E.l.f Cosmetics and E.l.f Skin are joining Roblox with the same go-big-or-go-home approach for which the brands have become known.
The company’s entry onto the platform is through a game called “E.l.f UP.” It centers on a tycoon-style open world, allowing users to play entrepreneurs by operating a shop and earning Robux, which is Roblox’s virtual currency. At the onset, users can choose from four shops, each of which is related to E.l.f. Cosmetics products. They include the “Big Mood” recording studio, named after the brand’s mascara, and the “Power Grip” climbing gym and tech startup named after its makeup primer. The evergreen game will evolve as the brand solicits community feedback.
Roblox lets creators make experiences that are recommended for people of all ages, people 9 years old and up or people 13 years old and up — recommendations are based on the content and complexity of activity. Though E.l.f Cosmetics’ Roblox experience is geared for anyone and everyone, 22% of Roblox users are 17-24 years old and 55% are older than age 13. Roblox has 70.2 million daily active users, according to its latest earnings report released on Wednesday.
“This is about relationship building and creating an orbit that people want to be a part of, and want to return to over and over again, and want to tell other people to join,” said Kory Marchisotto, CMO of E.l.f. Beauty. “People who don’t know our brand quickly become fans … This is another world where people will be wowed by E.l.f’s service to their unique needs, wants and desires.”
E.l.f’s expansion to Roblox is not surprising, given the brand’s embrace of other digital media and community-driven platforms like Twitch, NFTs and video challenge competitions on TikTok. Marchisotto said every activation further drives the brand’s mission around encouraging self-expression, empowerment and embodying ethical stances. Several other fashion and beauty brands have debuted on Roblox, including Fenty Beauty, PacSun, Claire’s, Urban Decay and NYX Cosmetics.
Roblox shared its third-quarter earnings on Wednesday, reporting a 20% year-over-year boost on average daily active users. Users spent more than 16 billion hours engaged in Roblox during the second quarter, up 20% year over year.
For its part, E.l.f Beauty, the parent company of E.l.f Cosmetics and E.l.f. Skin, reported its 2024 fiscal second-quarter earnings on Nov. 1, raising its full-year guidance for a second quarter in a row after beating expectations. Sales rose to $215.5 million, up 76% year-over-year. The company now expects full-year adjusted earnings to be between $144 million and $146 million, up from its previous projections of $125 million to $127 million.
Marchisotto declined to share E.l.f.’s investment in Roblox. Over the past four years, E.l.f. Beauty has increased its marketing investment from 7% of net sales to 22%, according to its earnings report.
Brad Timmons, managing director for esports agency and consultancy Egen Sports, which worked with E.l.f. Cosmetics to develop its Roblox presence, said E.l.f Cosmetics opted to create a tycoon-style game because it is generally fun and easy to comprehend. Additionally, E.l.f Cosmetics is supplying users with 1 million free virtual items to use in the game, such as a Power Grip Primer VR headset, which would otherwise require users to spend Robux to own.
“We’ve given the players and the community a significant amount of choice at the start, but it is a living organism and will be something that we continue to evolve daily,” he said.
E.l.f. has launched a robust promotion strategy to accompany the launch which includes partnerships with influencers across YouTube, TikTok, livestream gaming and Roblox. Marchisotto said the major KPIs out of the gate are community feedback and sentiment — quantifiable success metrics will redeveloped at a later stage. It’s a similar approach E.l.f Cosmetics took to TikTok when it “jumped into the deep end” before many other brands, she said. E.l.f Cosmetics will solicit feedback through social media followers and its pre-existing Discord community channel.
“The power of the metaverse is more about creating a seamless, unified experience that fluidly allows somebody to move from one environment to the other: physical, digital and back again,” she said.