E.l.f. Cosmetics pens new song in big bet on O Face lipstick

    • E.l.f. Cosmetics launched a music-oriented campaign supporting the release of its new O Face Satin Lipstick, its biggest bet yet on the lipstick category, according to details shared with Marketing Dive. 
    • The effort includes a partnership with beauty creator Meredith Duxbury, who will host a shoppable livestream via her TikTok channel. The Gen Z beauty retailer also created its second original song, “Lip Positions,” to support the rollout, and is encouraging TikTok users to post using the sound.
    • Created with Movers + Shakers, the campaign includes digital elements and the brand’s first out-of-home activations in Chicago and Dallas. The strategy follows other social media-heavy moves made by the brand in pursuit of its younger target audience.


    In the chase for Gen Z loyalty, E.l.f. often turns to social media — and particularly TikTok — for its marketing. E.l.f. unveiled its O Face lipstick on TikTok with brand ambassador Duxbury, who is known for sharing her makeup application process that typically ends with a bold lip.

    A lineup of other influencers has promoted the product on the ByteDance-owned app, each to the tune of “Lip Positions.” Rounding out the effort, Duxbury will host a shoppable TikTok livestream, seeing E.l.f. bet on a social commerce area that has been relatively slow to grow and even seen a pullback from other platforms including Facebook.

    “This is e.l.f. Cosmetics biggest lipstick launch yet, and we’re going all in,” said E.l.f. CMO Kory Marchisotto in a press statement around the launch. Marchisotto also emphasized the lipstick’s price point of $9 as a draw.

    With “Lip Positions,” E.l.f. is looking for another big music hit. The company in 2019 turned its abbreviation — eyes, lips, face — into a song, which was written and recorded by Holla FyeSixWun and Grammy Award-winning songwriter iLL Wayno. The tune was part of the first branded hashtag challenge on TikTok to feature an original song. 

    The “Lip Positions” challenge encourages users to share a lips-only “dance” on TikTok to the song’s lyrics, aligning with the O Face name’s raunchy positioning. A post by Duxbury demonstrating her moves had accrued over 100,000 views by press time. 

    E.l.f. isn’t the only brand looking to original songwriting to build awareness and chase online virality. McDonald’s last year partnered with rapper Tisakorean to create an original beat celebrating the Sprite dispensed by the chain’s fountain machines. Last July, Applebee’s released an original song, titled “Taste My Face,” to mark the rollout of its collection of wing sauce-inspired lip glosses. E.l.f. has also expanded into other mediums to connect with younger consumers, including through a limited-run line of makeup and skincare products that targeted the gaming community.

    The latest E.l.f. campaign follows the beauty brand’s Super Bowl debut in February with an ad starring actor Jennifer Coolidge. The spot showcased E.l.f.’s TikTok-viral Power Grip Primer.


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