E.L.F. cosmetics generated over 1 billion impressions reaching the highly coveted Generation Z using the video app, TikTok.
What is TikTok?
Launched originally as Musicaly.ly in the United States, TikTok merged with China’s Douyin in late 2017. Since the acquisition, the app has been downloaded more than 1 billion times and reportedly has more monthly users than Twitter or Snapchat. The app allows users to create and share short videos, typically with music in the background.
TikTok’s parent organization, ByteDance, branded initially as an Artificial Intelligence business, now markets themselves as a technology company operating a range of content platforms. Valued at more than seventy-five billion dollars, ByteDance has the highest valuation of any startup in the world.
Who’s Using It?
The app’s demographic is primarily comprised of “Gen Z,” which includes individuals born between 1995 and 2015. TikTok is the first social network that organically reached an audience of first graders.
Teens spend upwards of 1 hour on the app each day, and over 1 billion videos are viewed each day.
More than a “revival of vine,” TikTok is proving to be a significant competitor in the social media market.
How are Brands Capitalizing?
Considering the decline of Gen Z users on Facebook and Twitter and the increasing amount of advertisers on Snapchat and Instagram, it makes sense that brands are turning towards TikToks as the next avenue to market to younger generations.
We have seen several brands launch sponsored hashtags and pay TikTok influencers to promote products, but E.L.F. Cosmetics has since created the most seamless advertisement on the app yet: #EyesLipsFace.
The advertisement invites users to post a video highlighting their eyes, lips, and face set to the song they created for the challenge.
E.L.F. got it right from the start having Grammy award-winning songwriter iLL Wayno write the aptly-titled song “eyes, lips, face” for the ad. It’s catchy, cool, and if TikTok has shown us anything this year, it’s how quickly the song could rise to the top of the charts. For example, Lil Nas X’s Old Town Road started as a meme on TikTok and is now the longest-reigning #1 hit in the 61-year history of the Billboard Hot 100.
First, E.L.F. nailed the song. Then, they nailed the influencers they used in the campaign. They invited influencers like James Charles, YouTube’s top beauty vlogger with over 16M subscribers, and a more recent breakout star, Kombucha Girl, who has amassed over 2M followers on various platforms after one viral TikTok video.
Most importantly, this advertisement became a trend people wanted to be a part of, specifically, Gen Zers, the ideal target market for the affordable makeup and beauty brand.
Bravo to E.L.F. I look forward to reading more about the outcome of the campaign, and good luck to the brands who try to mimic it.