In a previous era, serious partnerships between the fashion industry and gaming brands were few and far between, and the idea of a luxury house partnering with a household game was downright antithetical. But in the past few years, that’s all changed. Brands ranging from H&M to Prada have gotten into gaming, adapting their designs to the digital realm for avatars to wear in the metaverse.
“The video game industry is larger than the music and film industry combined,” said David Reitman of strategy and technology services firm Accenture. According to The Business of Fashion, market researchers estimate the value of the gaming industry to be between $180 billion and $200 billion, more than the film and music industries combined. These numbers alone provide a compelling reason to jump on the gaming bandwagon. Let’s take a closer look at a few international fashion brands that have joined in on the game.
Aqua di Parma
Luxury fragrance brand Aqua di Parma recently launched a game on its UK website called FUN C.L.U.B. to promote a new scent, Colonia C.L.U.B. Inspired by shared moments and the dynamism of togetherness, the single-player game invites players to choose an avatar and navigate through the streets of Venice in a retro, Mario Brothers style platform and collect the letters of the word “CLUB.” Once the word is spelled, players receive a discount on their purchase of the new fragrance, tying in a marketing incentive to the interactive experience and compelling players to share the game with their friends.
Spanish luxury fashion house Balenciaga launched a multi-platform game called Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow to promote its Fall 2021 collection. Initially created as an invite-only virtual reality experience allowing viewers to “attend” the fashion show via VR headsets, the game is now available to anyone with access to the game’s website. Set in 2031, "The game and the collection imagine a near future in which clothing is meant to transform over many years," Balenciaga said in a press release.
European brands aren’t the only ones placing their chips on the game board. Marc Jacobs is one of many brands that have launched in-game activations on Animal Crossing. The American designer’s looks have been digitally recreated to allow players to outfit their avatars in Marc Jacobs. Virtual pop-ups and digital product drops are some of the ways the brand’s clothing have been featured in Animal Crossing, bringing a sense of immediacy to the experience.
If the exponential growth of the gaming industry isn’t enough to inspire virtual fashion partnerships, the goal of reaching younger consumers is. Market research conducted by Newzoo shows that over 80% of the Gen Z population are gamers, with more female gamers than in previous generations. Interested in learning more about how unique partnerships and gamification can benefit your brand’s marketing initiatives?
Octonano’s marketing experts are ready to activate your goals.