Roblox gamers visiting Gucci Town can wander around a beautiful garden piazza and access various spaces. These interactive realms include: Mini Game Heights, for in-game challenges where players can earn GG Gems; the Vault Plaza, where they’ll discover a version of Vault, Gucci’s experimental online space; and Selfie Way, for taking snaps of your Roblox avatar in front of a Gucci backdrop. Gamers can also make their own sculpture at Creative Corner, visit Power-up Place to meet with friends and have a virtual coffee, and head to Gucci Shop where they can use their GG Gems to purchase digital collectables.
With more than 8.1 million visits already, Gucci Town aims to be a “dynamic destination” and encourage engagement all year round through visitors playing, creating and dressing their Roblox avatar in digital Gucci gear. However, let’s address the elephant in the room: Roblox is far from a AAA game and it lacks high-quality graphics. It’s estimated there are more than 40 million experiences on the digital game platform and many of them lack well thought out game-play. When you imagine luxury gaming, Roblox doesn’t come to mind. Yet Gucci, one of the biggest luxury brands in the world, has chosen it as its home for Gucci Town.
So why Roblox?
Next-gen Gucci customer
For premium brands to appeal to a youthful audience, they need new approaches that resonate with digital natives. There are more than 22 million active users a day on Roblox and approximately 67 percent of those users are aged 16 and under. In a 2021 Roblox blog post, the gaming platform reported Gucci Garden was in its top 5 most engaged brand partner events, attracting more than 30 per cent of visitors in the 17+ age group.
In terms of a captured audience, this is a significant one and while people may be looking closely at the short-term results, it’s likely Gucci is playing the long game: a modern brand awareness campaign that goes beyond traditional marketing and advertising tactics.
A large factor in Roblox’ success, apart from its virtual interactive space for playing mini games, is players’ ability to personalise their avatar and collect digital items.
Roblox prides itself on being a platform that provides users freedom to express themselves, whatever their identity and beliefs. Stating that “Digital identity is important to our community, and we see this in the variety and number of items created, acquired, and worn on the platform.”
In 2021 alone, more than 5.8 billion virtual items were acquired (free and purchased) and more than 165 billion avatar updates were performed. These are staggering figures for just one platform and they highlight the immense opportunity for brands. Success will come for those that understand the digital gaming space and genuinely see it as part of a larger vision and strategy.
Good game, Gucci
GG, the famous Gucci monogram, is also an abbreviation for ‘good game’ in gamer circles. The coincidence is fitting, as Gucci is becoming fully immersed in all things digital games. In addition to Gucci Town on Roblox, the house recently announced its partnership with e-sports platform FACEIT and the World Health Organization (WHO) to establish Gucci Gaming Academy.
The academy is the first of its kind, designed as a coaching program to support up-and-coming e-sports talent. Its primary focus is on education and support in mental and physical health. Unfortunately, many e-sports players experience immense pressure and online scrutiny resulting in low mental and physical health. Having WHO involved means greater awareness of these negative impacts, along with appropriate resources and networks to support people playing in the pro leagues.
The academy’s inaugural class of four will commence this year, with candidates already in the FACEIT Pro League (FPL). The academy will be part of Gucci Changemakers activities in the future.
From games to health
To complete the picture, Gucci recently announced its collaboration with health tech company Oura to release a Gucci-branded smart ring used to track sleep and physical activity. The ring can be purchased via the Gucci website and comes with the Oura membership. Owners gain daily insights and patterns into their health and wellbeing.
In addition, the Gucci x Oura app includes access to a variety of guided audio sessions, sleep sounds, breath work and more. The collaboration celebrates individuality and reflects Gucci’s origins in the world of sports and leisure.
Gucci is heading in a unique direction that again shows its originality and individuality. Many luxury brand executives would roll their eyes at these moves, suggesting that Gucci is straying too far from its main product offering and assumed typical audience. But you can’t assume anything. Audiences evolve, and businesses must adapt to get in front of an emerging demographic that spends and values things differently.
From a low-fi game in Roblox to health tech, artistic director Michele’s vision is unparalleled. While each announcement might seem insignificant at the time, together they give a fascinating look into how a high-end brand is paving a new era of luxury living.