- E.l.f. Cosmetics plans to introduce the first reality show on social video app TikTok, while giving creators a chance to represent the beauty brand. "Eyes. Lips. Famous." will stream from the @elfyeah channel on TikTok starting in late September, an announcement said.
- E.l.f. is asking TikTok users to create videos that explain why they should be chosen to win a $5,000 brand sponsorship contract and appear on the program. To enter, they must follow the @elfyeah account and upload the videos so they're publicly visible by Aug. 20. E.l.f. is requiring the videos have the @elfyeah handle and #eyeslipsfamous hashtag in the caption.
- Beauty influencers Avani Gregg, Madi Monroe and Seth O'Brien will judge the entrants and announce the three winners in a TikTok duet, a feature of the app that lets users make split-screen videos with other creators. The month-long "Eyes. Lips. Famous." program will show the winners of the contest attending a virtual "beauty camp" with the influencers and other beauty experts, and asks viewers to participate in weekly challenges.
E.l.f.'s contest seeking brand ambassadors for the first TikTok reality show represents a novel strategy to engage its most loyal customers and generate publicity ahead of the premiere of "Eyes. Lips. Famous" next month. By developing original TikTok programming, E.l.f. can have creative control over video content that prolongs exposure to its messaging while demonstrating how social influencers use its products in their beauty routines.
The reality show is a sign that TikTok continues to expand into longer-form streaming after developing an identity as a platform for sharing viral videos limited to 15 seconds. The move positions the platform to compete more directly with Google's YouTube, which gives creators broad latitude to develop shows that extend viewership times and increase the likelihood that audiences see advertising.
TikTok this month made its first push into streaming TV with the launch of a channel on Amazon Fire TV, though it's not clear whether E.l.f.'s "Eyes. Lips. Famous." will appear in a programming lineup that includes playlists and compilations of popular videos. The app has two content categories, including "In the Studio" to show longer interviews with TikTok stars and "This Is TikTok" focused on everyday creators.
E.l.f.'s reality show on TikTok follows an especially active year for the brand's promotional efforts on the social video app owned by Chinese technology firm ByteDance. E.l.f. on several campaigns has featured original music for TikTok users to incorporate as soundtracks in their videos, helping to convey its brand messaging among millions of consumers.
E.l.f. in October rolled out its first hashtag challenge on TikTok to urge people to share videos backed by an original composition, a successful campaign that returned in March with a remixed version raising awareness around the coronavirus pandemic. The brand followed that effort in May with a dance challenge for another product and an #elfMagicAct challenge that asked TikTok users to post videos of themselves being magically transformed by its Poreless Putty Primer.
With the announcement of "Eyes. Lips. Famous," the cosmetics marketer is continuing to bet heavily on TikTok, even as the app faces the threat of a U.S. ban. The Trump administration on Friday issued an executive order that demands ByteDance divest TikTok's U.S. operations and any data accrued by the app or its predecessor, Musical.ly, by Nov. 12.
E.l.f. isn't the only one to turn to TikTok in search of the next generation of talente creators. Simon Fuller, the music producer who developed reality competition show "American Idol," this month partnered with TikTok to find singers to join a pop supergroup. Fuller will look for undiscovered artists for global music collective, making them "the most connected pop group ever," he said.