The power of influencer marketing: Why Paris Hilton’s TikTok went viral

June 21, 2023

Roxanne Denman

Remember "The Simple Life"? 

No, I'm not talking about your typical leisurely strolls in the park or peaceful coffee breaks on your day off. I'm referring to the wildly entertaining series aired from 2003 to 2007, featuring the unforgettable duo - Paris Hilton and her then-best friend, Nicole Richie.If you haven't experienced the hilarity of 'The Simple Life,' let me paint the picture for you. Imagine two wealthy socialites, accustomed to a life of luxury, embarking on absurd and comical misadventures while taking on menial jobs. It was a time capsule of pop culture hilarity. Watch this compilation of funny moments, and you'll understand why this show became an unforgettable part of our cultural landscape in the early noughties. That is how I came to know Paris Hilton - and now the icon is doing something game-changing on TikTok. Hilton is pulling the carpet out from our ADHD feet and bringing us a 10-minute marketing campaign for Hilton Hotels. 


While we struggle with decreasing attention spans, Hilton Hotels brings us a TikTok ad so long that I have already aged just thinking about it. So – is it the return to long-form marketing? Maybe, but only if you have the secret formula in your arsenal. 


In case you didn't know, we are education marketers. We love a successful advertising campaign. So when Paris, an over-40 female icon, starts influencing a new generation with her style, and with some dubbing her this generation's Audrey Hepburn (really?), we needed to see what the fuss was about. 

In short - Hilton’s marketing team nailed it  

It is all about the elements of your social marketing strategy, baby! And Paris used many of them. Don’t believe me? You have got to see it to believe it. And pay attention to the comments – where you witness the masterful effects on the audience. 

So how did they do it? 

Influencer marketing

It’s official - influencer marketing has secured a top spot among big brands. And they use it because it works – creators have built credibility and trust with their audience, and most TikTok creators have perfected entertaining content through experience.   The famous hotel chain cleverly weaves short snippets of the creators together to bring us one fun and engaging show. 

The best part? They allow the creators to do what they do best – incorporate their unique style and content while letting the brand shine through their creativity. Bring a beautiful early noughties icon into the equation, and hit marketing bliss. Genius.


The marketing team cleverly incorporates gamification to enhance the user experience and motivates the audience to watch until the end. If you make it to the end, they reward you with your share of 10 million Hilton Honors Points, experiences, swag, and more. 

The idea is playful and adds another layer to the experience. Gamification is having its moment - and research suggests that using it in content can drive motivation, as per a study from Science Direct


Throughout the video, the target audience gets clear visuals and enjoyable music. Not the usual hotel advert music that puts you to sleep but carefully placed magnetic audio.  The question-and-answer type dialogue Hilton curates throughout the video prevents the mind from wandering too much (those attention spans still like to zigzag), and she delivers vital information throughout the video. 


The video is like one mini-movie of many mini-stories from the creators. Some scenes remind you of Hollywood blockbuster scenarios that keep you entranced, and one segment even incorporates a little action into the mix. These cleverly written dialogues in these snippets deliver information each time while showcasing the personality that pushed each creator into the TikTok spotlight. By weaving a compelling story in each section, the creators have us eating out the palms of their hands. 


Paris Hilton may appear to be the cookie-cutter blonde heiress we all love (or some hate), but she has proven that apart from being part of the Hilton dynasty, she has carved out her own name into the world. While some would be happy to coast off lavish family royalties, Paris has made a living from numerous sources - an American media personality, businesswoman, model, actress, DJ, and singer. She is a trailblazer and coins self-made slogans as seamlessly as she dons Louboutin’s. During the video, Hilton even shares a new term - sliving - into the dialogue, a phrase that alludes to “living your best life.” They also bring in the element of brand digitization by marketing their digital app check-ins, enabling you to earn those sought-after Honors Points. It’s branding at its holistic finest. 

What we think

Paris Hilton's TikTok campaign for Hilton Hotels exemplifies the power of influencer marketing and the effectiveness of combining tried and tested strategies with creative innovation. By leveraging influencer marketing, gamification, engagement, storytelling, and branding, Hilton Hotels successfully captured the attention of a new generation.While not every brand can feature an iconic figure like Paris Hilton, the other elements are attainable by most marketing teams. Incorporate these methods into the mix and take your education marketing strategy to the next level. Paris Hilton's innate ability to adapt and evolve her brand demonstrates the importance of staying relevant in a rapidly changing landscape. As marketers, it is crucial to continually reassess and adjust our strategies to meet the expectations of our ever-evolving audience. Embrace innovative marketing approaches, understand your audience, and implement proven techniques - and you can create marketing campaigns that resonate and inspire authentic engagement. 

Watched the video and want to know more about TikTok? Dive into our short and sweet version here

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