Skechers, a hit on TikTok, donates a million PPE masks
by Mark McDermott
Skechers has a hit on its hands and as a result is putting protective masks on more than a million faces.
It all started when a then-unknown Pakastani-American rapper DripReport self-released his debut single via YouTube on January 12. The song, which DripReport wrote, was called “Skechers” and was an ode not only to a girl but to the shoes she wore:
“I tried to stop but I can’t stop/I just can’t stop thinking about her/I don’t know/All I remember was/ /She wear the Skechers/The light-up ones/Shawty bad with the Skechers on/Wanna hold your hand, make you my girl/Light up, light up Skechers/Light up, light up my world.”
Like so many virally popular songs over the past year, “Skechers” took off on the TikTok app. By April, it had been used as the soundtrack on more than 2.7 million videos. By May, Rolling Stone magazine called it “the most streamed song in history about $40 light-up sneakers.”
DripReport told Rolling Stone his lyric was very intentionally praising Skechers, the Manhattan Beach-based shoe brand.
“Most rap songs talk about the luxury lifestyle, high-end designer brands,” the rapper said. “I wanted to go in the opposite direction, focus on the majority of people like myself who can’t afford those things.”
The industry magazine Footwear News marvelled at the “major boost to brand awareness” Skechers received, amplifying its relevance within the most marketing-elusive demographics, Gen Z and millennial consumers.
“Brands try and hope to create these moments — often by spending a lot and sometimes they find success, but the DripReport ‘Skechers’ track was 100 percent viral, 100 percent user-generated content,” a spokesperson from Skechers told Footwear News. “It was fully organic thanks to the very catchy song, and mostly driven by a hard-to-reach audience — 15-to-34-year-old-consumers.”
Skechers took notice not only of the song’s popularity but the opportunity that this presented. On May 27, the company launched the Skechers Million Mask Giveaway Dance Challenge, in which 10 masks would be given away for ever single dance video of the song uploaded on TikTok with the hashtags #danceformasks or #MillionMaskChallenge along with tagging @Skechers in the caption. By June 17, the challenge was met.
Last week, partnering with United Way of Los Angeles, Skechers began giving away masks to communities across the country. Skechers CEO Robert Greenberg said that the idea behind the dance challenge and mask giveaway was to take the song’s happy bounce and bring people together to do something positive with it.
“We’ve been watching TikTok become a driving force that’s keeping so many people connected during this difficult time,” said Robert Greenberg, CEO of Skechers. “After the viral success of DripReport’s ‘Skechers’ on the platform, I knew we had to transform the momentum into a give- back effort — one that ended up involving fans also giving back just by sharing a dance. It’s a beautiful thing, and we’re excited to be working with the United Way and all of our partners on donating a million masks, as we all make a difference together.”
The one million masks, which are non- medical, triple-layer surgical style, will be donated to non-profit organizations that typically do not receive PPE from government institutions, with a focus on economic hardship cases. This includes community and public education centers, health and rehab outreach facilities, plus homeless shelters and food banks in the greater Los Angeles area as well as in Chicago, New York City, Detroit and several cities in Florida and New Jersey.
United Way of Greater Los Angeles CEO Elisa Bulk said the effort is emblematic of the silver linings that have emerged during the dark times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Throughout the pandemic, two things have flourished: creativity and care,” said Bulk “It’s heartwarming to see fans from around the world express themselves to raise awareness in concert with the charitable efforts of a local business with a global reach like Skechers.”
Meanwhile, “Skechers” the song has continued it’s meteoric, bubbly rise. BusinessInsider has described the hit as a global phenomenon, charting in more than 30 countries. “Skechers” has reached 1 billion shares and 5 billion views on TikTok, 103 million views on Youtube, and has charted #1 on Billboard’s Emerging Artists Chart, #1 the Spotify US Viral Chart, and #1 on Shazam US Discovery Chart. Rappers Tyga and Goalsounds have released remixes of the song, and some of TikTok’s biggest stars, including Lil Huddy, Josh Richards, Daisy Keech, and Charlie D’Amelio, have made “Skechers” videos totally more than 100 million views.
DripReport, who garnered a record deal with Arista worth a reported $1 million, told Rolling Stone he has two goals for the song: to deliver “a message about self-confidence” by not allowing external things determine your worth, and to “make Skechers really cool.”