Who would have thought a few years ago that fashion would be showcased and featured in our favorite video games? Surely no one! But it’s definitely happening and a lot of brands, even from the luxury world, are using this new medium. From being able to wear Valentino outfits on Animal Crossing to Gucci showcasing its latest products on the famous The Sims game, we are all wondering how and why these global brands are migrating into the virtual world.
Gen Z, the most-wanted but unreachable generation.
This phenomenon, more than being a strong actual trend, hides very specific purposes and objectives. The first and most important one is to reach the Gen Z. Currently seen as the future of fashion based on many pillars such as: style, sensitivity towards the environment and social causes, connectivity on social platforms, etc. they are models from which fashion houses draw inspiration to build tomorrow. Beyond all this, it was said in 2020 that this generation had a buying power of up to $143 million, representing 40% of all consumers. Yes, this is huge! It’s not something that brands can ignore anymore and they are now investing massive amounts to reach those people. To do so, brands have to embrace their universe, and that’s when Gaming comes to interest. In 2024, it is projected that 90% of the Gen Zers will be part of the gaming ring according to Forbes.
Indeed, it’s the perfect place to be in direct contact with them, help them find their identity and therefore create brand love to drive more conversion. Some brands did not wait too long to take advantage of that. That’s the case of Burberry who was the first luxury brand to partner with the gaming social platform Twitch to livestream its Spring/Summer 2021. Twitch is indeed the perfect platform to meet this audience, it gathers more than 140 million users with 73% aged under 35 years old. This is definitely a Gen Z hub. This event generated more than 30.4M impressions on Instagram, the supporting platform of the event, and made a lot of noise in the press. Indeed, to reach a Gen Z consumer, you need to act like one.
Create and immerse consumers in your brand universe.
Today, more than ever, fashion houses are seeking to emphasize as much as possible their brand image. From recognizable logos and designs to creating real communities behind their brand, they want to welcome the consumers in their universe through many means. Video games are a perfect tool for that. Indeed, gamers spend an average of 8 hours per week on video games, a long time to be able to catch their attention and share with them a real experience. We could compare this with Social Networks platforms where time spent per week is much higher (Instagram: 14hours a week) but where the time spent on one image or topic is less than a minute, due to the overload of content. Balenciaga very much understood that. Back in December 2020, to showcase their F/W 2021, they created a bespoke video game, called Afterworld: The edge of tomorrow. Users were able to take part in the show by creating their own avatar (in a Balenciaga outfit of course) and go around the many amazing landscapes set in year 2031 to encounter other avatars wearing the collection. This placed Balenciaga as a very futuristic and protagonist brand, very much loved by younger generations. It generated amazing KPIs: searches for Balenciaga increased by 41% on Lyst just 48 hours after the presentation of the house’s Autumn/Winter 2021 collection. This is how fashion houses have decided to shape the future of the relationship with their consumers.
We could cover so many best practices where brands are featured in video games. This is truly a new channel of communication that has shown big success even at its birthing stage, a lot more can be done and achieved. This movement is part of the metaverse – a huge virtual space where the physical reality gathers with the virtual realm – building a whole now virtual and parallel world. Possibilities are endless with these new technologies to reach new audiences and include consumers in your world. It is now time to create your own!