What’s New On Social – May 2024

Platform news

Here’s to another month of WNOS – our monthly report where we update you on the latest news, trends and tips in Social & Digital – helping to keep you constantly in the know.

May Highlights

Category is… TikTok!

Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum

This year, TikTok stunned the fashion world by volunteering to host the ultimate fashion event of the year — the Met Gala. As one of the Met’s official partners for the event, TikTok sent influencers, organised bands of roving reporters, and of course, documented the entire event on the platform. The Met Gala, a hallowed celebration for the rich and famous held in one of the most esteemed museums in the world, and TikTok, a democratic social media platform, may seem on the surface as different as chalk and cheese. Did the pairing pay off?

One Stop Shop

Credit: Later

On the heels of the success of their show Fallout, Amazon has just announced a new, interactive way to shop. Starting soon, you will be able to hit pause on ads, and buy directly from the ads themselves –  fancy her jacket? Want that duster? Amazon is ushering in a brand new era of online retail. 

Tik Tok‘s Met takeover

Every year, the Met Gala has been met with the rallying cry from viewers, “Stop inviting influencers!” So it may come as a surprise that this year The Gala went one step further by partnering with TikTok, essentially guaranteeing influencer attendance. But, on the day of the event, there were fewer influencers than predicted, and all of them firmly entrenched in the TikTok fashion hall of fame. TikTok had pulled out all the stops. And while some fans were originally upset, wanting to see instead the costumes of their favourite celebrities, the unprecedented access that the app gave to the event meant that the Met Gala was publicised like never before. 

TikTok employed its influencers to document the entire occasion, from the pre-party to the afters, to the day-later reviews of each and every ludicrous outfit. The influx of influencers at The Gala was an inspired decision – 13.6M total viewers tuned in to Vogue’s TikTok LIVE, and since April 29, the number of #MetGala posts on TikTok have increased 71%.

TikTok, unfortunately, might have made everything a bit too personal. One influencer was cancelled at the Gala, comparing herself to the famously out of touch Marie Antoinette. She swiftly received angry comments and took the video down. One thing is for certain – TikTok lives up to its ability to democratise and de-shroud proceedings, removing mysticism in order to make them accessible for everyone. That does also mean that celebrities stop being untouchable, become more relatable, and therefore more responsible for their faults. 

Our take? TikTok is an excellent tool for getting closer to fans and audiences, but brands need to do so with caution. Understanding their audience is what got TikTok so much kudos from viewers, who were thrilled to see smaller-name but incredibly fashionable TikTok influencers in attendance, rather than just big name influencers not famous for their style. Getting to know your audience and your viewers is what leads to that kind of synergy, rather than cancellation-worthy missteps. 

Window shopping

Shopping integrations have been rising steadily in popularity over the years, as each platform attempts to put their own spin on it. From Instagram’s Instagram Shop – which allows you to shop directly from any image on your feed; to TikTok Shop – the in-app shopping experience; to Telfar’s Shopping Channel – a livestream shopping simulator similar to late night TV of old, it’s clear that
there is a market hungry for new ways to shop online. 

In a world inundated by online shopping options, it’s interesting to see that many people remain unbitten by the online shopping bug. Gen Z and Gen Alpha, for example, are notably less keen than other generations with regards to bargain hunting online. They enjoy the entire experience of shopping, the sensory experience of trying on clothes all day. And for those that don’t like to leave their house, AR has brought that experiential factor to their small screen, with 30% of Gen Z saying they think AR improves the shopping experience. 

The platforms that are finding success with new users are those that are trying to take shopping in a new direction. Take Temu, the Chinese online retail platform challenging Amazon, which gamifies its service with lotteries, prizes, and winnable reductions; a strategy that the BBC is calling “as addicting as sugar”. Other brands are following suit, with Sephora’s new interactive gameplay, and the rise of shopping through Pinterest’s Product Pins. How can your brand change up the retail experience?

Brand inspiration

Drink The Rich 

2024 is looking like the year where Quiet Luxury gets loud. From the success of the films Saltburn and Challengers, or TV shows like The Gentlemen, or even the ubiquity of padded jackets in street style that is making everyone look like the Queen, it’s clear that this trend is here to stay. So it’s really only fair that J2O jumped on the bandwagon in their new ad for ‘mocko’ mocktails.

Is It Time For Tea?

PG Tips has just released a new stream of ads featuring Ashley Walters – so long, beloved PG Tips Chimp. The rebrand has sent PG Tips hurtling into the 21st century, declaring themselves a brand that uniquely understands what it means to be British today. 

When quiet luxury gets loud

Quiet Luxury and its symbols have always been the playground of, well, luxury. Gucci has been rocking the tweeds and the elderflower presse for years. However, despite the trend’s popularity, tides are turning against the elite. Hailey Baylee was cancelled this year at the Met Gala for using a sound from the Marie Antoinette film, and debutante Laura Cosima’s TikTok comments are flooded with people demanding her to acknowledge her family history (and privilege). 

What J2O have done is add a healthy level of ribbing and criticism to the conversation, dropping an ad spot that wouldn’t look amiss on TikTok influencer GstaadtGuy’s timeline – a Vlogger parody of posh culture so successful that he’s been sponsored by luxury fashion house Loro Piana. Vlogger Tamsin Amy, too, has found success by putting out parodies of Range Rover driving ‘rich aunts’, so much so that her main sponsors are Liberty’s and Fortnum & Mason! Life imitates art, it seems. 

J2O is definitely using Quiet Luxury, but it’s not condoning it, the same way Hayley Bailey and Laura Cosima were. Instead, it’s taking a cultural zeitgeist and putting its own spin on it, resulting in an ad that acknowledges the current trends but doesn’t encourage them. A clever move from them – bottoms up!

Is it time for tea?

If J2O is looking into the past, then PG Tips has its eye on the future. The tea brand is going through its first rebrand in years, calling in big names like Steve McQueen and Ashley Walters from Top Boy in order to demonstrate that tea isn’t just a drink of fuddy duddy fogeys – it’s actually aligned with young people. 

While people often complain that the UK has stopped being a nation of tea drinkers, there’s a growing trend of people bucking coffee as their favourite drink. Being linked to ill health, overstimulation, and anxiety, the future of coffee looks like it might start going down the drain as people switch back over to the drink that started it all – tea. Interest has swung toward drinks like South American yerba mate, Japanese matcha, and South Asian chai as less-stimulating alternatives of a high caffeinated hit. 

PG Tips is leaning into that desire for a quiet moment in the ad. Instead of pushing coffee’s hyping up abilities, the endless go-go-go that the drink is associated with, PG Tips is leaning into how tea can allow you a private moment to yourself when you drink it, coupled with the slow ritual of waiting for a brewing cup over shocking instant granules in hot water. While it’s too early to tell if the rebrand will be everyone’s cup of… tea, we’re still interested in how PG Tips has taken a stand against hustle culture in a way that is uniquely British. 

Keeping Up

with the trends in May


Food & Drink

Look anywhere on your city’s trendiest streets, you’ll see en vogue and on-trend people clutching a bright green cup of oat milk iced matcha. The drink, touted as the healthier antioxidant rich alternative to coffee, has become the ultimate fashion statement. This summer is seeing the rise of everything from lavender matcha, to strawberry-and-cream-matcha, matcha whisks, to matcha dry shampoo (seriously!). Sorry coffee, but it’s looking to be game-set-matcha!

Prairie maximalism


What is the look of the season? If last summer was dominated by mismatched patterns and White Lotus style eclecticism, then this summer is pastel prairie maximalism. We’re seeing pale linens and Pierrot collars, Birkenstocks and basket bags. Why? It’s summertime. Everyone is putting their money where their mouth is and dressing for the season, full tilt.

BBL Drizzy


Two of TikTok’s current hits are “BBL Drizzy”, a song taking down Canadian rapper Drake, and “Chauffeur”, a country track about class differences. Both have been blowing up TikTok with their catchy lyrics however, the only thing is that the songs have been revealed to be AI music, released without warning. Were you fooled?

Bridgerton S3


The ‘Ton is back. After a not-so-brief pause of two years since Bridgerton season two, the Netflix series has evolved into one of the televisual events of the year. Sparking clothing collaborations, aesthetic crazes, and let’s not forget an actual real-life ball, it’s clear that Bridgerton will have a lot to answer for in the worlds of fashion and film for years to come.

Further Readings

Brand Inspo – Is it time for tea?