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e.l.f. Beauty CMO Kory Marchisotto on betting on women’s love for live sports

Super popular e.l.f. Beauty brand launched in 2004 to fill a gap in the marketplace for inexpensive but high-quality cosmetics. The initial idea was to sell cosmetics for $1 over the internet. That was before Facebook or iPhones even existed, Kory Marchisotto, chief marketing officer at e.l.f. Beauty and president at Keys Soulcare, explains on The Current Podcast.

Since then, the makeup brand has grown to the point where it sees itself more as a company that offers the “trifecta of beauty, culture and entertainment,” says Marchisotto. To that point, this year the company launched its largest campaign yet — an ad in the Super Bowl. Leaning into Gen Zers’ love of dupes, e.l.f. put overpriced cosmetics on trial with the cast of Suits and Judge Judy herself.

Traditionally, Super Bowl ads don’t tend to cater to women. That’s a missed opportunity, says Marchisotto.

“Our hypothesis was: On that particular stage, women were being underserved. You have, at that time, 115 million people viewing the Big Game, of which 75% said the No. 1 thing that they like about Super Bowl Sunday are the commercials. So you have a highly engaged audience and 50% of that audience is women,” she says on The Current Podcast.

Overall, it’s a passion point for e.l.f., which is empowering women’s sports by partnering with icons like tennis champ Billie Jean King and racing driver Katherine Legge. “We’re very excited about women in sports, and we’ve been in the arena for quite some time. We believe very strongly in supporting this initiative and empowering young women to not only engage in sports, but also stay in sports.”