The collection comprised of five lipsticks based on five heroines from the game and was available on Tmall, M.A.C.’s online store, and a WeChat mini program.
Made for gamers
In an interview with Chinese website LadyMax, M.A.C China noted that the game’s 200 million monthly players inspired the idea for the collaboration.
M.A.C. China marketing director Weng Yanling mentioned that players would associate the characters with some of M.A.C.’s iconic lipstick shades.
The brand saw a real opportunity for a hit collection as “Honor of Kings” has a large female following with a similar target demographic as M.A.C. Currently, there are more female players than male players on “Honor of Kings”.
Spearheaded by locals
As an international brand, all M.A.C. partnerships usually have to be greenlit by the brand’s headquarters. In this instance, the brand’s team in China was given autonomy and the freedom to work closely with Tencent to create the collection.
The companies chose only to launch lipsticks as it would be easier to convey the identity of each game character while representing the tonality of the game.
The products were marketed in an equally novel way, using Tencent’s own products such as WeChat Moments ads, QQ groups, WeChat H5 pages and mini-programs.
For instance, M.A.C. utilised Tencent’s AR technology to communicate with fans of the beauty brand and the mobile game. With AR, the “Honour of Kings” lipsticks could be scanned to reveal an interactive avatar.
To further drum up social awareness, the companies engaged reality stars from a local show “Produce 101” to appear in a campaign.
With all this social media buzz, the website experienced almost 30 times more than the daily average when the collection launched.
China appetite for make-up increasing
Demand for colour cosmetics in China is steadily growing. According to the Estée Lauder Companies, parent company of M.A.C., make-up currently represents one-third of the company’s prestige sales in China.
M.A.C. is currently one of the top make-up brands in the country, ranking second in the overall market and is the top-selling prestige make-up brand on Tmall.