Imagine you are Mario from Nintendo’s wildly popular Mario Bros. video game. Now, instead of defeating sewer creatures, you are cruising around Rome, jumping up to bump the FF logo coins and small black Fendi Baguette bags as the reward. This is what players can expect from Fendi’s new WeChat Mini Game, Fendi Ways to Rome, which was launched yesterday. Collaborated directly with WeChat for a month, this is the very first WeChat game in the luxury industry, according to the brand.
Mini Games on WeChat are a lucrative business. The platform has grown to over 400 million monthly active users, and some Mini Games have over 10 million monthly revenue from in-app-purchases in the Android system. But luxury brands have been tardy to take advantage of this lucrative feature, though Fendi is taking the first step.
And it is a remarkably solid first step, combining Fendi’s DNA with a visually exciting Rome adventure. The details of the game are impressive. For example, players can choose their own avatar to play. The male version is Xu Weizhou, the Chinese actor, singer-songwriter and brand ambassador for the Fendi Peekaboo bag in China (his own music scores the background of the game). Players can follow Xu Weizhou through the different levels of the game: Discover, Tracing, and Pursuit of Dreams in the journey through Rome, and then unlock the “hidden” level to complete the experience.
The game unveils the bricks and tiles of ancient Rome, which players can learn about Fendi’s history, such as the Mouth of Truth to test faith, the Palazzo Della Civiltà Italiana, Fendi’s headquarters, known as the “Square Colosseum,” the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, which was the location for the Fendi Fall/Winter 2016-17 Couture Show, as well as the Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, and the Fendi flagship store in Largo Goldoni, in the heart of the city.
Fendi has also added substantial rewards for their fans who play the game. They will choose three people out of the top 1,000 players and give them a round trip ticket from Shanghai to Rome, three free nights at a hotel, and a guided tour of Rome. And for those players who leave comments regarding hidden details of the game they’ve discovered; they can also win a small gift. On July 5th, players can anticipate a host of surprises as a new level of the game will be unlocked.
The brand has upped its expansion in China. This past May, Fendi held a co-gender fashion show at the Powerlong Museum in Shanghai, with Xu Weizhou not only walking the runway but also opening and closing the show. Fendi has continued to utilize the star power of Xu’s and his immerse fanbase. In a previous interview, Fendi CEO Pietro Beccari emphasized the importance of such and stated, “If you have done it right, I believe you can communicate your branding to millions of fans via one influencer.”
Star power took effect, and his fans responded overwhelmingly positively: “I’d like to play for my idol Xu,” or “This such a delicate Mini Game.” Many fans hope to travel with Xu, if they are selected for the trip. Moreover, within one day, the post garnered over 11,000 pageviews and received 141 likes. Game on — all roads lead to Rome.