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    E.l.f. appeals to gamers with themed line of beauty, skincare products

    • E.l.f. Cosmetics is introducing a limited-run line of makeup and skincare products targeted at the gaming community, according to a news release.
    • The eight-piece Game Up collection is already available on E.l.f.’s website and will hit Target on July 10 and Shoppers Drug Mart, a Canadian retailer, on July 18. Each of the items contains a hidden code that can be redeemed for rewards like points and gift cards by joining E.l.f.’s loyalty program, the Beauty Squad.
    • E.l.f. Is promoting the drop with a live event at an arcade bar in Los Angeles on July 13 that will bring together local gamers for a retro-themed night of competition. The gathering will be livestreamed on E.l.f.’s official Twitch channel, @elfYOU, another ingredient in the brand’s efforts to shore up a position in the quickly diversifying gaming arena.

    E.l.f., which stands for Eyes, Lips, Face, is making another play for the gaming crowd with a limited collection of products that lean on an over-the-top appeal, focusing on electric hues and “high-energy” scents. Items in the Game Up line include eyeliner and eyeshadow; a setting mist; face and lip gloss masks; eye cream; nail polish; and a kit of brushes and other tools for applying makeup. Each bears a name like “Bonus Points” and “Rez-Me” referencing in-game activities and a pixilated version of the E.l.f. branding. Boxes also feature a “cruelty-free bunny” that leaves a trail to a carrot and code that unlock the Beauty Squad loyalty rewards.

    The media strategy supporting Game Up blends an in-person experience with a livestreaming component that could resonate with a group that has a clear preference for channels like Twitch and YouTube. The arcade bar activation, which will bring together top gamers from around Los Angeles, could also be a means to drive more subscribers to E.l.f.’s own Twitch page.

    While gaming is a stationary activity that doesn’t naturally lend itself to getting dressed up, streaming is another story. Plenty of creators draw huge audiences by detailing their makeup and skincare routines and some gaming influencers have become known for their personal style and participating in adjacent hobbies like cosplay.

    E.l.f. was early to recognize that gaming was potentially underserved by the beauty and cosmetics category. It started working with gaming creators in 2020 through a partnership with streamer Kathleen Belsten, or “Loserfruit,” and has built out its strategy from there. At the time, the company said that 70% of its social media followers played video games and 65% reported enjoying watching others stream gaming-related content.

    In May of last year, E.l.f. launched its Twitch channel, claiming to be the first major beauty brand to do so. The marketer introduced a larger platform called “E.l.f. You” that aims to support female gamers in a largely male-dominated field as part of the rollout. Around the same time, it also sponsored a content series on TikTok that called on gamers to show off their skills.

    E.l.f.’s Twitch page today only has a little over 3,000 subscribers, suggesting fostering a native audience can be more challenging — or at least a slower process — than teaming with established creators. Loserfruit, for instance, is estimated to be one of the most-followed female gamers on Twitch with an audience of 2.8 million.

    E.l.f. joins other companies in developing products that recognize the growing prevalence of gaming and the metaverse in consumer culture, particularly among Gen Z. Coca-Cola earlier this year debuted a soda that was intended to taste like pixels in a nod to the gaming community and virtual worlds. Zero Sugar Byte was born of a new Creations platform from the soft drink marketer that seeks to introduce limited-edition experimental flavors on a rolling basis. The beverage was marketed with a custom island in the popular multiplayer title Fortnite.

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