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Brief Published: 23 Jan 2020

Asian Beauty Brands Embrace Generation Gaming

Maybelline x QQ Dancing

Gaming is an integral part of youth culture, and the category is continuing to rapidly grow – the global games market generated $152.1bn in 2019 alone (Newzoo, 2019). Beauty brands are seeking innovative ways to target individuals from the Game Nation tribe. We highlight successful product development and marketing strategies in Asia.

  • Characterised Fragrances: As we explore in What’s Next for Beauty Tech, smart brands are experimenting with artificial-intelligence (AI) tools within new product development.

    Japanese production company Scenery Scent, which specialises in sensory gaming experiences, is tapping into this concept with a Spring 2020 collection of perfumes inspired by (as yet unnamed) anime game characters’ personalities. An algorithm helps establish the key characteristics of each player, which a team of perfumers will then interpret into notes.

    Scenery Scent’s perfumes bridge the boundaries between the physical and digital worlds, and connects people to their favourite characters online through a tangible product. As consumers directly engage with alternative realities, brands should create products that align with their digital selves.

  • Gaming as a Gateway: Cult make-up brands, such as Mac Cosmetics, are developing engagement strategies to expand their reach in different regions. In China, people living in lower-tiered cities, such as Yangzhou, have previously been ignored by brands, and find it challenging to access international goods and services.

    In May 2019, US make-up brand Maybelline collaborated with internet giant Tencent’s Chinese mobile app QQ Dancing to drive sales in lower-tier cities. On the app, users scanned their face via mobile camera and were transformed into one of the game’s avatars. They were encouraged to trial three shades of Maybelline’s lipsticks digitally and show their look on a virtual stage that was livestreamed in the brand’s stores.

    In order to be successful, brands must creatively expand their reach by fostering digital communities. Stylus’ Media & Marketing editor, Julia Errens, said: “Digital hangouts let these people spend time with peers and brands in games, regardless of the supposed lower-tiered status of their geolocation.”

To learn more about casual gaming in China and how the genre is impacting Western markets, see Pop Culture Round-Up: Autumn 2019  and Unmaking Engagement.