Beyond the Super Bowl: e.l.f. Beauty’s Cultural Impact

CMO Kory Marchisotto on the importance of timing and cultural relevance

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Fresh off its groundbreaking 2024 Super Bowl ad, which captivated millions with its innovative approach, Kory Marchisotto, CMO of e.l.f. Beauty and president of Keys Soulcare, gives an inside look at what makes e.l.f. Beauty not just a brand, but a cultural icon.

In this episode of The Speed of Culture, Matt Britton sits down with Marchisotto to discuss the strategic decision-making behind e.l.f. Beauty’s Super Bowl ads, emphasizing the importance of timing and cultural relevance. She also shares her views on brand values, consumer engagement and the innovative approach e.l.f. Beauty takes towards marketing and product development.

Listen to Kory Marchisotto on The Speed of Culture podcast and gain insights into e.l.f. Beauty’s innovative marketing strategies.

Key takeaways:

  • 4:02 – 7:15 Strategic Super Bowl participation
    e.l.f. Beauty’s strategic approach to Super Bowl advertising is a masterclass in market readiness, audience understanding and leveraging cultural moments. By waiting until it had established a significant digital presence and deep audience insights over 18 years, e.l.f. Beauty made a calculated move to expand its reach. This underscores the importance of knowing when your brand is ready for big-league advertising, ensuring that such investments are both timely and impactful.
  • 4:39 – Value proposition and quality
    e.l.f. Beauty’s success in balancing high-quality products with affordability showcases the effectiveness of a strong value proposition. This strategy has broadened its appeal, demonstrating that high standards don’t have to come with high prices. Brands should aim to communicate the harmony between quality and affordability, attracting cost-conscious consumers without compromising on product excellence.
  • 7:16 – Maintaining the ethos of disruption
    e.l.f. Beauty’s ethos of “born to disrupt” is a testament to its innovative approach in the beauty industry. Marchisotto emphasizes the importance of bold actions in marketing, likening it to “shooting three-point shots early” to create compelling narratives for the brand. Brands should not shy away from taking calculated risks to stand out in a crowded market, using bold and unique storytelling to captivate and engage its audience.
  • 17:02 – 18:13 Aligning value with values:
    Marchisotto stresses e.l.f. Beauty’s commitment to providing value without compromising on values. e.l.f. Beauty’s commitment to ethical practices, such as offering cruelty-free products, aligns its brand values with those of its target audience, particularly the younger demographic. This alignment not only enhances brand trustworthiness but also builds a deeper connection with consumers. Brands should ensure its operations and messaging reflect its core values to remain relatable and trustworthy.
  • 18:20 – 20:25 Community and consumer-centric approach
    e.l.f. Beauty’s active engagement and co-creation with its community, especially through platforms like TikTok and Roblox, highlight the power of consumer feedback. By integrating consumer insights into product development and marketing, e.l.f. Beauty has cultivated a loyal customer base. Brands looking to achieve similar success should establish a continuous feedback loop, ensuring their offerings resonate with and meet the evolving needs of its audience.