Virtual Worlds – The Next Marketing Platform?
We have already gone digital, but now, retailers, brands, and even charities are looking to virtual worlds.
We have seen product placement in films for a long time, but now brands are using video games and other virtual platforms to promote themselves.
Over the past few years, we have seen partnerships with brands and games such as Animal Crossing, Fortnite and Roblox.
In 2020, rapper Lil Nas X held a virtual concert on Roblox that is believed to have contributed to seven-figure dollar sales.
Skincare brand SK-II has even created a virtual world known as SK-II City. The Japan-inspired virtual world allows consumers to visit the movie theatre to watch films by SK-II or a backstage tour featuring behind-the-scenes footage from campaigns.
Even notable luxury brands are looking at collaborations with Burberry using in-game advertising within Ubisoft Hyper Scape, Louis Vuitton creating a bespoke outfit for Qiyana from League of Legends and Gucci designing a limited edition watch with an eSports team.
There have even been dedicated platforms for in-game advertising with a similar bidding system to Google Adwords.
The worldwide success of Football Manager has seen advertisers jump to push their brand on the game. Football Manager uses the platform Bidstack to control banners behind the goal and around the pitch. Last year, Bidstack saw revenue rise from $192,500 to $2.4 million.
Ubisoft’s release of Watch Dogs: Legion has also been rumoured as a potential platform for brands to advertise after Ubisoft recently starting to allow in-game advertising in their AAA games.
So why are brands rushing to advertise in virtual worlds? One of the reasons is because the pandemic saw an increase in people gaming, and advertisers looked to capitalise on this.
Advertising on app store games can be seen as an annoyance to the user but still has success.
However, PC and console advertising has been implemented in a much more subtle way and appears where you might see adverts in the real world. From billboards in open-world games to banners in racing car games, adverts look more natural and authentic, so they catch the eye without being an annoyance.
Although virtual world advertising is still a relatively new concept, it seems a natural progression for advertisers and brands to exploit through the ability to feature products on a specific genre to target relevant potential customers.
If you would like to discuss how your business is advertising and your future goals, get in touch with us today to let us help you find the right platform to market your product.