Instagram. In addition, the brand had the 15 influencers attending the entire trip post Love Island inspired introductions to their own channels, letting their audiences know something exciting was happening.
@jackwills First class to Ibiza🍾✈️ #jackwills #tiktokhouseibiza @gkbarry @kateelisabethh @montykeates @anastasiakingsnorth @joebxggs @Kyron Hamilton @Maddie Grace Jepson @Jack Joseph @Ryley Isaac @Regina @chiaraking @George Clarke @max_balegde @MiriamMullins_ @Moyo ♬ original sound – Jack Wills
One of the most successful elements of the House was the authenticity of it. It was entirely unfiltered and allowed influencers to show their real personalities, without having to mute themselves for the sake of the brand.
Content filmed at the House used popular TikTok sounds to show off the new Ibiza collection available to purchase. TikToks were posted during the event, and have continued to be posted after, suggesting that Jack Wills has enough content for the summer ahead.
@jackwills The party is here🍾 Say hello to our 30 new influencers👋 #jackwills #tiktokhouseibiza @Bella hill @sophie @Brooke @haz😜 @issyoakley @Maynardanna @Vania Fernandes @Mariam @BADMAN LISA🏁 @Mia Wells @Grace Shadrack + Grace Foley @Jas & Soph Clough @Millie T @Issey @TBHBYRON @James Foreman @George @VICTOR KUNDA @Bartosz Kowalczyk @RichardSalesOfficial @Nohail Mohammed @lewys @Formz @Sethmarshyyy @tom @miles @Isaac ♬ original sound – Jack Wills
To further the hype of the event, Jack Wills invited 30 more influencers to a Villa party for the final night of the trip. Jack Wills posted behind the scenes footage, and has worked with one of the influencers to host a podcast spilling the tea of the party.
Why do branded TikTok Houses work?
The main reason TikTok Houses work is because they create hype. When all these creators are posting all the fun they’re having at the same time, it creates a kind of community excitement that TikTok users can’t help but engage in.
Branded TikTok Houses play on the idea of FOMO. TikTok users will engage and check for new posts from their favourite creators who are attending to avoid missing out on any gossip, news or exclusive products/discounts available.
TikTok content has a short lifespan due to the sheer volume of new content being posted daily. So, branded TikTok Houses help make as much noise as possible in a short amount of time.
With the number of creators involved in a TikTok House, the potential reach of the event is huge—especially when you consider the likelihood of going viral because of it.
Does this mean we’re going to see a boom in TikTok Houses again? That depends. While the Houses definitely bring views and engagement from fans of influencers, some TikTok users consider the concept cringe.
As with any social media strategy, it entirely depends on the brand, audience, and execution strategy.
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