- Apparel retailer Aéropostale is readying the first two phases of what will be an expansive, four-part metaverse activation in partnership with Web3 development platform MetaversePlus, the company said in a press release.
- AeroPax, a collection of 30,000 non-fungible tokens (NFTs) will launch on March 23, offering perks like promotions and limited-edition apparel while doubling as digital passes to forthcoming metaverse realm AeroWorld. To promote the launch, Aeropostale will award 10 AeroPax holders with a Tesla.
- The second phase will tease AeroWorld, allowing users to claim avatars, access virtual and real-world experiences and collect in-game points to earn perks. The multi-stage effort signals how brands are increasingly using Web3 activations to drive engagement through promotions and experiences.
Aéropostale is making a sweeping entrance into the metaverse with its four-phase unveiling, heavily relying on exclusive perks and offers to maintain hype. Such an effort could signal that brands this year are increasingly swapping one-off metaverse activations — which have largely been the norm — for experiences that beg repeat visits and higher customer engagement, both welcomed metrics as marketers look to better understand the younger demographic.
With the tie-up between MetaversePlus and Aéropostale, the Web3 development platform seeks to build the fashion retailer's presence through NFTs, world building and members-only perks. Teased on the retailer’s social media channels, the initial collection of 30,000 AeroPax digital collectibles each feature a unique blend of traits and abilities and will serve as the holder’s interactive avatar and pass to the forthcoming AeroWorld experience. Perks of each collectible vary, but can include “ultra-rare” offerings like the chance to be featured on one of the brand’s social channels.
To build excitement for the launch of AeroPax, each holder will get a limited-edition hoodie after purchase and be entered into a sweepstakes for the chance to win one of 10 free Teslas, with the winners chosen at random. Phase two of the rollout — the sneak peak of AeroWorld — allows users to claim their avatar character and access events and games that can lead to additional perks. The remaining two phases of the activation are yet to be announced.
"Through this partnership, we aim to make Aéropostale a leading brand in the Web3 space and help shape the future of community and customer engagement in the virtual world,” said Naushaba Moeen, executive vice president of lifestyle at Aéropostale parent Authentic Brands, in the release. Authentic Brands, which acquired the fashion retailer in 2016, also owns brands including Forever 21 and Eddie Bauer, among others.
Aéropostale’s latest push could help it better identify and understand its younger consumer base as it continues to resurface from a low point for business, which ultimately saw it file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2016. The brand since has looked to popular channels, including TikTok and Instagram, to drive its engagement efforts and has attempted to forge a stronger connection with its target audience by marketing around values known to be prioritized by younger audiences, including diversity and acceptance.
Others in the Gen Z and millennial fashion space have also been strategizing around the metaverse. Notably, American Eagle has boasted the success of its presence in Roblox’s Livetopia, reporting that by October of last year it had seen 50 million unique visitors to its space and over 30 million virtual clothing try-ons. Similarly, Pacsun in the 2022 holiday season expanded its PacWorld Roblox experience to include a gift shop and virtual try-on station.