Brand Engagement in the Metaverse: April 2024

Published 30 April 2024

4 min read

Two brand activations in April showcase how virtual worlds can be harnessed to drive real-world customer awareness and engagement. US restaurant chain Wow Bao has launched a rewards programme recruitment drive on Roblox, while German fashion giant Hugo Boss has created a virtual twin of a real-life VIP luxury villa in Bali.

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Wow Bao Builds Real-Life Loyalty Via Roblox

US street-food-style restaurant and retail chain Wow Bao has launched Dim Sum Palace on online gaming platform Roblox. Partnering with US digital marketing platform Flaunt, which specialises in bridging Roblox and real-life audience building, the campaign drives membership of Wow Bao’s Hot Buns Club rewards programme. To access a coupon for a free box of Wow Bao’s grocery store products and the chance to win free buns for a year from one of its 600 US restaurants, players must first sign up to the Hot Buns Club via a dedicated campaign site.

Once inside the Dim Sum Palace, created by US production studio Sawhorse Productions, they’re greeted by a DJ for a scavenger hunt for the coupon and entry into the main prize draw, around areas including a DJ booth and dance floor, “Steam” lounge and “Momo’s Restaurant”. They can also win one of 10,000 limited edition ‘bao head’ avatar accessories if they find the hidden Hot Buns Club speakeasy.

The activation adds to Wow Bao’s existing initiatives linking Web3 features with real-life rewards. In 2023, it minted its first non-fungible tokens – “CollectaBaos”. Buyers were automatically enrolled into the Hot Buns Club rewards programme, gaining 10% off orders and merchandise and the chance to win free meals.

Everyone can play, but only those aged 18+ and based in the US can sign up to the rewards programme and win prizes. Almost half (41%) of Roblox players are over 17 (Statista, 2023) and more than half (58%) of young video gamers say they pay attention to brands featured in video games (YPulse, 2023).

See more examples of virtual and real-life restaurant crossovers in section four of
Lunar New Year 2023: Brand Responses & Key Learnings.

Wow Bao Builds Real-Life Loyalty Via Roblox

US street-food-style restaurant and retail chain Wow Bao has launched Dim Sum Palace on online gaming platform Roblox. Partnering with US digital marketing platform Flaunt, which specialises in bridging Roblox and real-life audience building, the campaign drives membership of Wow Bao’s Hot Buns Club rewards programme. To access a coupon for a free box of Wow Bao’s grocery store products and the chance to win free buns for a year from one of its 600 US restaurants, players must first sign up to the Hot Buns Club via a dedicated campaign site.

Once inside the Dim Sum Palace, created by US production studio Sawhorse Productions, they’re greeted by a DJ for a scavenger hunt for the coupon and entry into the main prize draw, around areas including a DJ booth and dance floor, “Steam” lounge and “Momo’s Restaurant”. They can also win one of 10,000 limited edition ‘bao head’ avatar accessories if they find the hidden Hot Buns Club speakeasy.

The activation adds to Wow Bao’s existing initiatives linking Web3 features with real-life rewards. In 2023, it minted its first non-fungible tokens – “CollectaBaos”. Buyers were automatically enrolled into the Hot Buns Club rewards programme, gaining 10% off orders and merchandise and the chance to win free meals.

Everyone can play, but only those aged 18+ and based in the US can sign up to the rewards programme and win prizes. Almost half (41%) of Roblox players are over 17 (Statista, 2023) and more than half (58%) of young video gamers say they pay attention to brands featured in video games (YPulse, 2023).

See more examples of virtual and real-life restaurant crossovers in section four of
Lunar New Year 2023: Brand Responses & Key Learnings.

Wow Bao

Wow Bao

Wow Bao

Wow Bao

Wow Bao

Wow Bao

Wow Bao

Wow Bao

Hugo Boss’s Virtual Twin Bali Villa Experience

Also bridging digital and real life, Hugo Boss has launched the Boss House Bali Virtual Experience, alongside a concurrent Boss House Bali physical pop-up on the Indonesian island. The physical space is open until May 9 to showcase the spring/summer 2024 collection to media and VIP customers from Asia Pacific, with the virtual experience running indefinitely.

Created by British virtual retail platform developer Emperia, the virtual villa is a browser-based shopping brandiverse (a discovery-based non-communal virtual environment) accessed via Hugoboss.com. Viewers enter via a tropical-plant-filled courtyard, and move around zones including terraces (lined with new-season women’s and menswear); an infinity pool (with Boss sun loungers and swimwear showcased on surfboards) and gardens (featuring fragrance and footwear).

Clicking on an item opens the product page on the brand’s ecommerce website, and there’s a scavenger hunt to unlock an online shopping discount code and win the chance to stay in the physical house itself. Members of the brand’s Hugo Boss Experience loyalty scheme can also enter a raffle to win a stay via the main ecommerce site.

After May 9, the real-life six-bedroom villa will be available to book until August via travel site The Luxe Nomad for £1,831 ($2,277) per night.

Hugo Boss’s Virtual Twin Bali Villa Experience

Also bridging digital and real life, Hugo Boss has launched the Boss House Bali Virtual Experience, alongside a concurrent Boss House Bali physical pop-up on the Indonesian island. The physical space is open until May 9 to showcase the spring/summer 2024 collection to media and VIP customers from Asia Pacific, with the virtual experience running indefinitely.

Created by British virtual retail platform developer Emperia, the virtual villa is a browser-based shopping brandiverse (a discovery-based non-communal virtual environment) accessed via Hugoboss.com. Viewers enter via a tropical-plant-filled courtyard, and move around zones including terraces (lined with new-season women’s and menswear); an infinity pool (with Boss sun loungers and swimwear showcased on surfboards) and gardens (featuring fragrance and footwear).

Clicking on an item opens the product page on the brand’s ecommerce website, and there’s a scavenger hunt to unlock an online shopping discount code and win the chance to stay in the physical house itself. Members of the brand’s Hugo Boss Experience loyalty scheme can also enter a raffle to win a stay via the main ecommerce site.

After May 9, the real-life six-bedroom villa will be available to book until August via travel site The Luxe Nomad for £1,831 ($2,277) per night.

Boss House Bali

Boss House Bali

Boss House Bali

Boss House Bali

Boss House Bali

Boss House Bali

Boss House Bali

Boss House Bali

Boss House Bali

Boss House Bali

Boss House Bali

Boss House Bali