Hilton's 10-minute TikTok is a beautifully-crafted postmodern ad that plays knowingly with the idea of users’ hyper-shortened attention spans


Hotel chain Hilton shared a new 10-minute ad to its TikTok account this week. A 10-minute ad? Are you cray-cray? Findings from a 2021 TikTok internal report showed nearly 50% of users thought videos longer than a minute long were stressful. So, how stressed out could a 10-minute advertisement make you feel? Surely that would be sufficient to alienate all customers and prospects plus get the hotel brand laughed off the video-sharing entertainment platform?

Not so, according to the stats. At the time of writing, five days after posting, the ad has attracted 12.1m views, 332.2k likes, 17.8k comments, and 9k shares. 

Hilton plays with the idea of users’ hyper-shortened attention spans throughout its TikTok. One actor asks why they’re not making a TV ad instead, saying “ten minutes on TikTok is like three years in the real world”. 

Baron Ryan explains to his doppelganger that “the people whose attention you crave will stay with this TikTok because this is probably the weirdest ad for a hotel they’ve ever seen.” He then asks his double whether he’s a sell-out for doing a brand collab with Hilton. 

The ad is self-referential throughout, tapping into TikTok trends. For example, Chris Olsen answers ‘no’ to Paris Hilton’s opening question: “would you watch a ten-minute TikTok”. Olsen’s response is stylised as a stitch.

@hilton Unexpected & amazing things can happen when you stay, and we want you to stay with us for 10 minutes. Yup, we made a 10-minute TikTok AND we’re giving away 10M Hilton Honors Points + more. #HiltonStayFor10 #HiltonForTheStay ♬ Hilton’s 10-Minute Stay - Hilton

The video feels like thumbing through your FYP; but here the duets are faux, and wherever you land, you land on Hilton content. There’s random trivia about the invention of a brunch staple: eggs benedict. There’s a tongue-in-cheek comedy skit about an indirect competitor - Airbnb. There’s staged reaction videos and commentary TikToks. 

The ad shows great depth of understanding in both TikTok as a platform and with the creators and trends that resonate with users. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Hilton created this piece of work in league with TikTok so that the platform could demonstrate the possibilities of long-form ads that don’t suck to would-be advertisers.

Scott Guthrie is a professional adviser within the influencer marketing industry. He is an event speaker, university guest lecturer, media commentator on influencer marketing and active blogger. He works with brands, agencies and platforms to achieve meaningful results from influencer marketing. That tells you something about him but it's not giving you a lot of detail, is it? So, read more here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}