e.l.f. Leverages Botched Jeopardy Moment to Livestream New Product Innovation

Liz Dominguez
Managing Editor
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Several products from elf cosmetics

For Women’s History Month, e.l.f. Cosmetics is partnering up with livestream shopping app, NTWRK, and celebrity jewelry designer, Georgina Trevino, to launch “ears.lips.face” — a new campaign for the company’s first-ever jewelry launch. 

The campaign plays off an incorrect guess by Jeopardy! contestant Matt Amodio on the meaning of e.l.f.’s acronym — which he defined as “ears, lips, face.” instead of “eyes, lips, face.”

The botched guess created a flurry of responses on social media, which the cosmetics company embraced by launching its first piece of jewelry: a handmade butterfly ear cuff with a contemporary design.

[Related: Inside e.l.f. Beauty’s Renegade Culture Courtesy of its Digital Power Couple]

TWRK premiered the limited edition e.l.f. ear cuff in a special drawing on the NTWRK app on March 8 for International Women’s Day. On March 15, at 2:30 p.m. PST, e.l.f. Cosmetics will give away ten ear cuffs to winners announced live on NTWRK by designer Georgina and on-air host Kylie Mar. 

New e.l.f. ear cuff

Additionally, e.l.f. Cosmetics is donating $1 per entry (up to $25,000) to non-profit Project Glimmer, which is dedicated to inspiring girls to envision and realize an empowered future.

According to the company, Georgina chose the butterfly as a symbol of beauty, transformation, and transition, giving the ear piece a “girly but punk” aesthetic, to represent bravery, boldness, and empowerment. 

Trevino was chosen as part of e.l.f.’s mission to empower emerging creators, said the company. During the livestream, Trevino will tell the story of how she drew from personal inspiration and her design process for e.l.f.’s first jewelry line. 

The ear cuff features an accessory that is engraved with two e.l.f.-isms, “e.l.f. love” and “e.l.f. made” — it can be attached or worn separately on the other ear.

Gayitri Budhraja, chief brand officer of e.l.f. Beauty said the company’s ears “perked up” when hearing Matt Amodio’s guess. 

“We are always looking for unexpected ways to engage and entertain our fans, and transcend beauty boundaries and own our place in culture,” said Budhraja. “We are excited to launch the e.l.f. ear cuff as it gives us the opportunity to celebrate women with a unique piece of jewelry made by a talented woman designer and use an innovative shopping platform to bring this to life.”

The cosmetics company took full advantage of its viral moment, changing its branding across all its socials for 24 hours to reflect Amodio’s guess, and presenting him with a check for the $8,000 he’d lost as a result of the error, which he donated to Dress for Success.

A Look at e.l.f.'s Digital Marketing Strategy

The company has a history of embracing a digital-first approach that focuses on emerging technologies, particularly in its efforts to create more personalized experiences. 

The company spoke on the topic during CGT’s Consumer Goods Sales & Marketing Summit (CGSM) this past year. Kory Marchisotto, CMO of e.l.f. Beauty, was named one of CGT’s 2021 CMO of the Year winners for consumer engagement excellence.

Additionally, e.l.f. has routinely leveraged social media and trending platforms like Triller to elevate its efforts, with marketing campaigns spanning across a wide range of themes and holiday season-inspired content, including a five-track holiday album, “e.l.f. the Hauls” in December of 2020. 

“It's the consumer-facing platforms, but it's also the foundational stuff that doesn't happen overnight,” said Ekta Chopra, e.l.f. chief digital officer and aCGT Visionary, on the topic of technology during CGSM 2021. “It takes building blocks, and it's a journey. And those platforms have to have a flexible architecture — it has to have data pipelines that can be enabled and disabled as quickly as you want them to be. It has to have integrations that are on demand.”  

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