Editor's note: Last updated: 11:57AM on Tuesday, March 7, 2023 with the Home Depot activation.
The world's most recognizable brands are on Roblox.
The future is now. Roblox has created an entertainment platform where brands can bring their real-world experiences to life in virtual worlds. Despite what you may think about the "metaverse" or "spatial computing," one thing is certain: the next generation of consumers are currently spending their time in the gaming world of Roblox.
This immersive, social platform helps brands connect with their young audience by creating interactive game experiences and publishing them to the public. At the core of the Roblox experience is a virtual currency — Robux — which players can use to engage in commerce on the platform. This means that commerce is native to the experience, making the Roblox platform for Brands an owned retail digital twin.
Brands have been turning to Roblox as their metaverse-of-choice for creating gaming and entertainment experiences for Gen-Z and Gen Alpha. Brands like Lego, McDonalds and Nickelodeon are building in the metaverse. Consumer brands of all kinds have used Roblox to create immersive experiences for their audiences.
In this tracker, we’ll keep tabs on brands using Roblox to market experiences and explore some ways that you can leverage this platform.
This Roblox Brand Tracker will stay up to date as new information and news become available. Brands will continue to build the future on Roblox, and we'll keep you informed here at Future Commerce.
- April 17 — Essity creates a Virtual World to provide menstrual education in Roblox (via FemtechInsider)
Hygiene and health company Essity, together with its leading feminine care brand Saba, are launching a virtual world on the online video game platform Roblox in order to normalize menstruation. The project, V-Land, encourages boys, girls and parents to have a space in the metaverse where stigmas and taboos around menstruation are removed through edutainment
- April 14 — Vans World and Gucci Town are merging togethger with virtual public transit to celebrate their new metaverse scavenger hunt, an activation between their respective Roblox worlds (via Hypebeast)
- March 7 — Home Depot goes full dork mode by providing virtual kids workshops in Roblox (via PR Newswire)
- Feb 17 — Pacsun doubles down on its metaverse aspirations with a "Los Angeles Tycoon" experience (via RetailDive)
- Feb 7 — Dave & Buster's announced its entry into the metaverse, with an immersive, football-centric theme that brings classic arcade and midway games to a younger audience. Just in time for "the big game," the Dave & Buster's World will feature reinvented arcade football classic GridIron Blitz™ and Full Tilt™ into Roblox versions of obstacle courses just in time for the Big Game. (via FSR Magazine)
- Feb 2 — The NFL and Saweetie announced the "first NFL SuperBowl concert in the metaverse," a family-friendly event that will feature music from Saweetie and motion-capture performances. The experience will debut in Rhythm City, the Warner Music metaverse land launched in January. (via NFL.com)
- Jan 30 — Warner Music launches Rhythm City to introduce users to artists and music through social roleplay, virtual concerts, and mini-music challenges. (via PRNewsWire)
- Jan 24 — Walmart is under fire for "stealth marketing to kids." A number of consumer advocacy groups have a problem with Walmart’s entry into the metaverse. The online retailer last fall announced the launch of two new virtual worlds on Roblox, Walmart Land and Universe of Play, aimed at engaging the next generation of shoppers. The experiences allow Roblox users to play games featuring toys and popular kids’ characters, earn virtual toys that drop from a blimp, complete challenges, and explore “toy worlds,” among other things. But the groups argue that Walmart is blurring the lines between advertising and organic content and doesn’t properly disclose that the content within these virtual worlds are essentially ads and should be labeled as such. (via Techcrunch)
- Jan 24 — Chipotle Mexican Grill now has a permanent home in the metaverse. On Roblox, Chipotle has digitized the experience of working at a real-life restaurant. More than 4 million users played the game its first week, and more than 17 million have since then. It follows Chipotle’s first metaverse experience, released six months earlier—a maze to earn virtual merchandise and free burritos at real-life restaurants—to accompany its Halloween-themed Boorito marketing. (via Observer)
- Jan 6 — H&M’s virtual Roblox Loooptopia game promotes fashion circularity. Swedish fashion retailer H&M has partnered with online game platform, Roblox to create an immersive game in the metaverse that encourages virtual garment experimentation while promoting circularity (via AdWeek)
- Nov 22 — Foot Locker is stepping into the metaverse with a new retail concept. "Kids Foot Locker House of Play" will feature unlockable sneakers with superpowers, games, and interactive spaces. (via Chainstoreage)
- Nov 16 — Red Wing Shoes is launching the Builders Exchange Program so that people can design “tiny houses” in the virtual world of Roblox that could become actual homes in the real world. (via Venturebeat)
For every five skilled trades workers leaving the industry, only one is joining. But Red Wing Shoes figured out people are building but not in the traditional way we all think about; millions of young people are building in the virtual world in places like Roblox. (via Venturebeat)
- Nov 7 — The Fabricant announces a digital fashion storytelling project to take place in Roblox
- Nov 6 — Stranger Things Day (November 6) commences with Netflix launching, among other things, a Roblox-centered game universe of Stranger Things.
- Nov 4 — Sir Elton John to perform a live concert in Roblox every 10 minutes for 3 days starting November 17-20. The activation, entitled "Beyond the Yellow Brick Road" is to celebrate the singer's legacy of fashion. “I’ve always been myself and used my image, eyewear, and music to express myself, and Roblox really encourages that self-expression. Now my fans can do the same, and that’s really exciting.” (via Style News Australia)
- Nov 1 — Roblox teams up with Parsons School of Design with IRL-to-"Phygital" digital fashion recreations of famous apparel. The Parsons School of Design course will teach students how to create — and ultimately sell — digital fashion using Roblox tools, taught in-game by Parsons faculty.
- Oct 31 — Roblox introduced new ad and content restrictions, removing ads from in-game experiences for children under age 13. "Advertisers will no longer be able to include kids under the age of 13 in all-encompassing campaigns on Roblox," according to an article from Kidscreen. Roblox sports50m active daily users, and around 47% are under age 12. (via Toyworldmag)
- Oct 28 — Roblox and Victoria’s Secret have combined the worlds of fashion and technology in a new and charitable in-game match up. "In spring 2022, Victoria's Secret launched Happy Nation, a size-inclusive and gender-free online store for tweens, dedicated to digital-only fashions in a bid to get in on the ever-expanding metaverse market." In October they have built upon that activation with Color It You, a game that values self-expression.
- Oct 26 — Philips Norelco announces Shavetopia, a Movember activation in Roblox
- Oct 26 — Claires launches in Roblox after surveying and studying its customers. "Our consumers are what we affectionately call Gen Zalpha [Gen Z and Gen Alpha]. They are all over Roblox. We talked to them. We understand what their lives are like, what they’re doing, what they’re playing." (via Forbes)
- Oct 23 — Aespa (a girl singing group) teams up with Crocs for a 20th anniversary concert in Roblox, with “virtual fan cams” that are super cringe
- Oct 17 - Invisalign sees over 2 Million users in its Roblox activation
Invisalign in August launched its interactive dentist office in Roblox’s role-playing Livetopia world in partnership with Publicis Groupe, Starcom and strategic consultancy IF7. Features include an explorable dentist office equipped with exam rooms and two mini games, Movie Night and The Big Game, each designed to reinforce Invisalign’s brand purpose of giving people the confidence that comes with a straightened smile (via Marketing Dive)
- Sept 29 — Hasbro announced a My Little Pony activation, bringing Maretime Bay to the virtual world
- Sept 26 — Walmart launched two activations, Walmartland is a space for concerts and limited-time activations, and a merch store. Walmart’s Universe of Play is a “virtual toy destination”
- Sept 22 — 21M have visited the Roblox Nike Stores
- June 16 — Osh Kosh B’Gosh takes over “Fashion Runway”
- May 27 — following Gucci Garden (boasting a whopping 20M+ visitors in its run), Gucci launched Gucci Town, a persistent presence in Roblox
- June 7 — Forever 21 and Mattel team up for a Barbie collection in the Forever 21 Shop City, an existing F21 activation
Forever 21 Shop City also features four themed districts including entertainment, obstacle course, food court and yellow carpet, where users can role play, meet up with friends, discover hidden rare items, and build their community. (via Chainstoreage)
- March 21 — Nickelodeon launches NICKVERSE on Roblox along with a parent’s guide to online safety and conduct
- May 18 — Clarks teams up with Roblox for CICAVERSE, a virtual sports tournament
- May 6 — Dear Evan Hansen sells merch in Roblox to raise money for charity
- April 5 — Chipotle announces a “roll your own burrito” experience which crashed servers
- March 31 — PACWORLD is announced, a PacSun activation in Roblox
PacSun is “all in” on the metaverse. “PacSun first entered the NFT space with the launch of the PacSun Wave NFT in November 2021, followed by the Pac Mall Rats series in January 2022” (via Retail Touchpoints)
- Feb 10 — Alo Yoga announces an activation in Roblox, curiously not in a virtual Los Angeles
- Feb 3 — Kicking off the new year with a Nascar partnership, and going Direct to Roblox (launching experiences on Roblox directly)
These days, Roblox no longer acts as the mediator for many of its in-platform brand activations. Instead, brands have started to work directly with developers without ever interacting with Roblox itself. This change is very much by design. “We are focused on empowering our developer community to be fully equipped to take the lead on such projects and have direct collaborations with our partners” (via Digiday)
- November — Nikeland is a virtual Nike House of Innovation in Roblox (engaged 7M after 4 months)
- Sept 22 — [Spotify announces Spotify Island](https://techcrunch.com/2022/09/21/spotify-island-on-roblox-planet-hip-hop/#:~:text=Spotify becomes first music streamer,Planet Hip-Hop — Doechii.), a land where you experience “the first metaverse streaming service partnership”
- Sept 1 — Vans World virtual skate park
- August 31 — Hyundai launches its Virtual Mobility Adventure
- July 6 — Sony Music announces a partnership with artists, repping Doja Cat and Tyler the Creator
- May 17 — Gucci Garden announces a Roblox activation
- May 16 — Roblox removes the word “game” from the site, replacing it with “experience”