It’s been quite a year for e.l.f. Cosmetics.
The beauty brand maintained sales growth by remaining aggressive on both the marketing and product innovation fronts, even as a pandemic raged on, leading to struggles for the entire category.
It’s a similar move to one e.l.f. made at the end of 2019 with its trendsetting TikTok campaign. Featuring an original song, fittingly called “eyes, lips, face,” the campaign led to over 2 million videos created featuring the tune, with over 8 million streams across streaming platforms.
This time, instead of a single earworm, the company decided to release an entire album, with contemporary versions of traditional jingles replete with danceable electronic beats and of course, e.l.f.-isms.
The company chose Triller, an up-and-coming app focused on social music videos with approximately 65 million users generating some 250 million downloads, to premiere the new campaign. The company has a history of embracing platforms in their earlier days, just as it did with TikTok in 2019.
“We pride ourselves in digital disruption,” Marchisotto said. “We’re always looking around the bend. For us, it’s critical to continue to play with the amazing partners that we have and it’s also part of our strategy to test and learn, to see who the emerging platforms are, to ensure that we are looking at where our audiences are.”
Six months ago, e.l.f. conducted an initial exploratory meeting with Triller, where Marchisotto said they realized that the two “had a lot of shared values and [the] like-minded spirit of disruptors.”
“From that moment, we committed to each other that we could figure something out,” she said.
But before proceeding further, the first order of business for e.l.f. was to become a Triller user and explore the app, just as it did with TikTok. This included playing with the functionality and to surf around to understand the nuances of the user audience.
“If you want to create for an audience, you have to understand the platform and understand what people are doing there,” Marchisotto said.
Marchisotto noted that the big difference with Triller versus other platforms is that it’s really all about the music—that’s the driving force behind the user visits. That fact makes it a little bit more challenging for a beauty company. In exploring a partnership, the brand had to ask itself: “How do we enter into this platform in the most meaningful and relevant way?”
“For us, what matters is entering in the right way so that it’s meaningful to the audience there,” Marchisotto said. “It’s a test and learn, to see what works and what doesn’t and take it from there.”
e.l.f. had gained confidence about its ability to play in the music space given its initial success on TikTok, and it had continued to build that muscle in the months since, working with the music community, including Republic Records and Universal Music Group.
Once e.l.f. had a better grasp on the app, it went back to Triller with the idea of releasing a holiday-themed music album on the app. Every statistic e.l.f. saw told the brand that holiday music dominates during the month of December. Given that holiday music is often more traditional, e.l.f. saw an opportunity to bring its twist to it, Marchisotto said.