Teenage boys better hand over the joystick. A rush of new video games focusing on weight loss, fitness, gymnastics,horseback riding and cheerleading means women are the new target demographic in a universe once reserved for their couch-riding brothers and sons. Nintendo’s Wii console is leading the diversification efforts—almost 15 million units of Wii and Nintendo’s handheld system DS were sold last year. Fit, a fitness-related game released this spring that has women sweating in front of their TVs, is on pace to reach three million in unit sales this year. And beauty advertisers such as Proctor & Gamble and L’Oréal are among those clamoring to get in the game.
Often engrossing players for long stretches, video games are increasingly compelling brand exposure platforms, marketers say. Research firm eMarketer forecasts that advertising spending for the video game sector will soar 133 percent from $650 million in 2007 to $1 billion in 2012, while the U.S. market for video game hardware and software will climb 33 percent from $15.8 billion to $21 billion in the same period. Available on everything from computers to cell phones to traditional consoles, games offer marketers a variety of avenues to target their chosen slice of the female demo. Averaging $15,000 to $100,000, banner ads or video clips paired with online games are considered affordable methods of homing in on older women. Console games are preferred by younger audiences and for roughly $200,000 to $1 million, advertisers can place brand imagery throughout the console game-playing experience. “The opportunities for sponsorship are unbounded,” says Jonathan Epstein, chief executive officer of the video game ad firm Double Fusion, who estimates that a principle sponsor of a cheerleading game, for example, could easily get its brand seen by up to one million girls.
PC and console game advertising isn’t merely about slapping logos in games, though. Advertisers can customize their ads for certain geographic locales or create branded games-within-games to directly communicate with players. So-called dynamic advertising is also beginning to enable marketers to tout seasonal variations and new launches. “Cosmetics [companies] actually start to populate stores with real products,” says Ken Ripley, an executive vice president at in-game ad firm IGA Worldwide, of the ad capabilities in the PC game Sims 3 due out in 2009. “People don’t think they can reach girls through games, but they are completely and utterly wrong.”
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia