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Expert Q & A

How To Draw 20M+ Visitors With a Branded Metaverse Experience

September 6, 2022
March 22, 2022
Mae Rice

No need to wait for Meta’s metaverse! Peek inside the process Kimb Luisi and Dan Young used to build Alo Yoga’s virtual mindfulness retreat in Roblox.

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Have you visited the Alo Sanctuary? 

It’s a mindfulness retreat, sponsored by athleisure brand Alo, where you can do outdoor yoga classes and mini-meditations in peace. The only sounds on the island: birdsong and a waterfall.

Oh, and it’s in Roblox, a gaming platform — slash metaverse — with 54M daily active users.

It feels like everyone has a theory about what metaverse marketing will look like, thanks to the Meta rebrand. But why theorize when you can talk to the people already pulling it off? 

We asked the creative directors behind the project — Kimb Luisi and Dan Young of Sawhorse Productions —  for their road-tested metaverse marketing tips. 

Create a social experience. 

Users go to Roblox to socialize, especially with friends who can’t meet up in person. 

“It offers a lot of opportunities for people to experience things together in a different way,” Luisi said. 

Brands need to make space for virtual socializing — so in the Alo Sanctuary, avatars do yoga together.

Compress that virtual commute. 

When they took a first pass at the Alo island’s design, Young and Luisi’s team made it  “cinematic” and “huge,” Young said.

Too big, their gamer colleague told them. Users would feel lost and leave.

So Young and Luisi shrank the island to keep the walk from the entrance under 20 seconds, creating “a cleaner, smoother, more clear experience.”

Don’t skimp on metaverse merch.

Roblox users are “very motivated by how their avatar appears,” Luisi said, so merch is big. 

In the sanctuary, users earn Alo merch by doing daily meditations — and their avatars can wear that merch in other Roblox experiences.

A complication: Many avatars aren’t humanoid, and a dragon tail won’t fit in leggings! So the merch shop offers accessories, from hats to an Alo-branded “aura,” for irregularly-shaped characters. 

Align digital and IRL activations. 

Alo launched its Roblox sanctuary during New York Fashion Week 2022, where Alo hosted a slew of in-person events

The sanctuary mirrored Alo’s IRL activations in New York — even offering Roblox versions of popular Fashion Week merch — for “people that couldn’t necessarily make it there in person,” Young said. 

More and more, he sees “real world and metaverse experiences going hand in hand.”

Our takeaway?

Metaverse marketing is already in full swing. To do it right, make sure your experience fits your brand and the platform, like the Alo Sanctuary. 

It makes Alo’s core product clear and spreads awareness of a brand pillar: mindfulness. It’s also social and compact, with virtual merch that fits the Roblox culture. 

No wonder it’s been visited 20M+ times!

Mae Rice
about the author

Mae Rice is editor in chief at MarketerHire. A long-time content marketer, she loves learning about the weird and wonderful feedback loops that connect marketing and culture.

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