This month, beauty brand e.l.f. Cosmetics announced in partnership with its e.l.f. SKIN skincare collection has launched e.l.f. UP!, which is the brand’s first-ever digital experience on the online game platform and game creation system Roblox. e.l.f. UP! allows players to “create dream startups that represent places and causes they care most about,” shared e.l.f. Cosmetics VP of Integrated Marketing Communications, Patrick O’Keefe, and bring e.l.f. “brands to life in ways that are not possible in the physical world, while also providing a digital sandbox for fostering creativity and entrepreneurship.”
To learn more about the unique launch, CosmeticsDesign spoke to O’Keefe about the concept behind e.l.f. UP!, the brand’s primary goals behind the launch, and plans for further expansion and development in the intersection between beauty and the digital space.
Behind e.l.f. UP!
The idea behind the digital experience, which allows users to explore different digital spaces and become their own virtual entrepreneurs, was founded partly about the e.l.f. community itself. “Our community was asking for us to be on Roblox, and we also follow insights,” said O’Keefe. For example, he shared, “Roblox’s 2023 Digital Expression: Fashion & Beauty Trends Report highlighted that, ‘88% of Gen-Z believe freedom to express themselves in the digital realm has helped them become more comfortable at expressing themselves in the physical world,’” and “according to World Economic Forum’s 2023 Future of Jobs Report, ‘creative, analytical thinking and coding are the key skill sets for today’s workplace.’”
Therefore, he continued, “Our goal was to create a world that takes users on a dynamic, personalized journey to become successful entrepreneurs and cultural changemakers.” To that end, the e.l.f. UP! experience features digital experiences where users can explore and express themselves where they feel the most comfortable, interested, and engaged, including virtual recording studio and karaoke bar, Big Mood, extreme climbing gym and tech startup Power Grip, and underwater sea life charity and animal rescue Holy Hydration!, each of which are inspired by currently available e.l.f. Cosmetics or e.l.f. SKIN products.
The focus on integrating a spirit of entrepreneurship is essential to the framework of the virtual experience, added O’Keefe, as “a recent study by Bazaarvoice reported that 62% of Gen-Z are either entrepreneurs already or aspire to become entrepreneurs.” Therefore, he continued, “the highly personalized experience fosters an advanced level of self-expression while building life skills like gamified financial literacy and raising social awareness that users will continue to flex each time they return to e.l.f. UP!.”
Connecting with the e.l.f. Cosmetics consumer
“We want e.l.f. UP! to be a place that our community loves to experience and play,” said O’Keefe, because “e.l.f. is for Every eye, lip, face, paw, and fin.” By launching its digital experience on Roblox, a platform with over 70 million daily average users as of Q3 2023, according to Statista, the brand can, therefore, be even more accessible and afford users who might not be familiar with the brand an opportunity to experience and interact with e.l.f. Cosmetics and e.l.f. SKIN product-inspired content for the first time.
While Roblox’s fastest growing user demographic is people between the ages of 17 and 24, the platform hosts 40 million users over the age of 13, a statistic that lends itself to the creation of e.l.f. UP!. Shared O’Keefe, “What we love about e.l.f. UP! is that its spans across generations, and we have heard many stories of parents playing it with their GenZ kids, which warms our hearts.” This shared experience, he added, is “what e.l.f. is about: disrupting norms, shaping culture and connecting communities through positivity, inclusivity and accessibility.”
The future of e.l.f. UP!
The brand plans to continue celebrating “bold disruptors with kind hearts, elevating up-and-coming creators, supporting their voices and vision by giving them a platform to showcase their best e.l.f.,” said O’Keefe. To do so, e.l.f. Cosmetics will be “ unleashing the potential of every player, giving them the tools to build, create and self-express in addition to partnering with key Roblox creators like ItsFunneh/The Krew, Lana, TeraBrite, and more,” who will “tap into what e.l.f. UP! represents, by merging gameplay with exciting messaging on what it means to become a changemaker,” he explained.
There are also additional plans for further development in this space. “e.l.f. UP! will continue to evolve,” O’Keefe confirmed, and “future developments will include a pet adoption center where users can adopt animals to join their journey, new game mechanics, more areas inspired by new products and launches, a multi-lingual rollout, and more.”