- To connect with Generation Alpha consumers online, Happy Nation, a sub-brand of Victoria’s Secret & Co., is collaborating with Roblox to create a virtual Happy Nation hub with three themed obstacle courses, according to a Tuesday press release.
- For every Roblox player who completes all three obstacle courses, Happy Nation will donate one pair of underwear, up to 10,500, to Undies for Everyone until July 31, the company said. Players can track their impact using the live counter displayed at the brand’s hub.
- Players who complete an obstacle course will receive a virtual tote bag. They can also browse the brand’s capsule collection, go to its photo booth, rest in the outdoor lounge area or visit the Wall of Happy, which highlights users that complete all three obstacle courses.
The unveiling of Happy Nation’s Roblox hub comes on the heels of its launch in April. Happy Nation’s clothing is made for children ages 8 to 13 and features size-inclusive and gender-free apparel across the swim, underwear and activewear categories. The brand is only available online, and Happy Nation’s first metaverse experience seeks to reach children where they appear to be spending a lot of time: Roblox.
Happy Nation tapped Super Awesome, a child technology development company, to create its Roblox presence. The themes of each obstacle course center on environmental sustainability, charitable giving and community, per the press release.
“The Happy Nation brand was launched to reflect the needs and values of Gen Alpha, with their parents in mind. Inclusivity and environmental sustainability are central to who they are,” Susan Anderson, vice president of Creative at Happy Nation, said in a statement. “As the most tech-savvy generation yet, we wanted to introduce them to Happy Nation in the digital space where they choose to spend their time, the metaverse.”
Happy Nation stands alongside other brands, including American Eagle, Gap and Forever 21, using Roblox to reach younger consumers seeking inclusivity. Following its Roblox launch late last year, Forever 21 dove deeper into its metaverse experimentation by offering its new Barbie Summer 2022 Collection with the Forever 21 Shop City on the platform earlier this month.
For brands, Roblox offers an opportunity to engage with teens and tweens and profits from selling digital goods, but it remains to be seen just how much young consumers are interested in the metaverse. A Vice Media Group and Razorfish survey found that a third of Gen Z respondents want brands to develop virtual stores in the metaverse. However, a Piper Sandler survey released in April found that 48% of Gen Z respondents aren’t sure of or aren’t interested in the metaverse.
Though Happy Nation joins other brands in appealing to younger consumers who want diversity and inclusion from brands, its parent company has long been criticized for lacking those qualities and is now attempting to revamp its image. In addition to debuting Happy Nation, the company also released Victoria’s Secret’s Love Cloud collection in February, with bras and panties ranging in sizes 32A to 40DDD and XS to XXL. The Love Cloud campaign also featured a variety of models to demonstrate its “commitment to welcoming and celebrating all women.”
So far, the rebrand appears to be working. When Victoria’s Secret saw a 3.6% bump in Q4 net sales, CEO Martin Waters dismissed criticism of the company’s changes. In Q1 2022, the company's net sales dipped by 4.5%, exceeding analysts' predictions and coming in at the high-end of its guidance.