SM Supermalls engaged young audiences with a one-of-a-kind Roblox experience
The campaign won in the Retail category at The Drum Awards for Marketing APAC 2023.
SM Supermalls tapped into gen A's love of gaming to connect with young audiences on Roblox / Sven
With a digital-first mindset, SM Supermalls set out to connect with young consumers whose experiences with malls were limited, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. By building an interactive virtual Roblox mall experience, the brand was able to engage Gen A users in ways that felt natural to them, generating 100,000 visits and an uber-high engagement rate. The brand sees the project as a positive step in its commitment to ongoing innovation in the rapidly evolving retail landscape.
SM Supermalls, a major mall chain in the Philippines, faced the challenge of connecting with young consumers of generation Alpha, or Gen A, amid a global pandemic. Recognizing that Gen A audiences, who were born in the 21st century, had limited exposure to malls due to lockdowns, SM Supermalls enlisted the help of agency Sven to find a solution.
The goal was to capture Gen A’s interest by leveraging their affinity for gaming and virtual experiences and tap into their experiences as digitally demanding and socially connected consumers.
To engage younger audiences, SM Supermalls and Sven turned to popular gaming platform Roblox. In 2023, Roblox was the second most-used mobile gaming app in the Philippines, with 67.3 million daily active users, 80% of whom were under the age of 16. Recognizing Roblox’s popularity among young consumers, SM Supermalls hoped to bring its mall experience closer to Gen A by creating the first-ever virtual Roblox mall in the Philippines, called the AweSM SuperKids Zone.
The AweSM SuperKids Zone offered an adventure-filled virtual world where Gen A users could explore a replica of a real-life SM mall and engage in a range of fun activities, like swimming in the AweSM Super Pool, zooming around in AweSM Bumper Cars, riding the AweSM Ferris Wheel, competing in an obstacle course called the AweSM Rainbow Obby and much more. The launch of the experience coincided with kids’ summer vacation, which enabled SM Supermalls to further capitalize on Gen A’s affinity for gaming and socializing.
SM Supermalls implemented strategies to encourage Gen A and their families from across the country to explore the virtual mall. They employed always-on content, including tutorials and promotions shared across multiple brand accounts, to drive conversations online. Additional hype was created through social media engagement and partnerships with online publications.
Suggested newsletters for you
The AweSM SuperKids Zone at Roblox proved to be a resounding success, delivering strong performance for the brand and capturing Gen A’s attention. Within two months, the AweSM SuperKids Zone received 100,000 visits, leading to an average of 20.3 hours of total playtime per month. The initiative garnered 5m content impressions and generated 3.7m content engagements. Plus, the total engagement rate hit 94.85%.
Gen A audiences signaled their sentiment about the experience online; positive feedback and reviews flooded social media, where users expressed their enthusiasm and reminisced about their experiences at SM Supermalls.
Moreover, the success of the initiative caught the attention of Toy Kingdom, a prominent Philippine toy retailer, leading to the creation of a branded room within the Roblox game that required users to complete a task for entry. The collaboration opened doors for future branded partnerships.