Maybelline and HERO continue calling out gaming’s toxic behaviour with new social experiment

Off the back of its successful campaign against the discrimination of female and LGBTQIA+ identifying gamers in 2023, Maybelline New York has launched a new spot stressing that more needs to be done to change toxic behaviours in the gaming community, via HERO.

The ‘Through Their Eyes’ campaign from last year saw the beauty brand double down on its commitment to call out the ‘boy’s club’.

76% of female-identifying gamers have experience or observed harassment or offensive behaviour whilst online gaming, according to research commissioned by Maybelline New York. 55% will leave mid-game to get away from it.

Meanwhile, 71% of male gamers who witness abuse in gaming just ignore it.

The new spot, and social experience, developed by HERO, sees two females experiencing verbal abuse whilst playing a game, and their fellow gamers reacting to the offensive behaviour.

‘Under the Avatar’ aims to serve as a reminder to the gaming community that there is a real person on the other side of the game, not just an avatar on screen.

“We wanted to generate more than just empathy for those suffering from toxic abuse in the gaming world,” said Melanie Bower, marketing director ANZ at Maybelline New York.

“We wanted anyone thinking that this behavior is tolerable to realise that there is a real human behind the avatar, and to give people the tools to stand up to online abuse.”

Maybelline New York hopes to give gamers the tools to stand up for others experiencing toxic behaviour, and support those who have experienced abuse. The campaign sees the continued partnership between the beauty brand and youth mental health organisations ReachOut in Australia, and recently signed Youthline in New Zealand.

HERO created the campaign as a call-to-arms as Shane Geffen, executive creative director at the agency, said encouraging people to start calling out the toxic behaviour in gaming has been a challenge.

Shane Geffen, ECD at HERO, said: “The mindset towards verbal abuse in the gaming world is proving difficult to shift, despite the large reach of the first campaign and concerted efforts by others to change the game.

“For this campaign we tried a different approach, to show gamers who they are really hurting, real human beings that are family, partners and friends.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.