E.l.f. goes long-form for meme-heavy holiday 'movie' native to TikTok
Billed as a "movie" native to the app, "Big Mood, Big e.l.f.ing City" comes in three, three-minute installments, each starring influencer Fia James as a character named Ash. After a surprise visit to her best friend doesn't go as planned, Ash explores New York City and eventually links up with other creators, including Kalen Allen and Vanessa Pena, as well as a group of anthropomorphic E.l.f. products: Big Mood, Petty Primer, Camo Cutie and a new offering called Power Grip Primer voiced by creator Adam Ray.
Developed with agency Movers+Shakers, the content is loaded with references to TikTok memes from 2021, with nods to the Couch Guy controversy and a viral salmon bowl recipe. The effort represents an attempt to string together long-form narrative content on an app best known for short-form, disconnected videos.
E.l.f., a frequent early mover on TikTok marketing trends, is taking something of a gamble in centering its holiday messaging on a movie tailored to the app. Users spend most of their time on the platform scrolling through the algorithmically-curated For You Page feed, where they're exposed to quick-hit content that rarely shares a connective tissue. The cosmetics marketer is likely hoping that its reference-heavy, creator-led execution will encourage people to visit its page and view the entire "Big Mood, Big e.l.f.ing City" series.
The push is complemented by a holiday album called "e.l.f. the Hauls" that remixes seasonal staples like "Deck the Halls" and "Jingle Bells" and factors into the soundtrack. E.l.f. first dropped the album last year on Triller, a TikTok rival. It marked the first time a beauty brand launched a campaign on the video-sharing app.