- E.l.f. Cosmetics launched a Roblox experience designed to teach financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills to the online platform’s young user base, per a press release.
- Developed with metaverse games publisher Supersocial and esports agency eGEN, E.l.f. Up! lets users create “dream startups” and features locations inspired by the brand’s products. The experience will be expanded over time, including with new venues to explore.
- E.l.f. is also giving away over 1 million user-generated Roblox items, beginning with ones that reference its Holy Grail collection. E.l.f. continues to crack into gaming, a category that has not typically seen a lot of beauty and cosmetics brands but is important to Gen Z.
E.l.f.’s first Roblox experience responds to a perceived entrepreneurial streak in Gen Z, seeking to imbue the cohort with the skills needed to succeed in a changing economy. The announcement referenced BazaarVoice research that found nearly two-thirds (62%) of the demographic either currently identifies as or intends to become entrepreneurs, as well as recent World Economic Forum findings that reveal “creative, analytical thinking and coding are the key skill sets for today’s workplace.”
The cosmetics marketer is attempting to liven up what could be dry subject matter through gamification. Roblox has emerged as a key venue for engaging young gamers, but E.l.f. Up! is positioned as a more purposeful form of entertainment. The idea is to not pursue the typical route of “tycoons” but instead business ideas tied to places and causes the player cares about.
“[The] e.l.f. UP! experience on Roblox isn’t just another game; it’s a virtual breeding ground for tomorrow’s artists, activists and changemakers,” said Yonatan Raz-Fridman, founder and CEO of partner Supersocial, in a press statement. “It combines social impact with community-driven creativity, setting the stage for a new kind of social entrepreneurship in the virtual world.”
At launch, E.l.f. Up! includes spaces that draw on the brand’s core offerings, including a Big Mood recording studio/karaoke bar; a Holy Hydration! marine life charity and animal rescue; a Halo Glow jewelry and art gallery; and a Power Grip climbing gym that doubles as a tech startup. The virtual venues are populated by non-playable characters with distinctive personalities. Looking ahead, E.l.f. plans to add a pet adoption center providing users with animal companions, along with additional game mechanics and multilingual options.
The E.l.f. Up! rollout demonstrates that some marketers are still investing in the metaverse even as broader hype around the category cools considerably. Roblox has been a rare winner in the metaverse race as other digital platforms focus less on far-flung virtual futures and more on current-day fundamentals. The company, which is publicly traded, beat analyst estimates in Q3 results posted earlier this week. Daily active users, an important metric of platform health, were up 20% year-over-year to 70.2 million, while revenue gains were similarly strong.
E.l.f.’s bets on Roblox align with its growing overtures to gamers, an enthusiast group that has not historically been a priority for the beauty category. The cosmetics company first dabbled in the waters in 2020 through partnerships with Twitch streamers but has built out its playbook over time with a gaming-centric branded content series on TikTok and a themed beauty and skincare line.