How a 168-year-old charity embraced TikTok – and won a legion of young fans

Vinnies, the 168-year-old charity, is proof that you’re never too old to embrace technology.

After the huge success of its ‘Got It At Vinnies’ retail campaign, the second iteration has now launched, utilising TikTok and Instagram creators.

The charity (more formally known as St Vincent De Paul Society) is part of a wave of brands adopting the new platforms.

The summer edition of the creative focuses on the diversity of Vinnies shops. It features a mix of eight TikTok and Instagram creators showing off their outfits, including Sydney-based comedian Nick White, streetwear content creator Connor McWhinnie and comedian, podcaster and creator Alright Hey (AKA Matt Hey).

“After the huge success of our ‘Got It At Vinnies’ campaign, we’re thrilled to be running a second edition,” said Virginia Boyd, acting director, retail and logistics, at Vinnies NSW.

“We observed positive trends from our winter campaign, compared to the same time the previous year.

“The main objective of the campaign is to show that there is something for everyone at Vinnies and ultimately drive people into shops,” she continued. “Investment and media for the ‘Got It At Vinnies’ campaign will be skewed towards our younger, next generation of Vinnies shoppers and our current fashion shopper.”

The charity is aiming to embrace new forms of marketing, with the campaign running across Meta platforms and TikTok, while offline marketing will including an OOH campaign targeted to Vinnies metro shops, including key executions in Newtown, Parramatta and Balmain.

@missnickiewantie So we are looking very fun for that one @Vinnies #GOTITATVINNIES #ad ♬ original sound – nick white

And while it may be one of the older brands embracing TikTok, it’s certainly not the only one.

At this week’s TikTok For You Summit, Uber Eats and Guzman y Gomez spoke about their experiences.

Uber and Uber Eats’ director of marketing, APAC, Andy Morley, said: “We got on TikTok about 18 months ago, and we were late to the party, but we knew the party was good. We could see the audience on TikTok was massive and highly relevant to our audience.

“It looked like a really fun place to bring your brand to life,” he said.

The brand engaged social and digital agency Hello Social to launch on the platform, and managing director Sam Kelly said it’s been an interesting process.

“It’s definitely been a journey full of hand holding, learnings, and future ‘just trust me’ moments,” he said.

“But the results speak for themselves. We’re in what I call a person-to-person era, and embracing creators and being authentic is at the heart of it. The creator work has been really, really effective.”

Meanwhile, Guzman y Gomez was on the platform early, and global CMO, Lara Thom, said because the business is new and agile, it wasn’t afraid to adopt new platforms.

“While we’ve been around for 17 years, we have a start-up kind of mentality. That mentality definitely worked, and when we first dipped our toes into TikTok, we couldn’t believe the numbers,” she said.

“TikTok is a storytelling platform, and it was easy for us to tell stories. It drives sales because it’s a highly engaging platform and it’s been so successful for us.”

Thom said the brand will often only run advertising on the platform, because she knows it works.


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