Brand Activation: Is Roblox or Fortnite Better for your Brand?

When it comes to crafting a compelling brand activation strategy, the choice between Roblox and Fortnite can make all the difference. Both platforms have transformed advergaming, giving brands incredible ways to connect with audiences through immersive and interactive experiences, but, which one aligns best with your brand’s vision?

In this blog post, we will examine the unique features, demographics, and potential brand activation opportunities in Roblox and Fortnite, helping you make an informed decision that will maximize your campaign’s impact.

What is Advergaming/Brand Activation? 

Advergaming, fundamentally, intertwines advertising seamlessly with the gaming experience. Whether it’s incorporating a branded level into a popular mobile game or crafting a fully immersive adventure, the overarching objective remains consistent: to showcase a brand, product, or service while delivering an enjoyable gaming experience.

Brand Activation Examples

Advergaming isn’t a new concept – In fact, the first advergame was created almost 50 years ago! With brands from fashion retailers to fast food companies, there are some big name getting involved. Coca-Cola’s “Happiness Factory” game merged fantasy with creativity to push the brand’s uplifting message and was part of one of Coca-Cola’s most successful marketing campaigns in history.

Similarly, whilst not technically a game, Sephora saw a 35% increase in online sales by allowing their customers to try on different shades and styles of make-up using their AR ‘virtual artist’.

These successful examples highlight how advergaming enhances brand engagement and aids customers in product selection, showcasing its dual capacity for entertainment and utility in marketing strategies.

Why strategy is important 

The success of advergaming hinges on a carefully crafted strategy that balances entertainment with brand promotion. By creating engaging and immersive gaming experiences, brands can capture the attention of their target audience while creating positive associations with their products or services. This approach requires a deep understanding of gaming trends and your target market’s behaviours to ensure the integration feels natural and non-intrusive. 

Why Choose Advergaming?

    • Increased Brand Exposure: Immersive gameplay with brand elements boosts visibility and awareness. 
    • Enhanced Engagement: Interactive experiences build deeper consumer connections. 
    • Viral Marketing Potential: High-quality advergames can spread organically on social media. 
    • Positive Brand Associations: Enjoyable games create lasting, positive impressions of the brand. 

Things To Be Aware Of

    • High Development Costs: Significant investment is needed for high-quality development and design. 
    • Potential Backlash: Forced brand integration can upset consumers and damage the brand. 
    • Balancing Entertainment and Promotion: Too much or too little advertising can harm the gaming experience or dilute the brand message. Gamers want to game and that should be the priority. 
    • Limited Reach: May not appeal to all demographics, with some preferring ad-free games. 

Gamification vs. Advergaming 

While gamification and advergaming share some similarities, they serve distinct purposes.
Gamification involves adding game-like elements to non-game contexts, such as loyalty programmes or app usage streaks (such as duolingo).
In contrast, advergaming revolves around the creation of standalone games primarily for advertising purposes.

While both strategies leverage elements of gameplay, advergaming places a stronger emphasis on brand integration and promotion within the gaming experience with entertainment being the focus.

Roblox or Fortnite? 

In today’s digital world, engaging with audiences through online gaming platforms has become a game-changer for brands. Platforms like Roblox and Fortnite offer vibrant, unique spaces where brands can connect with their audiences in meaningful ways.

With millions of active users, both platforms open up a whole new world of brand activation possibilities for businesses to dive into, and are already being taken advantage of by renowned names such as Coca-ColaAdidasBarbieLegoNike, and Vans. But which is best for your brand? 

Let’s take a look at the differences between Roblox and Fortnite, focusing on graphics, audience, gameplay, and the opportunities for brand activation within these platforms. 

Graphics 

    • Roblox: Features a distinctive blocky, pixelated art style allowing flexible and simplistic designs. This aesthetic appeals to a younger audience, it is easy for users to create and customise their experiences.

    • Fortnite: Known for its visually immersive art style, characterized by vibrant colours, elaborate animations, and quirky characters… I’m sure we’ve all seen at least one of the Fortnite dances, I managed to master the floss pretty well.

Audience

    • Roblox: Predominantly attracts a younger demographic, with 60% of its player base under the age of 16 and only 17% over the age of 25. Roblox appeals to all genders and boasts 191 million monthly active players.

    • Fortnite: Tends to attract a slightly older audience, with approximately 62.7% of players aged 18 to 24. Fortnite’s player base is predominantly male, with about 90% of players identifying as such, and it has 221 million monthly active players.

Gameplay

    • Roblox: Offers a versatile array of experiences ranging from treasure hunts to battle arenas and various adventure genres. This open-ended platform encourages creativity, allowing users to explore and create content in numerous ways. Brands can integrate into this exploratory and creative environment, enabling users to engage with branded content in fun and interactive ways, such as trying on virtual outfits or participating in branded adventures.

    • Fortnite: Defined by its competitive gameplay experiences, including multiplayer, solo, and team-based dynamics centred around achieving goals and overcoming dynamic challenges. Brand engagement in Fortnite is often contextual, embedded within the energetic and fast-paced gameplay that players love.

MLC Cat parachuting onto Fortnite island

Comparison of Brand Activation Opportunities in Fortnite and Roblox

Customisation and Virtual Merch

Fortnite:

    • Avatar Customisation: Brands can design skins, emotes, and accessories that players can purchase and flaunt in the game. These items often tie into larger collaborations, such as those with Marvel and DC Comics

    • Limited-Time Offers: Brands can release exclusive, time-limited items that create urgency and drive sales, leveraging the in-game V-Bucks currency system.

Roblox:

    • Avatar Customisation: Brands can create virtual clothing, accessories, and items that users can buy to jazz up their avatars. From Gucci bags to a fresh pair of Vans, Roblox avatars allow players to fully customise their look.

    • Limited-Time Offers: Roblox also thrives on FOMO (fear of missing out). Limited-time virtual items tied to real-world product launches or special promotions get the community buzzing.

Comparison: Both platforms are pros at customisation through virtual merchandise. Fortnite’s focus is on high-profile, limited-edition skins and emotes that tie directly into its gameplay. Meanwhile, Roblox offers a broader range of customisation across various user-created experiences.

In-Game Events and Experiences

Fortnite:

    • Live Concerts: Fortnite has hosted major live concerts with artists like Travis Scott and Marshmello, drawing millions of viewers and raking in revenue through related in-game merchandise.

    • Seasonal Events: Fortnite frequently holds themed events that integrate brand collaborations into its narrative and gameplay for a truly immersive experience.

Roblox:

    • Virtual Concerts and Events: Roblox is no stranger to the stage either, hosting virtual concerts and events with artists like Lil Nas X and Zara Larsson, providing interactive experiences that resonate with its community.

    • Branded Worlds: Brands can create entire worlds within Roblox. Whether it’s exploring the Gucci Garden or playing sports in Nikeland, these environments offer rich brand engagement.

Comparison: Both platforms excel at large-scale virtual events, but Fortnite’s events tend to weave into the game’s ongoing story, making them feel like part of a grand narrative. Roblox, on the other hand, allows for the creation of standalone branded worlds, offering more diverse and persistent engagement.

Custom Game Creation and Interactive Experiences

Fortnite:

    • Fortnite Creative Mode: Brands can use this mode to create custom maps and mini-games, offering unique branded experiences within the Fortnite ecosystem. This allows for creative freedom and brand-specific engagement, as seen with the O2 Arena and Carrefour’s Healthy Map.

Roblox:

    • User-Created Games: Roblox thrives on user-generated content, allowing brands to create custom games or sponsor existing ones. This flexibility lets brands design unique experiences that engage users in myriad ways—from educational games to epic adventures.

Comparison: Roblox’s strength is its vast user-generated content and flexibility in creating diverse interactive experiences. Fortnite Creative Mode offers a more controlled environment for branded content but may not match the variety of user-generated games in Roblox.

Advertising and Sponsorship

Fortnite:

    • In-Game Advertising: Fortnite offers prime real estate for in-game ads, whether it’s billboards or product placements seamlessly integrated into the game world.

    • Brand Partnerships: Strategic collaborations with major franchises, blending brands into the game’s environment and storyline, create high visibility and engagement.

    • Influencer Marketing: Fortnite leverages influencers extensively. Influencers create content, stream gameplay, and promote in-game events, reaching millions of followers. Epic Games collaborates with top-tier influencers, turning them into full-time Fortnite content creators and driving significant engagement.

Roblox:

    • Sponsored Games and Content: Brands can sponsor popular games within Roblox, embedding their products and messages directly into the gameplay.

    • Influencer Marketing: Roblox has a well-established influencer program, the Video Stars Program, which supports top-tier influencers with tools, early access to features, and promotional opportunities. This program significantly boosts brand visibility through influencer-generated content.

    • Video Ads and E-Commerce: Roblox has now introduced video ads and has recently announced its first integrated e-commerce partnership with Walmart. Brands can display video ads and will soon be able to enable real-world purchases directly within the platform, turning virtual engagements into real-world sales.

Comparison: While both platforms offer opportunities for advertising and sponsorship, Fortnite’s approach is more integrated into the game’s environment and narrative. Roblox provides a broader range of sponsorship and a new capability for video ads and will soon be rolling out a wider scale e-commerce feature that enables direct purchases within the platform.

Which Platform Should I Use for Brand Activation?

Choosing between Fortnite and Roblox for brand activation depends on your marketing goals, target audience, and the type of engagement you want to achieve.

    • Fortnite is your go-to platform to leverage high-profile collaborations, integrate into a grand narrative, host large-scale live events or tap into their extensive influencer network.

    • Roblox is ideal if you seek extensive customisation, want to create immersive branded worlds, and are interested in video ads, direct e-commerce opportunities and influencer marketing.

Both platforms offer unique and powerful ways to engage with audiences, so choose the one that aligns best with your brand’s objectives and the type of interaction you want to create.

Conclusion

In conclusion, advergaming is set to play an increasingly pivotal role in the future of advertising. As technology advances and consumer preferences shift towards more interactive and immersive experiences, brands that embrace advergaming will be well-positioned to stand out in a crowded marketplace. By partnering with a skilled studio like MLC, you can ensure your brand remains at the forefront of this exciting advertising frontier.

Advergaming offers a compelling way to connect with consumers in an increasingly digital world. With careful planning and creative execution, brands can utilise the power of gaming to deliver memorable, branded experiences that establish deeper connections with their audience and engage new target markets.

If you have an advergaming vision you want to bring to life, or have any questions about how it all works, get in touch. Whether you need custom branded assets or a complete team to bring your concept to life, MLC is ready to help you design and create an immersive advergaming experience in both Roblox and UEFN.

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