Using TikTok’s three-minute feature, released in July, elf aims to weave the year’s top trends into a longer narrative than it could with standard one-minute (or shorter) videos from the platform. Nevertheless, the success of the campaign will largely depend on the willingness of users to engage with longer form content on an application that specializes in short form content.
“We take a look at what’s new and current on the platform and test and learn and find out what works [and] what doesn’t work, ”O’Keefe said.
TikTok continues to be at the heart of elf’s marketing as the brand searches for trendy new ways to connect with its young audience. In 2019 and 2020, elf racked up billions of views which helped it make headway against bigger competitors like L’Oréal and Estée Lauder Cos. Its accessibility and roots in e-commerce also contributed to its success during the pandemic.
See Ad Age year 2021 in review here.
Elsewhere, the brand has dipped its toes into other forms of digital marketing, such as NFTs. For his holiday campaign last year, he created an original album that has recorded over 37 million streams on social platforms like Triller, TikTok and YouTube.
“What we learned last year is that entertainment, music and what makes the TikTok community tick is really what [users] Love to see, ”said O’Keefe.
Musical partnerships have prolonged these efforts. In September 2020, elf signed a deal with Alicia Keys to launch a new skincare line in 2021. She teamed up with rapper Tierra Whack last August for a mascara product called “Big Mood” – which is referenced in the title of the new movie TikTok.