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Welcome to Campaign of the Week, where we explore some of the freshest and most exciting campaigns from the brands that are engaging their Gen Z audience and catching our attention every week. Today we’re looking at Gen Z’s favourite TikToker, Francis Bourgeois, and his recent collaboration with Gucci.
Every once in a while, a content creator comes along who is just unbeatable. Francis Bourgeois is one of those creators. Gen Z’s favourite TikTok trainspotter has recently released a number of videos in collaboration with luxury fashion brand Gucci, and these have been met with an overwhelmingly positive response. Today we’re going to be asking why Francis is so successful and looking at how Gucci hit the nail on the head by choosing to collaborate with the TikTok star.
Who is Francis Bourgeois?
Francis shot to international fame during the pandemic when he started to share incredibly wholesome and amusing videos documenting his trainspotting antics with his infectious laugh, fish-eye camera angles and pure passion for his niche hobby. Furthermore, the love that Francis has received online since posting over the years is incredible, and just goes to prove that Gen Z really welcome and celebrate anyone and everyone.
It’s important to note that theories have circulated suggesting that Francis is a character played by Gen Zer Luke Nicolson – someone who does have a penchant for transporting but exaggerates it for content purposes.
At time of writing, Bourgeois has 2.3M followers and 39.M likes on TikTok.
What’s the campaign about?
Towards the end of last week, Francis released three videos on TikTok as promotional material for Gucci’s Exquisite Gucci show in Milan. The videos show him travelling to Milan, choosing an outfit and watching the show. The videos have got between 402.6K – 665.2K views on TikTok, despite only having been up for four days at time of writing. The campaign is being promoted on both organic and paid social for Gucci and HighSnobiety (a streetwear publisher).
So why is it a success? As Adweek puts it: ‘The brands that make a real impact on TikTok keep themselves close to communities and fan bases by authentically centerting the niche interests of creators.’ In other words, Gucci have embraced Francis’ character, personality and interests (which just so happen to be loved by millions), and catered towards this. Francis stays true to himself and Gucci stay true to themselves – the dream brand collaboration!
Sian O’Flaherty, associate creative director at Highsnobiety, told Adweek: “The beauty of working with Francis is that he doesn’t fit the mold of the types of talent luxury brands usually work with… He’s passionate and wholesome and is exactly what we need in today’s frenetic world.”
As well as the millions of likes on TikTok, the feedback to the campaign has been nothing short of amazing. Some comments from the videos include: ‘Francis x Gucci is the collab we need’, ‘Petition to have Francis replace all fashion influencers’, and ‘Not the fashion icon we expected… But the fashion icon we needed’.
Why do we love it?
We already know that Gen Z is getting tired of the traditional lifestyle influencer kind of marketing (check out our recent Molly-Mae and Elle Darby article here), and this seems to have been the perfect solution. Thanks to his wholesome TikToks using a fisheye camera lens and his infectious passion for trainspotting, Francis was an internationally loved figure prior to this campaign, but by collaborating with an unlikely brand, the campaign has received enormous engagement.
To quote one comment on his video, it’s ‘pretty obvious at this point that Gucci is the smartest company on earth’.
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