In this week’s briefing, I look at the halo effect of Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime performance on her Savage x Fenty and Fenty Beauty brands. Scroll down to use Glossy+ Comments, allowing the Glossy+ community to join discussions around industry topics.
Super Bowl Sunday always ends with one winner and one loser. But this year, the real winner was Rihanna, along with her fashion and beauty brands.
After a nearly six-year hiatus from music, Rihanna returned in the most spectacular fashion. With a set list of top hit songs like “Rude Boy” and “Diamonds,” Rihanna moved across the stage and hopped onto suspended and lowered platforms in sync with her songs. Many online joked that she moved like a “Super Smash Brothers” player. The last scene established the gravitas of the performance, with a wide shot capturing the scale and grandeur of the floating stages. While the simplicity did not particularly appeal to viewers accustomed to singers who also double as dancers (à la Jennifer Lopez and Shakira), it was a Performance-with-a-capital-P, nonetheless.
While the biggest revelation of the performance was Rihanna’s confirmation of her second pregnancy, it was also a momentous moment for both Savage x Fenty and Fenty Beauty. Rihanna’s entire makeup look was composed of Fenty Beauty products. Her own look was less personal, however: She wore head-to-toe red, via pieces by Loewe, Maison Margiela x Salomon, Alaïa, Joseph Saidian & Sons, and Jacob & Co. Meanwhile, her backup dancers wore custom Savage x Fenty sports bras and boxers in white.
Performers are famously not paid for half-time performances, though production costs are covered. According to the University of Minnesota, when it comes to Super Bowl paid ads, previous research shows there really isn’t an increase in sales after Super Bowl ads air, but there are immediate spikes in online searches. Song streaming and album sales for performing artists are also historically boosted following their half-time show. But Rihanna is the first beauty brand owner to perform at the Super Bowl. JLo, who performed in 2020, did not launch JLo Beauty until 2021. And Lady Gaga, who performed in 2017, didn’t launch Haus Labs until 2019.
On Instagram, Savage used the hashtag #SavageXGameDay, which had been used approximately 700 times on Instagram as of Monday afternoon. Meanwhile, Fenty Beauty used the hashtags #FentyGameFace and #TeamFenty with its subsequent influencer partners and social media moments. Those hashtags have been used 98 and 3,300 times, respectively. On TikTok, #SavageXGameDay has received over 12 million views, while #TeamFenty has 4 million and #FentyGameFace has over 19 million views. Fenty held a dinner for influencers in Arizona the night before the game. It also hosted four influencers, including Bretman Rock and Mikayla Nogueira, as part of an influencer trip to the city. Finally, it sent Fenty Beauty mailers to people including Giulia De Lellis (@GiuliaDelellis103; 5.3 million Instagram followers) and Stephanie Valentine (@Glamzilla; 431,000 Instagram followers), who posted on social media using the hashtags.
Another significant moment during the Rihanna’s performance was her brief pause to apply Fenty Beauty Invisimatte finishing powder with a mirror. Fenty Beauty on social media reappropriated references and clips of the moment. Fenty Skin, which retains a separate Instagram account, used the same posts.
Furthermore, Fenty Beauty enlisted NFL reporter Erin Andrews and singer-actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, who sang “Lift Every Voice and Sing” to use Fenty products, as seen behind the scenes via Fenty Beauty Instagram Stories.
“[These examples] are such a beautiful way of integrating Fenty without being too branded or over the top. Beauty can be so special in that it can be a part of everything we do, without necessarily needing a logo to show that we’re wearing [a certain] brand, like a fashion brand might,” said Bilal Kaiser, principal of creative and influencer firm Agency Guacamole.
According to Launchmetrics data, Fenty Beauty mentions during the Super Bowl generated $5.6 million in MIV in the first 12 hours, while Savage generated $2.6 million in MIV. Rihanna’s performance generated $88.3 million in MIV, accounting for 27% of the Super Bowl’s total MIV generated in 12 hours. MIV is a proprietary Launchmetrics metric for media impact value. MIV tracks the impact of influencers, print media, celebrities, official third-party partners and a brand’s media channels.
However, the lead-up to the game did not spur significant website traffic to either SavageX.com or FentyBeauty.com, save for Feb. 2, which corresponds to the launch of Savage’s “Full Speed” collection. Website traffic dramatically increased to 400,000 visits, up from approximately 140,000 the day before. Meanwhile, Fenty Beauty website traffic remained steady at around 80,000 throughout February. Both brands have capitalized on Rihanna’s performance, with Savage hosting a three-day pop-up in Los Angeles showcasing a Game Day collection of hoodies, sweatpants, boxers and beanies. Similarly, Fenty Beauty launched a Game Day collection with football-themed packaging at the end of January. On FentyBeauty.com, a designated “Game Day” tab currently appears in the navigation bar, while the homepage features a breakdown of Rihanna’s halftime show beauty look.
“Fenty Beauty has been a top trending brand in the beauty category over the past year, with sales peaking in November 2022,” said Yarden Horwitz, co-founder of data search company Spate. “While searches for ‘Rihanna’ gained traction in the days leading up to the Super Bowl, we did not see the same search behavior for ‘Fenty.’ However, we expect searches to pick up from the event and after.”
What comes next depends on both brands’ ability to leverage the halftime show and extend the media moment. For example, following Sunday’s game, Fenty Beauty sent its customers an email on Monday titled “Rihanna’s ICONIC Halftime Show look.” Knowing how quickly the news cycle is, Kaiser said there are only a few weeks for Rihanna’s brands to continue using the halftime performance in their marketing. As of Monday, Savage had shared nine posts across Instagram and TikTok referencing the game; Fenty Beauty and Skin, meanwhile, had 15 posts across both platforms.
“The moment with the [Invisimatte] was a fantastic integration of all the work she’s done to build these brands. It seemed like a culmination of many years of hard work to bring it all together: singing, beauty, fashion and tying it into a personal note with a pregnancy announcement,” said Kaiser.
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