September 11, 2020
Consumers have to stay home in many parts of the world and as a result their time online sky-rocketed. They shop, browse, post, and play, accelerating digital trends faster than expected. To catch their attention, brands use gamification strategies – offering games to encourage engagement with a product or service.
Fashion brands have virtual collection
For instance, one of the number one played games during confinement, Animal Crossing, has multiplied its partnership with fashion brands. The collaboration enabled fashion designers, like Marc Jacobs, Valentino or Sandy Liang, to virtually showcase new or existing collections in the form of downloadable outfits, designed within the game. Any player who had access to the outfits can ‘wear’ the look. When Valentino dropped 20 custom virtual looks from its men’s and women’s collections, an estimated 11 million people worldwide who play Animal Crossing: New Horizons could dress their character in Valentino for free. Another reason behind fashion houses using gamification strategy is to target Chinese customers, who make up 35 percent of the global luxury market. China is the n°1 client in both the game and luxury industries.
Beauty brands create filters
In the beauty industry, gamification strategy takes place on apps and social media platforms through filters and facial enhancement. On April 29, L’Oréal Paris partnered with Snap Camera, a desktop application that allows users to try Snapchat lenses during conference calls, to create its own filters. Users could pick between lenses curated by Maybelline New York The Falsies Lash Lift, Maybelline New York Super Stay Matte Ink, Lancôme Idôle, Garnier Fructis, L’Oréal Paris Disney, L’Oréal Paris Rouge Signature, L’Oréal Paris Revitalift, and L’Oréal Paris Colorista.
Other brands create tangible products in partnership with the gaming industry. In May, MAC launched, for the second year, a collection inspired by Tencent mobile game Honor of Kings (the first collection in 2019 was sold out in 24h in China). Each of the 11 products (lipstick, blush and eyeshadow) corresponds to one of the game’s characters.
These new strategies are a way for brands to speak to younger and more connected customers on platforms they like and spend a lot of time on. They can showcase their image and products in a unique way, and grow in customers’ awareness before any physical purchase is made.
If VR is most of the time associated with video gaming, a new use of it is made in the performing art world. Creative Studios are now offering experiences combining theater and virtual reality. They adapt the use of VR headsets to immersive experiences with real life actors.