College of Alabama Rush Is Viral on TikTok and Impacting Retail Tendencies

  • TikToks from students participating in fraternity recruitment at the University of Alabama are going viral.
  • Outfit of the day, OOTD for short, videos of the young women are clicked millions of times.
  • Jewelry retailer Kendra Scott takes advantage of the latest TikTok trend.

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At the end of summer, colleges and universities are preparing for the fall semester. The students shop in the dormitory, buy school supplies and new clothes. At the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, students also participate in student union recruitment.

According to, more than 2,200 women participate in recruitment (also known as the “rush”) at the school for a week each year. During the week, current sorority sisters meet prospective new members on campus to learn more about them and determine who is the best fit for their sorority. This year they’re going viral on TikTok too.

The popular video social media app has been inundated with videos of women rushing to the University of Alabama. They get millions of views every day by sharing their experiences, new friends, and outfits.

Every day of the recruitment process, before heading out for the day’s activities, many of the young women post videos showing off their outfits, also known as Outfits of the Day or OOTDs, and garner millions of views on TikTok.

Videos showcasing new products, new trends, and new clothing can generate millions, sometimes billions of views on TikTok and are often used as a marketing tool for retail businesses. Many popular brands highlighted in the videos are Target, Shein, Franchesca, and Amazon. But several southern-based stores like Kendra Scott are gaining popularity after being featured in the videos.

Kendra Scott, a jewelry company based in Austin, Texas, quickly jumped on the TikTok trend when its accessories were featured by women rushing to Alabama.

Since participating in what people now call “#bamarush” and “#rushtok,” Kendra Scott has seen an 11% increase in website traffic from new users, Mindy Perry, chief marketing officer at Kendra Scott told Insider by email. The site also saw a 12% increase in new users in Alabama and a 12% increase in new users between the ages of 18 and 24.

“The coolest part of this viral trend is that it all started organically – we weren’t even tagged on the students’ #OOTDs in the beginning,” Perry said. “Our phenomenal social team immediately jumped into the conversation to comment and get involved, which was starting to take on a life of its own.”

Kendra Scott has since made two viral videos on TikTok about Rush that together have reached nearly a million views. The jewelry company’s marketing team says its strategy at TikTok is “social listening,” observing and listening to consumers in their daily lives.

Perry believes that TikTok can be a powerful app because the algorithm allows users to control what they want to watch.

“While the concept of Rush Week is certainly not ‘new’, it was fun to see the whole nation watching these young women and learning about a tradition that is important to many colleges and universities,” Perry said.

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