February 8, 2021
Italian fashion label Gucci is partnering with social app Zepeto in its latest gaming-centric push to engage consumers.
The collaboration will allow users to dress their Zepeto 3D avatars in pieces from Gucci’s latest collections. More luxury brands have been teaming with games and other interactive platforms to expand their brand reach.
“The fact that Zepeto enables you to create an avatar based on your features in various social platforms, it allows people to wear the brand as well as to aspire to have that brand in its physical form,” said Kimmie Smith, cofounder and creative director of Athleisure Mag, New York. “It’s a great way for the brand [Gucci] to showcase their line and to increase awareness without the means of doing a traditional ad.”
Putting your best avatar forward
Zepeto avatars are based on an uploaded photo of a user. Users can then customize their avatar, change the character’s hair color, face, eye color and clothing.
Using the Zepeto app, consumers can peruse different Gucci pieces, try them on their avatars and interact with other users.
In a short film that announces the Gucci x Zepeto collaboration, the brand provides consumers an idea of what their avatars would look like in Gucci products.
The film highlights users dressed in Gucci tops, scarves, bags and other items. The Gucci x Zepeto collaboration also features the Gucci villa where users can interact.
Zepeto users are wearing Gucci products in new partnership
Through this partnership, Gucci has figured out a way to have their users still be using their products, even if they’re not physically wearing the products themselves.
Users can also save their Zepeto avatars and share them on social media.
This is not the first time Gucci has delved into the world of avatar expression.
In 2018, users of the mobile application Genies, which integrates avatar-to-avatar communication with artificial intelligence, were able to dress their avatars with luxury apparel from Gucci (see story).
The Gucci x Zepeto partnership reintroduces a popular outlet for consumers still experiencing the effects of the pandemic, once again offering the unique opportunity to be fashionable while interacting with people online.
Rising to the challenge
With pandemic restrictions still in place, brands are continuing to pay attention to new ways they can appeal to social media users.
While their grandparents may have invested in legacy brands such as Chanel and Buick, millennial and Gen Z buyers are more interested in luxury as it relates to status and experience, rather than product. These generations show off their entire lives on social media – and experiences carry a more one-time-only feeling (see story).
Last year, Gucci announced it is launching on the short video app platform Douyin – the Chinese version of TikTok.
While other luxury brands such as Valentino and Marc Jacobs have announced collection launches for the e-game, Animal Crossing (currently unavailable in China), Gucci led the pack by opting to tap into the popularity of video and livestreaming in China (see story).
Brands may consider taking technological opportunities and alternatives discovered during the pandemic into the future.
As they reconsider the future of their physical experiences, luxury brands have the opportunity to use technology to personalize consumers’ experiences – from using QR codes and augmented reality to leveraging Big Data to build complex customer profiles that empower salespeople to offer consumers a completely bespoke shopping experience (see story).
“Gucci is not the first to promote its brand and products via gaming services, e.g. Christian Louboutin, Nike, The North Face already collaborated with Zepeto, Moschino and Sims, Valentino and Animal Crossing,” said Yana Bushmeleva, chief operating officer at Fashionbi, Milan. “The timing is just perfect.
“People all over the world are still experience lockdowns and home studying or working, there are no social occasions for the real outfits, so at least we can be fashionable through our avatars,” she said.