Fashion, for some, is a serious business. Fashioholic launched its first game today and announced that it has raised $1 million in seed funding.
The Israeli startup makes mobile fashion games. Its Fashion Eye app is a social game where players pick a style theme and get prompted them with questions. It might show two shoes and ask which is more expensive, or ask you to guess the price of a ring. You can play against friends, unlock badges, trend tips, and offers, as well as save clothing you are interested in purchasing.
Marketing director Anna Brody said Fashioholic specializes in “serious games,” or games that provide value other than entertainment. The games are also meant as a marketing channel for fashion brands. Participating designers choose which merchandise to display and get their products in front of engaged, style-savvy consumers. They can collect data on users’ preferences and deliver targeted merchandise. In addition to Fashion Eye, Fashioholic can develop customized games for brands, and the technology can be white-labeled.
Fashioholic aims to help brands and designers reach consumers on mobile in a way that is more engaging than display ads. A strong mobile presence is crucial for fashion brands today. However, mobile advertising remains a struggle for many because so much of the fashion marketing is experiential. It traditionally involves big glossy pages in magazines, store displays, or circulated images of fashionistas wearing specific items. A small mobile ad can only create so much drama for a pair of shoes or dress, and so brands are looking for other opportunities that leverage the unique aspects of mobile phones, like cameras and GPS. Mobile games are extremely popular and present a strong opportunity to give brands exposure — assuming people download the game, that is.