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Biggest Trend Of The Year: THE UNPOLISHED CONTENT

Review: The success of London’s Tube Girl


Authenticity has been an important term and widely used in influencer marketing over the past few years but in 2023 it has been even more noticeable - as we saw with the recent popularity of Tube Girl leading to the creator striking successful partnerships.

Quoting Keith Foggan, founder of System, from Nikki Gilliland interview on econsultancy.com, “TikTok has a soft spot for real raw unpolished content. People want to follow accounts they feel are relatable rather than aspirational.”

By people Foggan means GEN Z which brands face the constant challenge of reaching – an audience that is sustainability-conscious looking for value more than any generation and has driven the popularity of rental sites and second-hand items.

''Unpolished content” is one of the biggest trends of this year so far citing TikTok’s “content-first” algorithm as the reason for its explosion.


THE TUBE GIRL EFFECT

The ‘’tube girl’' trend was kicked off by 22-year-old London based TikToker and former law student Sabrina Bahsoon who recorded herself dancing in the London Underground. All over TikTok young women are taking videos of themselves in 0.5 zoom suggestively dancing in various public transit, mimicking Bahsoon's videos on their own modes of public transport, and often tagging her in the captions.

Bahsoon's confidence radiates through the screen. Since her first “Tube Girl” video on 13th Aug. she has inspired other women to flaunt what they've got shamelessly while in public — a confidence now created the “Tube Girl Effect.” The hashtag #tubegirl has 281 million views and #tubegirleffect has over 70 million at the time of writing.


WHY DOES IT WORK?

  • Tube Girl is highly relatable.

  • Her content is easily recreated and her song choices are catchy - everything TikTok’s algorithm loves.

  • The confidence she’s selling is aspirational, which has perfect synergy with high fashion as we know it.

  • Her captions resonate, and her comments are full of people hyping her up. Impressively, all her brand collabs (so far) have been met with celebration from her followers, instead of a drop in engagement other creators experience when posting a collab.



MAC Cosmetics was the first brand to come forward and work with her.

MAC took a risk and secured Sabrina before any other brand could, getting her to walk for them in London Fashion Week and film behind-the-scenes content for her TikTok channel. The results were spectacular:

- Sabrina’s TikTok channel: 2 videos with a combined 10m views

- MAC Cosmetics’ TikTok channel: 1 video 160k views - 150k higher than its average views per video



Since the MAC Cosmetics collaboration, Boss also tapped Sabrina for their showcase during Milan Fashion Week. Tube Girl was producing backstage content with a number of the stars who attended the show which, naturally, went viral on TikTok. She has been invited to the Valentino show in Paris and was driven around London in a Bentley.

It’s no surprise luxury brands have been the first to secure Sabrina. Reaching younger consumers is one of the biggest challenges for these businesses.


Even if these success stories are rare, it’s always worth brands keeping some influencer budget in reserve for when wildcard creators emerge. These collaborations won’t always pay off and the risk may be high but when it’s done right, you may hit your KPIs.

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