In 30 Seconds…
- What musical TikTok treats are under your Christmas tree? A Christmas song challenge? Christmas remix songs? Christmas TikTok dances?
- We’re digging into the best Christmas Tik Tok music trends – and exactly why they went viral, so that you can go viral too.
- From funny Christmas songs to Christmas rap songs, there’s something for every brand on TikTok. For marketers, it truly is the most magical time of the year!
Christmas Tik Tok and Music
You could say that music is to TikTok what Christmas presents are to Christmas. In its early days, TikTok was in fact known as lip-syncing app Musical.ly. Music is part of its DNA. Part of TikTok’s charm is that you can use custom audio or trending songs as backing tracks for your videos, which are *as* easy to discover as hashtags. This key feature has led to viral TikTok songs for both new artists and music veterans alike.
New artists like Lil Nas X (Old Town Road) and Curtis Waters (Stunnin’), and Claire Rosinkranz (Backyard Boy) experienced explosive, viral fame virtually overnight on TikTok. Meanwhile, industry titans like Drake have gotten in on the action, with Drake’s Toosie Slide inspiring viral dances and memes. And of course, we can’t get Megan thee Stallion’s Savage out of our heads these days, since it inspired 31.1M user-generated videos.
You don’t even need to be a musician to harness TikTok music to unlock explosive growth. There’s always room for something different – and that’s very welcome around Christmas-time. After all, we love Christmas songs when Advent begins, but after a while we all fancy a refresh!
Let’s look at last year’s viral Christmas music hits on TikTok and see what you can learn from them.
1. All I Want For Christmas Is You (or is it?)
What do you hear when you walk into any department store, cafe, pub or even your parent’s house in the festive season? Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You”. But what’s a fun way to update the track for a Gen Z audience? Mash it up with Soulja Boy and dance to it on TikTok, of course.
In Christmas past, Gen Z TikTokers were dancing to the Soulja Boy remix of “All I Want for Christmas Is You”. With everyone from top accounts like Addison Rae (@addisonre) and the Rybka Twins (@rybkatwinsofficial) creating their own take, the track inspired a whopping 14M user-generated videos.
The key ingredients? A catchy tune, something funny, and a fun dance routine. Soulja Boy’s Crank That song was originally popular for its associated dance, which is easy to copy. That ease of replication means more people can join the trend.
Another factor is that hip-hop and rap tracks do really well on TikTok – which is unsurprising considering Gen Z are 80% more likely to enjoy these musical genres than previous generations.
The most important factor in making this Christmas Tik Tok tune viral was its audio plot twist. Viewers initially thought they were listening to the same Mariah Carey classic, so Soulja Boy’s song starting was unexpected – and funny. This meant lots of original video takes were possible, beyond just dances. This meme-like quality gives the song a wide net for success across TikTok communities.
The key takeaway for brands:
Sprinkle in a little humour to your Christmas tune, and it’ll spread across multiple communities.
2. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree, before and after
Another Christmas classic, Brenda Lee’s popular “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” went viral last Christmas when TikTokers paired it with a classic challenge: “Tactical Christmas”.
This challenge involved users showing their normal rooms, then throwing in a Christmas bauble to trigger an ‘explosion’. The video then cuts to their room sparkling with Christmas decorations, complete with Christmas trees and every holiday season ornament. This trend inspired over 290k videos, including one from macro influencer and beauty guru James Charles (@jamescharles).
The element driving the virality of this Christmas Tik Tok trend is challenge participation. Gen Z love participation and ‘challenges’ are core to TikTok culture. The second strategic element here is the trap remix, again capitalising on what music is popular for Gen Z right now. The unexpected trap remix also makes Christmas music a lot more interesting, helping it to maintain Gen Z’s attention.
The key takeaway for brands:
Combine your Christmas music with an easy-to-join challenge, and you’ll see user-generated content in spades. Who doesn’t like to spread a little festive cheer?
3. You’re a Mean One, Mr Creator
Originally a track for the movie adaptation of Dr Seuss’ The Grinch, “You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch” got a Gen Z update last Christmas. The cover artist? Music superstar Tyler, the Creator, of course. This Christmas Tik Tok viral hit has generated over a million videos. TikTokers featured this track in everything from Grinch-inspired makeup and outfits, to festive prank videos.
Why did this cover go so viral? Because it’s so distinctive. This song is festive, but a little edgy and off the beaten track. Tyler, the Creator is quite different to the mainstream artists normally associated with Christmas (we’re looking at you, Michael Bublé) , but he’s incredibly popular with Gen Z. This track could be seen as the ‘anti-Christmas’ festive song. You don’t have to sing along to carols!
Who did I get the best?...💀 @marcusolin @fashionnova (read bio)
Tyler the Creator’s normally explicit discography doesn’t normally align with Dr Seuss’ wholesome cartoons, but when delivered like this it really works. Seeing Tyler, the Creator meant TikTokers who would normally avoid festive, goofy videos felt more compelled to join the action.
The key takeaway for brands:
Make your tracks available on TikTok as the default – and don’t be afraid to add some spice. Christmas is for everyone, after all – not just old family favourites. If you put a cool new spin on a Christmas track, make sure to give examples where your audio works really well as background music. A great way to do this is through TikTok influencers. That way, you’ll get much more user-generated content as people join the trend.
TikTok’s viral nature lends itself to huge opportunities across industries. Because music is so integral to the TikTok experience, there’s a real opportunity for both independent artists and major labels to leverage viral engagement, as well as any brand who can get crafty with creating their own track.
TikTok makes it so easy for users to feature trending tracks or songs they like in their content, so the barriers to sharing music are very low compared to other networks. TikTok also makes it easy to see the originator of a trending sound, so even if your track goes viral in communities you’ve never heard of, it will always help *you* be the star of the show.
Keeping an eye on genre trends as well as viral or seasonal challenges is important for creating TikTok audio that goes viral. TikTok is the perfect network to test out experimental ideas in music with everything from mashups, remixes or dance challenges at your disposal. Have a go with a Christmas song – and you’ll find learnings that you can use for growth all year round.
Want help with finding the right type of content to send your brand viral? After more holiday season inspiration? Check out these links below: