How Elf Cosmetics Created the Most Influential Campaign on TikTok
When Elf Cosmetics first rolled out its hashtag challenge featuring an original song on TikTok, the brand was trying to test out the platform and see how its customers engaged with the company.
In the end, there were more than 2 million videos created, with over 8 million streams across streaming platforms, a partnership with a record label and a slew of celebrities joining the challenge (unpaid). Elf tapped into a market of consumers it wants to continue engaging at a time when the platform’s ad capabilities are still nascent and brands have a chance to breakthrough in ways it can’t on other social platforms with high brand saturation.
“There were over 3 million views to Elf Cosmetics before we had any brand presence or campaigns [on TikTok],” said Kory Marchisotto, Elf Cosmetics CMO. “We were [wondering]—how can we engage this audience and eyeballs? This was like first, [let’s] prove positive and give it some weight and energy and now we leaned in and broke records and now we’re going to keep going.”
Elf Cosmetics, which is in the middle of a re brand campaign since June, said Marchisotto, wanted to connect with Gen Z and saw TikTok as a natural place to do so—especially since the brand already had an organic presence on the platform. But, Marchisotto added, it was more so Elf going back to its “core DNA” of as a digitally native brand and trying out emerging platforms to reach customers and see what works. On October 4, Elf launched a 6-day hashtag challenge, with a 15-second original song called “Eyes.Lips.Face” by Grammy-award winning songwriter iLL Wayno and Holla FyeSixWun. It was created with Movers+Shakers, an agency dedicated to creating original music for brands. According to TikTok, it’s the first time a brand used original music for a TikTok campaign. Since then, more than two million videos were created on the platform using the hashtag #eyeslipsface, including high-profile unpaid celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Alba, Terry Crews, and James Charles.
“It was an immediate wildfire,” Marchisotto said. “It just went viral, so we decided to lean into fair, so we decided to give the music a life of its own and give it runway which was not the intention. The song was created specifically for the TikTok campaign and then we made it a much bigger campaign on its own.” ….[Read More]
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