With the help of its creative agency, Praytell, the iconic guitar brand and musical instrument maker Fender joined the social media platform TikTok this past September as part of a promotional push for its new modern line of instruments, the Fender Player Plus Series. The brand led its new social marketing campaign with the hashtag #FenderJamSesh, creating a digital jam session with musicians from all over TikTok. Fender has gained more than a hundred thousand followers for every month it has been on TikTok, and now counts over a million fans on the platform, plus over half a billion views for the #Fender brand hashtag. Fender is the first major guitar brand active on the TikTok platform.
The brand plans to use its social initiatives going forward as a way to build a community focused around making learning guitar fun, inviting, inspiring and accessible to as many potential musicians as possible. Fender’s focus on community building and educational content for new musicians makes sense as a potent social strategy. Music makes up a large part of TikTok content already, helping fuel the rise of Gen Z favorites Lil Nas X and and Olivia Rodrigo. Guitar Tok, a dedicated guitar community on TikTok, has racked up around 3 billion views – providing the brand with a built-in targeted audience. Through a variety of paid and organic approaches, Fender has already worked with 30 musicians and counting on TikTok content, including Black Pumas, Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave’s Tom Morello, Snail Mail, Japanese Breakfast, Blu de Tiger, Nova Twins, and many others, teaming up to produce product demos, jam sessions and branded how-to content.
By using educational and inspirational content, Fender wants to position itself as the guitar and brand of choice for the next generation of musicians active on social media. The company’s own internal data shows that around 16 million consumers decided to try playing guitar for the first time ever during the pandemic, picking it up as a new skill during quarantine. Fender hopes that by using semi-serialized educational and inspirational content to boost brand affinity, rather than more traditional product marketing, they can turn a lockdown hobby into a lifelong passion.
The shifting demographics of Fender’s customers will also drive the content. Guitar buyers are increasingly female and much younger than they used to be, just a decade or two ago, making it important for the brand to connect and engage with them in new ways.
This article originally appeared in the PSFK iQ report, Consumer Creators: Selling To Gen Z.