Zara’s parent company, Inditex, has signed a deal with Facebook to launch an interactive augmented reality game for its Pull & Bear brand. The brand shared the new initiative on its Facebook page asking its followers to access the game, which is currently only available via mobile on Facebook and Instagram.
This isn’t the first intersection of fast fashion and gaming we’ve seen in recent times. UNIQLO, for example, has also made its way into the world of Animal Crossing by creating its own bespoke “UNIQLO Island” on the game Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Upon entering UNIQLO Island, players of the popular Nintendo Switch game were able to step into a realistic UNIQLO store. In a cross-platform strategy, UNIQLO also released special content for Animal Crossing players to take full advantage of the in-game collection and the island boasted of custom design portals, which featured 21 t-shirt designs. related to his new collection of t-shirts in real life. .
Beyond fast fashion houses, traditional luxury fashion brands have also experimented with the game to tap into the younger demographic. Balenciaga, in collaboration with Streamline Media Group, developed Balenciaga’s Afterworld game “The Age of Tomorrow” and is currently working on creating an interactive 3D gaming experience that is expected to launch Balenciaga’s fall 2021 collection. Meanwhile, fashion brand Gucci has also bolstered its presence in the gaming industry through a partnership with online gaming platform Roblox, where it unveiled a lush “Gucci Garden,” a divided virtual landscape. in themed rooms, where users can change their avatars and become neutral models.
While there has been an increase in the number of fashion houses now dipping their toes into the gaming pool, Senior Analyst Xiaofeng Wang Forrester told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that credit should go to the industry for experimenting. in the gaming world, even before the pandemic. “Fashion brands have realized that a large portion of their target audiences, especially younger ones, are also online gamers,” Wang said. In fact, one of the most significant fashion and gaming partnerships happened in 2019 where Louis Vuitton (LV) signed a deal with League of Legends and LV created a prestige in-game skin for them. characters of the game and has designed a true capsule collection. .
Nonetheless, the cross-pollination of fashion and games has definitely accelerated since the global lockdowns and through the pandemic as more brands want to take advantage of digital tools to engage with consumers by collaborating with popular games. existing ones or by creating their own. .
“Fashion brands that invest in online games are more for marketing and branding than for sales. Done well, it will improve customer engagement and brand affinity, increase awareness of new products / collections, and ultimately help sales as well. After all, it is not. too difficult to integrate the purchasing functionality into online games – much like what live trading does today, ”Wang added.
A push towards retail?
With the frequent launch of virtual, augmentative, and mixed reality games, the gaming arena is an untapped asset in getting potential buyers to shop while playing a game. Additionally, collaborating with a retailer could also. cover game development costs, said Kevin Kan, CEO of Break Out Consulting Asia.
Welcoming Inditex’s latest move, Kan added that while the marriage of fashion and gaming isn’t new, it’s not usual to see brands betting on Facebook and Instagram gaming as their execution choice. . However, the platforms allow brands to easily create and interact with their existing customer base, while attracting prospectors.
“Getting people to participate in a game and potentially display items for sale or the location of the nearest store while playing on Facebook and Instagram is a great real-time marketing opportunity,” he explained. In addition, the rise of gaming and fashion could also bring back footfall in retail.
“With the ability to have location-based marketing and all historical location data, it wouldn’t be inconceivable that the retailer could attract purchases through the use of offers or coupons. They could drive a player into a physical store to complete tasks and earn points or coupons, ”he said. As technology matures, Kan adds that the process of window shopping and course rooms could change as well, as consumers use in-game avatars to decide whether an outfit works in their favor.
“In our ‘insta’ world, gaming is a great way to influence buying habits. It’s a great way for potential buyers to see what items about them or their in-game avatar look like.” , he added.
Not just for young people
Robert Godinho, Managing Partner, MediaMonks, said the use of games, augmented reality and virtual reality has been a “hot trend” over the past year, to improve the user experience of the mark, attributing it to the lack of physical experiences of the year. However, contrary to popular belief, Godinho believes that it is not only young people who are engaged and attracted to gambling, it is also consumers in their 40s.
Godinho also added that grabbing the attention of consumers is the key to reaching an engaged audience and that gaming is a great tool to keep them hooked and entertained – whether it’s for product launches, sales, online products. limited edition or simply to be active loyalists of the brand.
I think using interactive content through in-game tools is only scratching the surface.
“As the gaming industry grows, I imagine AI and machine learning will also come into play to increasingly help with a customized solution for diverse audiences that automatically kicks in. level or changes according to the frequency of viewing of the content by its user, “he added.
Alvina Seah, Managing Director of GOVT, added that the gaming trend will not only remain prevalent in fashion, but other categories as well. Calling the gaming industry a “very engaged tribe,” Alvina Seah listed the many collaborations with Animal Crossing such as the one with Sentosa, Uniqlo in recent times as an indication of the rise of interactive marketing and games.
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