FMP | H&M X THE SIMS 'METAVERSE'
An Advergaming Campaign for a fashion brand, promoting the benefits gaming can have to mental health and challenging the sigma ‘Gaming is for men/boys’ by being a collection for women only.
Advergaming campaigns have become a huge trend for the fashion Industry since these campaigns have been popping up since 2020 with great success. Due to COVID-19 the fashion industry needed a new method to tap into their consumer and with fashion shows being cancelled brands needed a new platform to showcase their collections, this is where gaming came into play.
The female gamer is a consistently growing consumer group. ‘In 2018, it was calculated that women accounted for nearly 45% of all gamers in the US’ (LSN, 2018). This later increased to 46% in The US in the later year of 2019 (Statistia.com, 2020). Yet 100% of women asked Agree or Strongly agree with the statement ‘There is still a stigma that video games are for Men/Boys’.
In a climate were many highstreet brands are failing, eg. recent sale of Topshop, H&M group are the worlds 2nd largest retailer in the world.
Covid 19 has affected H&M with “H&M is planning to reposition its 5000-plus store estate into logistics hubs focusing on “digital growth” as its new management aims to shake things up. How can we use those stores even better as logistical hubs for deliveries, for pick-ups, for returns?” This comes as H&M revealed that it was set to open its fewest amount of stores in over a decade, suggesting a shift in focus away from its traditional retail focus. (chargedretail.co.uk, 2020) With H&M’s new focus being on digitalisation it makes it the perfect choice for an Advergaming campaign. An Advergaming campaign has not yet be done by a highstreet fashion brand making it a new and innovative idea and giving the concept its USP.
H&M also have strong long term relations with suppliers makes a new collection easy to produce ‘Having strong, long-term relations with our suppliers that are based on mutual trust and transparency is a priority at H&M Group. This is something we are committed to and have always worked hard to achieve. As a result we have been disclosing our supplier list since 2013.’ (Hm.com, 2020)
H&M is well known for its collaborations with designers and other brands making it the perfect brand for an Advergaming collaboration.
H&M collaborations are well know for selling out quickly, “On average, pieces from H&M collaborations sell 22 percent faster than pieces from brands main labels” (reuters.com, 2019) meaning a collaboration range has a very high chance of success, making it a great business opportunity for the brand. “Not many high street stores can boast huge queues, crashed websites and social media hysteria whenever they release a new collection.” (bbc.co.uk, 2017)
The success of these collaborations can be put down to a few reasons “Perhaps the most obvious reason the collections do so well is because customers can get something created by their favourite designer, but for a fraction of the price.” (bbc.co.uk, 2017)
WHY THE SIMS?
H&M collaborated with The Sims 2 in 2007 for a fashion expansion pack, this collaboration well received “As far as the ‘Stuff’ expansions go for the Sims 2, this is probably the best of the lot. The clothing you get with this is excellent, much of it far more realistic than the original clothing. The variety is especially good for the female Sims” - Amazon Review (Amazon.co.uk, 2012)
As H&M have collaborated with The Sims before with great success it shows that a new collaboration would hopefully follow on from this success, and with The Sims graphics and features improved since The Sims 2, this collaboration will look even better.
The Sims is also a great game to create a female Advergaming campaign with as “almost 60% of the people playing The Sims are female.” (nydailynews.com, 2020) This high percentage of female players makes it the perfect fit for this collaboration as one of it main goals is to challenge the stigma ‘gaming is for boys/men.’
The concept is a S/S2022 physical and digital clothing collection by H&M in collaboration with The Sims. “H&M is planning to reposition its 5000-plus store estate into logistics hubs focusing on “digital growth” This comes as H&M revealed that it was set to open its fewest number of stores in over a decade, suggesting a shift in focus away from its traditional retail focus.” (chargedretail.co.uk, 2020) With H&M’s new focus being on digitalisation the next step is to include the consumer into this change.
An Advergaming campaign taken further to become a shopping experience within a metaverse. Metaverse defined as ‘a virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users.’ (Oxford Dictionary, 2021)
‘Advergaming; The term used to describe the different possibilities to advertise brands or products with computer and video games’ (Marolf.G, 2007)
The clothing collaboration collection will be available to buy exclusively online and the same clothing collection can be bought digitally on The Sims for players characters to wear. There will be links through The Sims 4 game taking the consumer directly to the H&M website to purchase the physical garments giving players the opportunity to wear the same clothing as their characters. Embracing the new wave of Digital Fashion that is currently titled “The future of fashion” (Kovacevic, S, 2021). ‘Digital fashion also solves many of the issues the traditional fashion industry faces, primarily in relation to transparency and sustainability.’ (Kovacevic, S, 2021).