by Miriam Knox
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (and really, who could blame you) you’ll have heard of Little Moons. Gracing the shelves of select retailers, like Tesco and Wholefoods, Little Moons are small, delicious balls of ice cream wrapped in a sticky rice dough, known as ‘mochi’.
Little Moons posted its first video on its TikTok business account in August 2020. Being an international account, the brand dipped its toes into the TikTok world with posts mostly focused on at its German audience. It didn’t publish much English content until November 2020. Like most brands exploring the platform, the team at Little Moons were posting a couple of times a month using the popular audio at that time. Its content heavily featured the different flavours it offers and what the mochi actually looks like. Whilst colourful and fun, it wasn’t exactly ground breaking content.
An insight into the Little Moon’s craze
One day, back in January 2021, a few TikTok users filmed their purchase and a live taste test of Little Moons. There was no intricate dance, catchy song or funny prank, just a simple video of someone eating mochi that went viral. But why?
With the ‘C’ word still very much part of our lives, it is hardly surprising that the thought of ‘normal’ or ‘mundane’ things excite us so much. More and more people are turning to social media to replace the missing social interaction in their lives, as well as to simply fill the day. With restrictions leaving pretty much everything off-limits, a trip to Tesco’s is about as interesting as it gets. Combine this with trying a ‘new’ sweet treat and you’ve got interest.
There are a number of reasons why this Little Moons craze took off as spectacularly as it did.
Having an organic build was a great foundation but it was amplified by Little Moon’s quick action. It created a One Day in-Feed ad, to reach a wider audience, that mimicked the type of content users had already been generating. Whilst the videos started simply, as the trend developed, users starting incorporating audio that helped the videos get more traction. The product has a national pull because Little Moon’s stockists Ocado, Waitrose, Tesco and Amazon service the entire country. But, in spite of this, as its popularity continues to grow, it evolved into a challenge just to find the elusive Little Moons box in supermarkets.
The power of TikTok
Still relatively new, TikTok now boasts over 3.7m active users in the UK alone. Whilst it is perceived as a young platform, its proven that TikTok has strong purchase power that can be utilised by brands to lead to an uplift in sales.
Sales of Little Moons are reported to have rocketed over 1,300% and, at the time of writing, #LittleMoons has 149.1m views and #LittleMoonsMochi has over 107m views on the platform. The craze started organically but the brand didn’t pay any users to kick it off. But once Little Moons saw the trend growing, they invested in an engaging ad based on retail availability and how to eat the mochi, in order to reach a wider audience and drive deeper engagement. This ad delivered a whopping 6.7 million impressions and a strong engagement rate of 4.54%.
TikTok’s algorithm makes it easier to get higher engagement than Twitter, Facebook or even Instagram. You don’t need to have thousands of followers for your video to go viral, which means that even the smallest brand has a chance to go big like Little Moons. We’re encouraging brands who may be unsure or nervous about expanding their digital approach into TikTok to take the leap. The platform is rich with opportunities and brands that are willing to take the risk will be the ones to reap the rewards.
But TikTok trends don’t just stay on TikTok. The news at the moment can be very doom and gloom, which means that media are keen to find light-hearted stories to give their readers a break. Often, they look to TikTok to see what the latest viral trend is, with national tabloids covering crazes from a new wrap technique to baked feta pasta.
Whilst the news agenda won’t always be tough, more media titles are looking to incorporate interactive and engaging video content into their coverage. Articles about TikTok trends hit the nail on the head as titles don’t have to spend extra money creating their own video content, instead they can repurpose user generated content. Nowadays consumers want their media as quick and easy as possible, videos are an incredible tool to receive information in an engaging way. By utilising more video content, journalists are trying to drive viewership on their website and social channels.
Not only can TikTok have the potential to create a viral craze but there is a real opportunity to lead to mainstream media coverage. Little Moons’ success was picked up by most national and consumer titles including the Independent, the Telegraph and the Mirror.
What can brands learn from Little Moons?
As mentioned before, TikTok is still a relatively new platform, but one that is growing exponentially. Many brands aren’t taking advantage of it yet and the ones who are, are going to be light years ahead of the rest. TikTok is uniquely situated for brands to show off their personality and have a bit of light-hearted fun. Creating a connection with users where you’re not obviously pushing your product helps to build brand loyalty and solidify a place in their world that feels relevant and native. Consumers are more likely to shop with brands that have a strong personality and stand for something so investing time in establishing your brand on TikTok can pay dividends in the end.
Whilst there is no guarantee that your brand will be the next Little Moons, TikTok provides a great opportunity to grow brand awareness and reach a new audience. If you want to take the world by storm, TikTok is essential to a well-rounded digital approach.