Ruonan Zheng
Feb 12, 2019

Tencent game tie-in sends lipstick sales soaring

Cosmetics brand M.A.C. scored a big success with special-edition lipsticks co-branded for the Tencent mobile game 'Honor of Kings'.

Tencent game tie-in sends lipstick sales soaring

It’s a rare case of the mobile game meets cosmetics brand. And it proves that a partnership may not have to make sense to everyone if it generates sales.

Recently, the extremely popular Tencent mobile game “Honor of Kings” (Western version titled “Arena of Valor”) and high-end cosmetics brand M.A.C. released five co-branded limited-edition lipsticks that were available on Tmall, the M.A.C. website, and a WeChat mini-program.

The impetus for the collaboration was inspired by the players’ demand. In an interview with Chinese media LadyMax, M.A.C. China marketing director Weng Yanling shared that they noticed players frequently mentioned the brand name M.A.C. when creating lip colors for their virtual characters in the game. In addition, both M.A.C. and “Honor of Kings” share a similar age demographic—between 18 and 24 years old—and female players overtook males in May 2017 as the dominant gender for “Honor of Kings,” which has more than 200 million monthly players since it first launched in 2015 and became the world’s highest grossing game in 2018, according to app market research firm App Annie.

The partnership moved forward under the lead of M.A.C.’s China team which approached Tencent with the initiative. While most collaborations like this require the go-ahead from the brand headquarters, the local China team, in this case, was given the freedom and support to create a plan.

Photo: Honor of Kings/Weibo

To further boost social buzz surrounding the campaign, stars from the hit reality TV show “Produce 101” were recruited to appear in the campaign. Even though the product is lipstick, the goal of the campaign was to court both female and male consumers. And the brand was able to amplify the message by creating marketing campaigns with a list of social media products within the Tencent ecosystem, including WeChat Moments ads, QQ groups, WeChat H5 pages, and mini-programs.

The mash-up was an overwhelming success. Consumers placed over 14,000 pre-orders across the three platforms, and all five lipstick styles sold out across all sales channels within 24 hours of the launch.

This is not the first time lipstick with local cultural appeal went viral. Last year, a lipstick set from Beijing’s Palace Museum that showcased a Chinese aesthetic became a hot product. It appears companies are increasingly leveraging lipstick to resonate with Chinese consumers, who not only desire to carry a piece of makeup but also an identity in their pocket.

Source:
  

Related Articles

Just Published

7 hours ago

Asia-Pacific new-biz spotlight: WPP leads big six ...

India is only market in top three to record new-business growth in November.

7 hours ago

You don’t need spandex to be a hero: Domino's ...

With World Pizza Day around the corner, Domino's playfully tells customers that this is their chance to help others, not by wearing capes but eating pizza.

7 hours ago

40 Under 40 2022: Rish Gopal, Beacon Communications

The Covid pandemic brought out the best in Gopal, who took the opportunity to showcase his team’s abilities by going above and beyond for clients.

7 hours ago

Move and win roundup: Week of February 6, 2023

Initiative, Orange Line, Shippit and more to come, in our weekly collection of people moves and account news.