Nerf’s hunt for a “Chief TikTok Officer” pushes the brand past 100K followers

For the Gen X crowd, one mention of Nerf instantly conjures up thoughts of their childhood. Born in 1969, Nerf has successfully carried its mainstream toy brand momentum through to Millennials and Gen Z too. One member of the latter generation, Sophie Jamison, shows just how passionate today’s youth still are for Nerf, as Jamison recently became the company’s first-ever Chief TikTok Officer, beating other candidates to serve a three-month stint in the role, earning $10,000 per month.

Nerf’s campaign, in the span of just a few weeks, pushed its official TikTok account from 22K followers to more than 100K, and it continues to grow with Jamison’s guidance. The junior at the University of Southern Maine is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business management, and her @Nerfers101 account garners over 1.8 million followers. She is hoping to attract new users to both her account and Nerf’s, calling her application video “sentimental” because she loves Nerf.

Jamison’s new role at TikTok is not only great experience for her resume as she finishes up school, but it’s a perfect example of how important influencer marketing and organically driven content has become to advertising in 2021. It also speaks to TikTok’s larger ambition of leveraging its platform to generate big campaigns for top brands.

As Rhianna Cohen, creative strategy director at influencer marketing agency This Here, explained to The Drum, working with content creators is a smart bet because TikTok ads are expensive and “when things are heavily branded or feel like curated advertisements they can feel out of place and jarring for TikTok’s audience.” TikTok head of global marketing Nick Tran also expressed to Adweek that the Nerf campaign hopefully “inspires other companies to envision creative ways to engage the broader TikTok community.”

The good news for TikTok, according to Interpret’s New Media Measure®, is that its users are more likely to visit company pages or profiles when compared to users on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Nearly a quarter of TikTok users in the US have visited a company page or profile in the last week compares to 18% of Facebook users.