Brand Engagement in the Metaverse: April 2023 Round-Up

Published 28 April 2023

3 min read

Despite interest in AI stealing some of Web3’s headlines, there’s still plenty of innovation and audience engagement in the metaverse. This month, Gucci and Vans combine audiences for a high-low Roblox first, American cruise line Royal Caribbean debuts its forthcoming supership on Fortnite Creative, and L’Oréal Professionnel moves towards interoperability.

Gucci Town x Vans World Audience Swap on Roblox

Building on their recent product partnership (Gucci Continuum x Vans sneaker collection, incorporating deadstock Gucci fabrics, available on archive/collaboration store Gucci Vault), Gucci and American skate brand Vans have partnered to create a virtual world on gaming platform Roblox. (See New Roblox Brand Concepts and Vans’ Roblox Metaverse for the brands’ separate existing Roblox activations).

The high-low collaboration (notable for its unusually low prices) is live until May 13. It’s the first time two fashion brands of this scale from different ends of the retail spectrum have teamed up on Roblox.

Gucci Town x Vans World capitalises on scavenger hunts’ popularity on the platform and utilises in-game interoperability to introduce the two brands’ audiences to each other. Players use shoebox-style portals to shuttle between Gucci Town and Vans World, collecting fabric swatches. After gathering all the swatches, avatar-outfit prizes include skateboard-style backpacks and trainers.

Vans World counts more than 94.5 million visits since launch in September 2021, while 2022-unveiled Gucci World has seen more than 42 million visits (Geeiq). No data is currently available on the brands’ interworld visits.

For more on same-sector collaborations with an edge, see Frenemy-Based Brand Building.

Gucci Town x Vans World Audience Swap on Roblox

Building on their recent product partnership (Gucci Continuum x Vans sneaker collection, incorporating deadstock Gucci fabrics, available on archive/collaboration store Gucci Vault), Gucci and American skate brand Vans have partnered to create a virtual world on gaming platform Roblox. (See New Roblox Brand Concepts and Vans’ Roblox Metaverse for the brands’ separate existing Roblox activations).

The high-low collaboration (notable for its unusually low prices) is live until May 13. It’s the first time two fashion brands of this scale from different ends of the retail spectrum have teamed up on Roblox.

Gucci Town x Vans World capitalises on scavenger hunts’ popularity on the platform and utilises in-game interoperability to introduce the two brands’ audiences to each other. Players use shoebox-style portals to shuttle between Gucci Town and Vans World, collecting fabric swatches. After gathering all the swatches, avatar-outfit prizes include skateboard-style backpacks and trainers.

Vans World counts more than 94.5 million visits since launch in September 2021, while 2022-unveiled Gucci World has seen more than 42 million visits (Geeiq). No data is currently available on the brands’ interworld visits.

For more on same-sector collaborations with an edge, see Frenemy-Based Brand Building.

Gucci Town x Vans World

Gucci Town x Vans World

Gucci Town x Vans World

Gucci Town x Vans World

Gucci Town x Vans World

Gucci Town x Vans World

Gucci Town x Vans World

Gucci Town x Vans World

Royal Caribbean’s World’s Largest Ship on Fortnite Creative

Employing ‘pester-power’ tactics (targeting youngsters who influence their parents’ spending), Royal Caribbean is enticing young future passengers by giving them a sneak peek of its new ship Icon of the Seas – which won’t debut IRL until January 2024 – inside Fortnite Creative. Unlike Fortnite Battle Royale, Fortnite Creative allows brands and players to design their own experiences on their own private islands.

Players can experience the ship, which will be the world’s largest cruise liner, via a hide-and-seek adventure, Royal Caribbean: Hide’n’Sea, collect coins around the ship and hide from “sea-kers”. Each seven-minute round sees users disguising themselves as seafaring props, like sun loungers or piles of towels. Early access also includes what will be the largest water park at sea, Category 6; The Hideaway Pool – the world’s first suspended infinity pool at sea; and Crown’s Edge, a skywalk and ropes course 154ft above the ocean.

The cruise industry is making a strong post-pandemic comeback (see Cruise Industry: An Optimistic Outlook). Revenue is projected to hit $25.14bn in 2023, with travellers’ numbers reaching 32.53 million by 2027 (Statista, 2023).

See also Gen Z Travel Brands to Know: 2023.

Royal Caribbean’s World’s Largest Ship on Fortnite Creative

Employing ‘pester-power’ tactics (targeting youngsters who influence their parents’ spending), Royal Caribbean is enticing young future passengers by giving them a sneak peek of its new ship Icon of the Seas – which won’t debut IRL until January 2024 – inside Fortnite Creative. Unlike Fortnite Battle Royale, Fortnite Creative allows brands and players to design their own experiences on their own private islands.

Players can experience the ship, which will be the world’s largest cruise liner, via a hide-and-seek adventure, Royal Caribbean: Hide’n’Sea, collect coins around the ship and hide from “sea-kers”. Each seven-minute round sees users disguising themselves as seafaring props, like sun loungers or piles of towels. Early access also includes what will be the largest water park at sea, Category 6; The Hideaway Pool – the world’s first suspended infinity pool at sea; and Crown’s Edge, a skywalk and ropes course 154ft above the ocean.

The cruise industry is making a strong post-pandemic comeback (see Cruise Industry: An Optimistic Outlook). Revenue is projected to hit $25.14bn in 2023, with travellers’ numbers reaching 32.53 million by 2027 (Statista, 2023).

See also Gen Z Travel Brands to Know: 2023.

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean

L'Oréal Professionnel’s Designs on Avatars in Multiple Marketplaces

Following L’Oréal Professionnel (the French beauty giant’s salon-focused haircare division) making a first successful foray into the metaverse in November 2022 – with five virtual hairstyles designed with Estonian metaverse avatar creator Ready Player Me (see Brand Engagement in the Metaverse: November 2022) – it has become the first hair brand to launch customisable avatars across multiple online marketplaces. It’s a significant step towards the holy grail of branded collateral with interoperability.

The five new looks in the Gravitas collection will be released not just on Ready Player Me, but also on South Korean mobile chat app Zepeto (where users communicate as basic avatars) and Roblox. This expands L’Oréal’s audience to a potential 234 million players globally.

In 2022, L’Oréal hairstyles ranked in the top five of the most downloaded looks on Ready Player Me, the avatars of which are compatible with more than 4,000 games, platforms and apps worldwide, including Spatial, HiberWorld and VRChat.

As before, the 2023 Gravitas looks were co-created with CGI and 3D artist and developer Evan Rochette. Also involved is French hair artist (and Lady Gaga collaborator) Charlie Le Mindu.

See also The Future of AI-Powered Avatars.

L'Oréal Professionnel’s Designs on Avatars in Multiple Marketplaces

Following L’Oréal Professionnel (the French beauty giant’s salon-focused haircare division) making a first successful foray into the metaverse in November 2022 – with five virtual hairstyles designed with Estonian metaverse avatar creator Ready Player Me (see Brand Engagement in the Metaverse: November 2022) – it has become the first hair brand to launch customisable avatars across multiple online marketplaces. It’s a significant step towards the holy grail of branded collateral with interoperability.

The five new looks in the Gravitas collection will be released not just on Ready Player Me, but also on South Korean mobile chat app Zepeto (where users communicate as basic avatars) and Roblox. This expands L’Oréal’s audience to a potential 234 million players globally.

In 2022, L’Oréal hairstyles ranked in the top five of the most downloaded looks on Ready Player Me, the avatars of which are compatible with more than 4,000 games, platforms and apps worldwide, including Spatial, HiberWorld and VRChat.

As before, the 2023 Gravitas looks were co-created with CGI and 3D artist and developer Evan Rochette. Also involved is French hair artist (and Lady Gaga collaborator) Charlie Le Mindu.

See also The Future of AI-Powered Avatars.

L’Oréal Professionnel

L’Oréal Professionnel

L’Oréal Professionnel

L’Oréal Professionnel