NYX Professional Makeup is driven by its community, with a mission to provide “accessible tools for unstoppable self-expression” to all skin types, genders, and sexual orientation. “For all walks of life. The right side is the bright side,” the company says on its e-commerce site.
The brand was created for beauty lovers, beauty creators, and more. Now, NYX Professional Makeup is meeting its fans in the metaverse, which is a familiar place for its Gen Z and Gen Alpha customers.
NYX Professional Makeup is no stranger to the metaverse. “When we think about the metaverse experience and the importance of the metaverse experience, I believe, it's really built around identity and self-expression," said Maya Kosovalic, Vice President of Digital Innovation and E-Commerce at NYX Professional Makeup.
Over the years, before this most recent entry into Roblox, NYX Professional Makeup and the metaverse crossed paths through various activations, including through their virtual storefront with Snap a few years ago, and last year, partnering with The Sandbox to put on the first-ever Meta Pride. Now, its most recent initiative involves Roblox with the House of NYX Professional Makeup inside iHeartland. The House of NYX Professional Makeup experience in Roblox’s iHeartland features an obstacle course and opportunities to acquire products for avatars using Robucks.
“What we know is that the younger generation, particularly Gen Alpha and Gen Z, over-index in gaming in a very significant way," said Kosovalic. “For them, this is really a form of social media, and this generation is growing up not as digital natives, but truly as metaverse natives. What we’re answering in the virtual spaces is that we’re continuing to engage our community. We're simply continuing our promise of supplying accessible tools for unstoppable self-expression no matter where they might be.”
"When we think about engagement and gamified brand engagement, we wanted to partner with a platform where the primary cohort that’s engaging with these spaces—Gen Z and Gen Alpha—over-index in gaming, and Roblox happens to be the platform that’s dominant in that space,” Kosovalic added. “In terms of building awareness and engaging with our community, this is why it made sense for us to partner with Roblox.”
NYX Professional Makeup recently launched the new experience. “We have a fun obstacle course that you can enter through the House of NYX Professional Makeup. The obstacle course is fun, engaging, and gamified. It’s where our participants play and have fun and try to complete the obstacle course in record time for a chance to win a House of NYX Professional Makeup hoverboard for all their iHeartland travel,” Kosovalic said.
The primary objective of the Roblox iHeartland experience is gamified brand engagement. “I believe the richer and deeper that brand engagement, the stronger the brand awareness lift will be with this cohort. Ultimately, rich and deep brand engagement and fun and new innovative ways will help break the clutter and ultimately lead to revenue,” Kosovalic said.
“If we think about e-commerce, we used to talk about online and offline, and at some point there was the revelation that there is no line, that the consumer is just shopping, and sometimes they’re shopping online and sometimes they’re shopping offline," she said. “When we think about the metaverse and gaming, digital identity and physical identity, for this generation, it’s all just identity. And so, just as we provide accessible tools for limitless self-expression in the IRL world, we’re testing and learning in this space to see how our community wants to self-express.”
NYX Professional Makeup has launched three different makeup looks, which are available in iHeartland. Fans play and win points and iHeartbucks that can be redeemed for makeup looks. Most recently, Kosovalic said that they “launched five for-purchase items that are available in Roblox and avatar shops. They’re brand-agnostic purchase places and they can go with you anywhere within Roblox. The items are cute little cult products that pull from our brand cues, and also styles that our community would want to play with and experiment with. When we get into test and learn mode, we’ll see with what they engage and what they’re choosing to do and how they [outfit] their avatars with these cult items. We'll be seeing what resonates most with them. The items are available in the Roblox avatar shop as well as a cute little storefront at the base of the House of NYX Professional Makeup. My personal favorite is the pink varsity jacket.”
There’s a variety of items across beauty and other categories that fans can acquire, “all with the color cues of the NYX Professional Makeup brand, of course," Kosovalic said. “So, this is truly a test and learn. It’s an iterative process. We launched the House of NYX Professional Makeup in December. Now, we've added the obstacle course. What we’re seeing today is that the response is very positive. Fans are spending over 45% of their time in iHeartland in House of NYX Professional Makeup, and engaging with the brand.”
Kosovalic believes the time fans spend on the obstacle course will increase, because it takes multiple times to master. “The obstacle course takes six or seven minutes to complete, once you know how to complete it. But in order to complete it, you have to practice again and again, so it’s truly a deep, rich brand experience and we’re continuously looking at results and engagement rates. We’ll work with our partners at iHeartland and Roblox to see how long we’ll keep iterating as we continue to support the experience.”
Beyond the House of NYX Professional Makeup experience, there’s also live concerts happening within iHeartland. “This is also an extension of our IRL brand entertainment positioning, where we have historically sponsored music festivals,” she said. “So here, we’re now extending that promise, if you will, to our community, within virtual spaces. In short, it’s a process, we’re testing and learning, and as long as our community wants to engage, we’ll continue engaging with them in the space of their choice.”
The makeup looks in iHeartland were inspired by makeup looks that are available at NYX Professional Makeup IRL. “In fact, when we launched the experience, we were also offering IRL makeup bundles to recreate the looks IRL,” Kosovalic added. “As we think about our community, there’s interest in what’s called digital twins. We’re definitely looking to explore that space. We offer avatars, and the ability to also purchase the same look for yourself, so you and your avatar have the same look.
The experience is free. The makeup looks available in iHeartland are play to earn, so it doesn’t cost money—you play inside the game and you build energy and unlock that for iHeart bucks to then redeem different things like the makeup looks. “For things that are available to purchase, there’s an avatar shop where it’s all priced between 75 and 125 Robucks, which, based on the exchange rate, is about 50 cents. It’s very, very accessible,” Kosovalic said.
Last year, NYX Professional Makeup put on the first-ever MetaPride and partnered on an experience inside the Sandbox called The Valley of Belonging. As part of that experience, the company dropped a collection of avatars, which were also NFTs. The avatars had 36 different skin tones with every ethnicity and every religion, available for purchase as NFTs, that the community could then use “to play in the Sandbox and experience The Valley of Belonging in a place that was safely accessible no matter where they live,” said Kosovalic.
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