Made By Gather Hires Nerf’s Former Chief TikTok Officer

It all began with a DM.

On a fine fall day in November last year, CEO of kitchenware company Made By Gather, Shae Hong, messaged TikTok influencer Sophie Jamison, or Sophie Lightning, via her TikTok page. The message was about hiring Jamison as the brand’s full-time chief TikTok officer for all of Made By Gather’s brands, including Beautiful with Drew Barrymore, Bella, CRUX and CRUXGG with Ghetto Gastro.

A dedicated chief is a deviation from the marketing across Made By Gather’s other social media platforms, where social media managers head up each brand’s profile.

But, “TikTok is something super disruptive and different,” said Hong. “We needed to embrace it with a different process.”

As the new CTO, Jamison is tasked with developing each brand’s tone of voice by creating personalities, writing skits, and showcasing best-sellers. Her remit also involves copywriting and highlighting employees across different functions and levels, from junior-level engineers and designers, account leads and the marketing team, to capture Made By Gather’s creative and entrepreneurial spirit, the company said.

Toy brand and Jamison’s former employer, Nerf, was one of the earlier brands to introduce the role of a chief TikTok officer. The TikTok influencer, with over 2 million followers, beat over 1,000 applicants for a three-month tenure in 2021 and was eventually employed full-time.

This move by Made By Gather has a “commitment to real people and sees value in not only TikTok but also people that have dominated the space organically,” said Ashley Karim-Kincey, vice president of media at agency Dagger. “Introducing an influencer with less experience in the kitchen could leave a gap that needs to be filled in how the brand is going to thread the needle of relevance.”

Made By Gather will measure the success based on the reach of a single piece of content, Hong said.

As such, for the first year, Jamison’s goals are more focused on content reach on the platform rather than revenue. However, after the first year, this will develop into its own P&L sheet.

Although the company would not share specific goals for TikTok, it’s aiming to get 20% of its revenue—a nine-figure amount—from the platform.

The plan is to post three to five times per week on each channel and eventually launch campaigns, said Jamison. Made By Gather began posting earlier this week across its brand channels. Videos include skits like this on Bella about the different types of chefs, or this recipe on CRUX for cat treats.

“Our goal is that we want to own the kitchen and home category on TikTok,” Hong added.

Across the marketing ecosystem, agencies like Dagger are seeing an increase in social and influencer-first requests across media, strategy and creative perspectives.

“Brands investing more in how they connect with their consumers on TikTok is definitely at the forefront for 2023,” said Karim-Kincey. “Still, we are yet to crack the surface of this $16 billion-dollar industry.”


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