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Apparel and accessories

Valextra turns Valentine’s Day shopping into a game

February 9, 2018

Valextra's Shopping Craze is inspired by '80s games. Image credit: Valextra


Italian leather goods label Valextra is promoting itself as a Valentine’s Day gifting destination through a game that speaks to a love of shopping rather than romantic themes.

The brand’s Shopping Craze mobile application asks players to dodge other shoppers and compete for virtual handbags. For Valentine's Day, many brands opt for messages about relationships, which may help Valextra's homage to leather goods love stand out.

Valextra was reached for comment.

Shopping spree
Shopping Craze takes its inspiration from the 8-bit video games of the 1980s, such as Pac-Man and Galaga.

In the game, consumers take on the role of a shopper. Within a top-down animated store maze, they can navigate aisles by swiping, aiming to scoop up handbags and small leather goods that appear throughout.

Players can also tap to put obstacles in the paths of competing shoppers, slowing them down. Running into other shoppers causes the player’s character to be trampled, resulting in the loss of one of three lives.

Recreating a realistic shopping experience, the consumer’s acquisition of the bag is only recorded if they manage to bring it to a cash register and “pay” for it. Consumers score points based on how many bags they successfully purchase in the virtual store.

Screenshot of Valextra's Shopping Craze. Image credit: Valextra

After completing a level by purchasing four accessories, the app displays a series of objects. Consumers can click items in this edit to shop the products on Valextra's Web site.

Shopping Craze features a number of levels, allowing players who beat a certain difficulty to try a new challenge. As the levels increase, the game’s speed increases and more competing shoppers appear as obstacles.

Once the game is over, consumers can record their score on a leaderboard. This will enable Valextra fans to connect with each other.

A desire to best another score may encourage consumers to keep playing.

Valextra is also prompting consumers to register within the app. The first 1,000 players that record their scores will be sent leather charms inspired by the game.

While released for Valentine's Day, the sole references to love or romantic overtones are cartoon hearts used within the game design and logo.

Valextra's game is available for free for iOS and Android devices.

Playing games
Digital games have been leveraged by luxury brands for product launches and engaging brand storytelling.

For instance, British perfume house Penhaligon’s has brought a touch of classic parlor mystery to its latest campaign promotion that takes the form of an interactive detective game.

The campaign is called Penhaligon’s Mystery Mansion and tasks the players with solving the disappearance of the fictional Lord Truthsbury from his wooded estate. The campaign uses elements from point-and-click computer games to promote the brand’s unique aesthetic and lure in new customers (see story).

Gamification can also work to unite fans around a shared passion and drive to be the best.

British automaker McLaren looked for a new addition to join its team and is pitting the best gamers in the world against each other for the coveted position.

“World’s Fastest Gamer” was the supercar brand’s campaign to find the best talent to its brand as a simulation driver. Gamers around the world competed to earn the spot as finalist at McLaren’s headquarters in the fall (see story).