TikTok loves a conspiracy theory, and this is a fun one.
Over the past couple of days, TikTok has been flooded with videos speculating that popular creator Chris Olsen is running the account for Harry Styles’ beauty brand, Pleasing.
Launched in 2021, Pleasing features a range of nail polishes and skin products with the Gen Z icon at the helm. The company’s TikTok presence — which underwent a massive rebrand in October— has garnered attention for its (slightly unhinged) sense of humour and “authentic” content, with most videos seemingly filmed on a mobile phone from someone’s home. While the account remains faceless, it seems to be run by a single person rather than a social media team.
Unlike before, Pleasing’s new TikTok content feels native to the platform, so it only makes sense that a popular creator could be behind the account.
Fans first began speculating that Chris runs the Pleasing account after noticing similarities between his sense of humour and the humour used in the brand’s new content.
Chris, who boasts over 8.7 million followers, has become one of TikTok’s most popular creators— transcending viral fame in ways few others have. In 2020, Chris was named TikTok’s Sexiest Man Alive by People Magazine and by 2022, he was attending the 94th Academy Awards as part of the event’s promotional strategy to spark interest amongst Gen Z. He’s best known for creating upbeat, humourous vlog content, often alongside his bestie Meghan Trainor.
Fans have also noted a resemblance between Chris’ apartment and the location where Pleasing films its videos. Both spaces seem to feature similar flooring and kitchen countertops, as well as a similar couch and doorway.
According to fans, Harry also interacted with Chris at one of his concerts this week— calling him out for holding up a sign that read, “Daddy?”
While the clues were adding up, creator Alexia Houde solidified this theory in a video posted Thursday, when she showed that a similar blue object appears in new TikToks from both Chris’ account and Pleasing’s. She also shared a screenshot from the background of one of Chris’ videos where it appears that nail polish bottles with Pleasing’s signature round cap are sitting on his desk.
While neither Chris nor Pleasing have confirmed the validity of this theory at the time of writing, publicist and creator @producerliz explains how effective this strategy has been for the brand’s TikTok presence in the two short weeks since Chris allegedly took over.
“The aesthetic? Gone. The numbers? So superior. Why? TikTok is not a place to be glossy,” she says of Pleasing’s new content. She goes on to say that bringing influencers “in-house” to work with a brand rather than contracting them for one-off campaigns can help brands “contribute to community discourse” on these apps in a way that authentically resonates with its users.
“This is the success levels you get! So many viral moments you don’t have to pay for because we understand the culture and community,” she finishes.
So whether Chris Olsen really is the man behind the rebrand of Pleasing’s TikTok account or not, there is no denying that this is a fantastic case study of how a brand can see tangible results quickly by enlisting the help of those who know its target audience best.