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Are branded virtual worlds the new marketing terrain?


Through games like Roblox and Animal Crossing, consumers have warmed up to creating digital identities in virtual hangouts, and brands want in. P&G-owned skincare brand SK-II has responded by launching its own virtual hyper-realistic branded world, SK-II City, for consumers to spend time in. Inspired by the city-building video game SimCity, SK-II City is based around iconic sites in Japan like Mount Fuji and the Tokyo Tower. Users can visit destinations, like a movie theatre to watch films created by SK-II Studios, or a backstage tour area to see behind-the-scenes footage from campaigns.

The virtual city was created by SK-II Studios and global digital marketing agency Huge. It took a couple of months to build according to SK-II’s global senior brand director YoeGin Chang, who declined to comment on the investment. She says that the launch was in response to changing consumer behaviour. (VR firm Sense-R says that third-party VR experiences can cost between $10,000 and $50,000.) “We were less concerned about cash outlay and more about our customers who are seeking more differentiated experiences online,” Chang says. SK-II City will be a permanent site fixture (rather than a temporary activation) and the brand plans to build it out, eventually adding a virtual store to browse and buy products. Read More at https://www.voguebusiness.com/technology/are-branded-virtual-worlds-the-new-marketing-terrain

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