As more of our lives are spent online, it’s becoming harder and harder to distinguish “real” life from digital life. In the past few years, brands took over the video game & metaverse territories, a phenomenon which has gained huge momentum during lockdown and gave rise to a new direct-to-avatar (D2A) business model.
Some of the most successful initiatives:
🕹️ BALENCIAGA and Epic Games have partnered on the very first Fortnite France luxury fashion collaboration. Balenciaga has designed four virtual outfits (or “skins”) and an IRL limited-edition collection of hats, T-shirts and hoodies sold in Balenciaga stores and on Balenciaga.com and available starting September 20th.
🤖 Animal Crossing Community hosted Spring 2020 Fashion week. Instead of postponing fashion week, some designers simply brought it to Animal Crossing. Valentino released 20 custom virtual looks from their men’s and women’s pre-fall 2020/2021 collection, and Marc Jacobs released six of their favorite looks for Animal Crossing’s fashion addicts, giving their fictional characters the opportunity to wear the clothes for free.
🎾 Gucci partnered with Tennis Clash, one of the App Store and Games’ Top 5 Sports Games created by Wildlife Studios. Fans will also be able to buy Gucci outfits that mirror those on screen for themselves from the Gucci website, which brings the virtual and real worlds together.
✨ From NFT to Metaverse, you and your avatar can now share a signature scent, thanks to Berlin-based LOOK LABS. Look Labs recently minted the fragrance as an NFT, making it the “world’s first digital fragrance”. More than a digitized visual of the perfume, these 10 limited editions were conceptualised using near-infrared spectroscopy, which recorded the molecular wavelengths to create a digital reflection of the scent.
In 2021, these digital platforms became a real playground for brands and marketers to connect with an engaged audience.
New player in town: Do you know Roblox? With a younger target, and already used by 115 million users age 9-12 per month, this new metaverse has all the opportunities (and some prestigious partners such as Gucci) to become the new Minecraft.