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Brief Published: 14 Feb 2018

Valextra’s Shoppable V-Day Game Celebrates Shopping Lust


Summoning a whimsical nostalgia for the days when commerce was purely a bricks-and-mortar affair, Italian fine leather goods label Valextra is marking Valentine’s Day by offering a mobile game that celebrates the heady joys of shopping rather than romance. 

Designed to promote the Italian brand’s bags as a suitable V-Day gift, the Shopping Craze mobile game has players racing through a “shop-maze” to collect favourite handbags while navigating around “enemy” shoppers. Further tapping into nostalgia, the interface is inspired by 1980s 8-bit video games. Players advance by navigating obstacles to successfully complete virtual purchases, recording scores on a leaderboard. The first 1,000 to do so get a leather Valextra charm inspired by the game’s graphics, as do all customers purchasing from Valextra on Valentine’s Day. Purchase opportunities are inserted when a player completes a level, with several products popping up on screen. A click leads to the brand site for more information and a direct path to purchase.

Brands have been differentiating themselves by leaning away from clichéd romance-themed campaigns for Valentine’s. A standout among retailers’ V-Day concepts last year was fashion label Marc Jacobs’ homage to the low-fi sex hotline infomercials of the 1990s (see blog).

Valextra’s efforts also align with an ever-growing millennial affection for all things 80s (see Nostalgia Fashion Forecast A/W 18/19 and Reebok x Lisa Frank), including the era’s crude digital graphics (see also Playful Optimism: Materials).

For more insights into how retailers celebrated Valentine’s Day in 2018, see our report Retail: Valentine’s Strategies ’18.