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How Fashion Brands Are Using Gaming Marketing
As the popularity of games continues to rise globally, so does the ability for brands to tap into the market where their users live: in the metaverse. Fashion brands, in particular, have taken a unique interest and approach in creating virtual opportunities for players to experience fashion in a whole new way.
Fashion brands like Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, Air Jordan, and H&M are taking their products to new and old customers alike through games in a metaverse, including Fortnite, Roblox, Minecraft, Animal Crossing, and more.
Taking Real-World Fashion to the Metaverse
Let’s explore how fashion brands are harnessing the power of the gaming space, increasing brand awareness, and merging the audiences of gaming and fashion through metaverse marketing.
Fortnite x Fashion Brands
As Fortnite took the world by storm over the last several years, many fashion brands lept at the opportunity to include their products as in-game features.
In Jordan’s Fortnite Island crossover, players can gain access to the Jumpman Zone to try out a number of exclusive shoe designs.
In the winter-centric outerwear category, Moncler released a “Classic Set” available in Fortnite’s item shop, as well as when players are accessing high-elevation areas throughout the game world.
Ralph Lauren redesigned the iconic logo on their polos specifically to match their Fortnite collaboration. Unlike some of the other brands on this list, Ralph Lauren took things a step further by making the product available for physical purchase. In the two months following the release of the new logo and Fortnite collaboration, Ralph Lauren reported:
- 1% revenue increase
- Increased social media following to 51 million globally
- High single-digit percentage increase in total digital ecosystem revenue
- Online search volume exceeded that of its competitors
League of Legends x Uniqlo
While many brands have created virtual fashion options within games, Uniqlo utilized the opposite method in gaming marketing by making items available in-store. In collaboration with Riot Games, Uniqlo released a collection of six designs inspired by champions and elements of League of Legends. After the launch in April 2021, Uniqlo saw a 103.6% year-over-year increase in net sales and 104% year-over-year increase in customer numbers.
Marc Jacobs and Valentino x Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Only two months after the release of the immensely popular Animal Crossing: New Horizons, luxury fashion brands Marc Jacobs and Valentino began dropping pieces from their real-life collections into the game. Marc Jacobs saw a clear increase in brand awareness on social media, as the brand’s ACNH announcement tweets received over 1,200 retweets and 2,700 likes, far higher than the average tweet engagement for the brand. Valentino experienced similar spikes when publishing Animal Crossing collaboration content.
Fashion, Gaming, and Impact
High-fashion brands are not the only ones reaping the rewards of gaming marketing and in-game advertising. H&M, for example, has been using games as a marketing and promotional channel since long before we first heard the term “metaverse.”
H&M x The Sims
As early as 2007, EA’s The Sims 2 released the H&M Stuff Pack, containing H&M branded clothing alongside the clothing lines they offered in physical stores, allowing players to dress their Sims as virtual versions of themselves. The H&M Stuff Pack has proven so popular that EA continued to release it throughout newer games in The Sims franchise through The Sims 4.
H&M x Roblox
Now, H&M is taking their gaming marketing success to a whole new level with “Loooptopia” in the social gaming network Roblox. Loooptopia is an immersive gaming experience that allows players to attend runway shows, play mini-games, experiment with clothing creation, trade or recycle clothes, and access styling sessions to explore their digital identities in the metaverse.
Recently, fast fashion brands have received negative attention due to their effects on the environment. H&M’s Loooptopia is an entirely new take on promoting products through gaming while also driving home an impactful message about sustainability. Our research shows that games with impact matter to gamers, and H&M’s Looptopia capitalizes on that emotional connection. It’s true, you can’t buy H&M clothes in Roblox. But creating a presence and initiating sustainable practices illustrates to players that H&M is trying to make a difference for the environment, which can impact shopping habits for the 78% of consumers that care about sustainability in their clothing.
The Gaming Market Is the Fashion Market
When taking your product to the gaming space, the initial assumption might be that your primary market will be serious gamers. But metaverse game experiences like Fortnite, Roblox, and League of Legends have much more game-casual followings, with millions of players daily.
Many of these players are also interested in fashion. In fact, 76% of US gamers follow fashion brands and influencers, and 66% treat themselves to luxury-branded products. By bridging the gap between gaming and fashion, brands gain access to a world of gamers and create an even stronger bond with their existing customers by meeting them where they are.
Break Into the Game Marketing Space
Regardless of the product, gaming is an important medium for marketers to consider. More non-endemic brands are taking advantage of the space as time goes on. Virtual fashion in video games is proven to increase brand awareness and connect brands with a wide range of consumers — not just hardcore gamers. Roblox, Fortnite, and other gaming metaverses have millions of daily users, and that exposure can’t be ignored.
Twofivesix has seen how successful gaming can be as a marketing tool. To learn more, check out some of the work we have done for Warby Parker, or drop us a line.