E.l.f. Cosmetics plans to have a giant presence at this weekend’s SXSW festival, which kicks off today 10 in Austin, Tex. The brisk growing beauty brand activates a three-pronged approach at the popular festival.
In conjunction with Perfect Corp., E.l.f. will debut on YouCam Makeup app’s first-ever augmented reality live-stream beauty network at SXSW. The festival has emerged as a hotbed of innovation in fashion, tech and beauty, making it a good fit to unveil the live-stream channel called YouCam Live (http://smarturl.it/ymk_US_29).
E.l.f. will also host its own panel at SXSW on March 11 called “Enthusiasm vs. Influence: The Power of Community.” The speakers include three microinfluencers along with E.l.f’s Mara McCune, vice president of brand and marketing. The group will discuss the beauty companies’ strategy to involve and empower a spectrum of online voices — not just the six-figure influencers.
The final component is E.l.f.’s second annual Beautyscape, a weekend destination for makeup enthusiasts to create, play and cultivate. Scheduled influencers include Frankie Grande, Patrick Starrr and celebrity makeup artist Mélanie Inglessis.
Launched last year at E.l.f.’s headquarters in San Francisco, Beautyscape has been integrated into SXSW this year. Thirty of E.l.f.’s most influential consumers were selected to be part of Beautyscape this year. Last year’s activation reached a combined community of 53 million across social media platforms and provided E.l.f. with valuable consumer insights to fuel new product activity.
“By hosting this year’s Beautyscape event in Austin during SXSW, we are able to access some of the most forward-thinking, innovative programming and build this into our weekend,” McCune explained. “Extending our activation to include SXSW programming and live-streaming through the YouCam app are two key ways we are scaling.”
McCune said the company partnered with YouCam because the technology platform is a good match for E.l.f., which has always engaged makeup fans digitally and through social media. “YouCam is paving the way for a new age of interactive beauty content, which we know our passionate makeup enthusiasts will love,” she said.
YouCam will stream the Beautyscape events and have a home at E.l.f.’s Beauty Break Lounge at SXSW, allowing everyone to tune in — not just festival attendees. “Beautyscape is the perfect vehicle to authentically connect with our community and by partnering with YouCam we are now able to bring this exclusive content to millions more consumers watching at home through the YouCam AR live-stream offering,” McCune explained.
Adam Gam, vice president of marketing for Perfect Corp., the parent of YouCam, said the live-stream will enable beauty enthusiasts to interact with influencers and explore augmented reality filters in real-time. “Viewers can join in on the fun by trying on the AR looks, styles and trends virtually through the YouCam app and also test and shop beauty products from brands such as E.l.f. directly from their phones,” he said.
E.l.f. and YouCam cemented a relationship last December, collaborating with the mobile application to add E.l.f. to virtual makeover looks, the first mass market line to launch on YouCam. “E.l.f. is a perfect fit for us because they are truly a tech savvy cosmetics brand,” said Gam, including that it adds a new element of interactive beauty to the partnership. “We’re doing a full takeover with E.l.f. and the brand’s top beauty influencers and winners of their Beautyscape social contest. We will be live-streaming, revealing their favorite beauty picks, best looks, trends and more,” Gam said.
The weekend festivities are expected to attract event-goers interested in building their own community or building an engaged following for their brand, McCune said. “Born as an e-commerce company over a decade ago, E.l.f. has created a modern consumer engagement model that keeps our consumers engaged as brand ambassadors. We have successfully involved and empowered a spectrum of online voices that have helped to grow the E.l.f. brand virtually through strong word of mouth,” she said.
E.l.f. just reported full-year earnings for 2016, which came with news of a more than 50 percent shelf space increase for the brand at Target. E.l.f. has a 14.4 percent unit share and 8 percent dollar share of Target’s color cosmetics market, according to E.l.f. chief executive officer Tarang Amin. He credited the Beautyscape program as a growth driver.