A SWM Think Piece

Duo, the Duolingo Owl.

Duo, the iconic green owl who acts as Duolingo’s mascot, has an active and engaging presence on Tik Tok. Aside from having an adult-sized owl costume, Duo’s popularity primarily comes from keeping up with trends, referencing popular celebrities and engaging with commenters — all while maintaining a consistent voice. 

For example, in this video, Duo used a trending audio and viral dance related to Taylor Swift to engage a fanbase that would otherwise not engage with the Duolingo account. This Tik Tok received 138k likes, 2.5k comments, and 1.9k saves, all just from Duo partaking in a popular trend and expanding their audience. Duo’s voice on this platform is light-hearted, jovial, and a little sassy, which entertains viewers across all fan-bases and interests, not just their targeted audience. 

Duolingo consistently responds to comments on their videos, which increases engagement, displays the personality of their brand and interests the audience in both their page and content. Below is an example of a back-and-forth between the Duolingo account and a commenter. Especially on Tik Tok, comments are crucial to high engagement, as people can like and reply to comments, as well as tag their friends. 

In order to form cohesive branding and utilize synergy among their social media accounts, Duolingo also reposts some of their Tik Tok videos as reels on their Instagram page, which serves as another way to receive engagement using the same video.

Duolingo presents Duo as a relatable and comical mascot, who enjoys engaging in buzz about celebrities and participates in ongoing trends. The personality and voice of the brand is easily readable and appealing to most audiences. As of May 2, the Duolingo account has 6.6 million followers and 138.9 million likes.