Daily Insights

I Want It, I GoT It

By: Alizah Asif Farooqi | Apr 12, 2019

Urban Decay is getting in on Game of Thrones fever by unleashing a limited-edition makeup line dedicated to the hit show. Here’s how the brand used digital to make the move more than just hype.

The dramatic Game of Thrones vibe is perfectly on-brand for Urban Decay, which is known for bold, colorful looks. The House Lannister section of the palette gleams with shades of gold, while House Stark makes use of mysterious mattes and the Mother of Dragon highlight palette features single dragon eggs etched into each swatch, There are also holographic transformer shades users can swipe on to transform their look from fire to ice.

Drama and dragons aside, the makeup line is luring makeup and GoT lovers alike on social media as well. Demos and first looks of the line were a key part of Urban Decay’s promotional strategy. Four YouTube videos introducing the new looks have garnered nearly 100K views since they were uploaded just two weeks ago. The brand also heavily relied on Instagram to generate hype, peppering its grid with grabby Game of Thrones-themed squares.

The strategy seems to be working already. Game of Thrones-centric content, especially posts featuring the products themselves, consistently captured upwards of 40,000 likes as opposed to 17-20K for the others. Notably, one user couldn’t contain their excitement for the collab and asked about its release on a photo that didn’t even have to do with it, to which Urban Decay promptly replied.

When it comes to beauty marketing, Instagram is often considered the mother of all marketing platforms. Unfortunately, attaching an influencer to a product just isn’t enough anymore and could even be harmful to the health of a brand. And though 96% of brand mentions from influencer posts studied in Gartner L2’s report on the topic featured color cosmetics brands, they accounted for 95% of total interactions, suggesting a stagnancy of growth for brands using influencer content. In this regard, Urban Decay’s decision to pledge allegiance to a program over a person seems wise.

Additionally, Game of Thrones isn’t just any program. Spanning eight seasons, over a hundred characters, and an encyclopedia’s worth of terminology, the show gives Urban Decay plenty of reference provisions to work with—much of which has already been meme-d and loved by fans across the web—ensuring that GoT groupies will have a strong interest in the new line.