Amaro is creating a clothing line with the help of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, using outfits devised in the video game by players as the inspiration for real-life pieces.
The online womenswear brand developed the initiative with creative agency SOKO in Brazil, and hopes to launch the crowdsourced capsule collection later this year.
To source these designs, Amaro has created an Animal Crossing character for its existing virtual influencer. In May, Amaro announced the launch of its new virtual model, named Mara. While unable to hold photoshoots during lockdown in Brazil, Amaro used Mara to continue launching new products on its website and she continues to feature on Amaro.com and the brand’s social channels.
Once gamers have entered Mara’s unique character friend code in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (advertised on Amaro’s social channels), players can visit Mara’s island and talk to her avatar. The virtual island is available for players to visit daily from 11:30am to 3:00pm and from 7:00pm to 9:00pm (Brazil Standard Time).
Select outfits from these interactions are chosen by Amaro to feature in the real-life capsule collection and in-game designers will receive vouchers as a reward for their efforts.
People are able to follow the ideation of the outfits on the campaign’s Instagram page, where 13 styles have already begun the design process.
Amaro creative director Luciana Cardoso says, "As a native digital brand, Amaro understands that the lines between online and offline are increasingly blurred, and that is why we are always proposing fashion-technological launches.”
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Believe the hype / As the global gaming market is set to exceed $180bn in revenue by 2021, reported by MediaKix, brands are tapping into the category’s potential. Reflecting on the recent increase in gaming activity in light of the pandemic, Nnamdi David, head of media strategy at Mediahub, noted that gaming has emerged from the “dingy basement of online advertising” into a mainstream focus for brands.
Since 63% of gamers are women and of that demographic 60% play daily, avatar ‘skins’ are a fit choice for brands like Amaro looking to connect to a female audience. We’ve seen brands in the past leverage the collectible appeal of skins and other virtual items to engage with consumers. Samsung utilised the hype of Fortnite and boosted sales of a new product 243% by creating The Galaxy Skin, which was only available to people who bought Samsung’s new device. And thanks to a capsule collection by Moschino, lovers of The Sims can buy fashion items inspired by the game’s avatars.
Initiatives like Amaro’s aren’t new, but releasing Cross Collection during a surge in gaming activity in light of the pandemic does give the campaign an increased chance of engagement with the brand from its desired audience.
Personal touch / Animal Crossing has become a platform for people to interact with fashion during lockdown and Amaro is leaning into this to forge a creative dialogue with fashion-lovers. The brand is tapping into a space were gamers are already flexing their design ideas – and, with an existing virtual influencer, Amaro is perfectly placed to step into simulated worlds such as Animal Crossing. The Switch simulation game also feels like an appropriate platform for Amaro to exploit given the brand’s particular focus on technology. The untapped consumer base provides an opportunity for Amaro to create new connections with a personal touch, by encouraging people to engage and design with the brand.
We’ve seen other brands reach out to consumers for collaborative inspiration. Fashion brand Nyden used influential Instagram personalities to crowdsource design ideas in 2018. And in 2017 online furniture retailer Made.com developed a platform for people to submit their own style ideas, which were then judged and selected for production.
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