The COVID-19 pandemic saw gaming communities surge thanks to a consumer need for engagement, community, and stress-relieving escapism. Looking to gaming as a source of inspiration keeps beauty brands connected to a dynamic area of pop culture, where technology, play, and social media converge. In particular, games like Animal Crossing excelled during the pandemic, with a combination of innocent, world-building role play and friendly, pastel aesthetics that fulfilled a consumer desire for a cheerful outlet.
Several brands, from Tatcha to Gillette to Givenchy, partnered with the popular game within its digital universe, while Colourpop recently brought the world to life via a new makeup palette featuring colors, characters, and designs from the game. In addition to Animal Crossing, fellow role playing games The Sims and Fortnite also saw beauty brand collaborations, with Mac partnering with The Sims for a digital-avatar themed palette. E.l.f. Cosmetics recently partnered with gaming streamer Kathleen Belsten on Twitch, taking advantage of a massive, untapped market of Gen-Z female gamers.
Going beyond makeup collections, tech brands are joining forces to create innovative gaming kits that are suitable for underserved communities, such as adaptive gaming kits for the disabled. Lastly, tech advancements like L’Oreal’s interactive, gamified lenses, or playable, live-chat formats like Twitch, have helped beauty brands interact and engage with their consumers on a meaningful level, creating authentic connections that influence the competitive digital landscape.
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