FIFA is marketing VISA and Adidas to kids in Roblox games
GAMES AND ADVERTISING: Children are exposed to advertising pressure from an early age. Now FIFA has launched a new football game in the Roblox Universe in partnership with Visa and Adidas. Elton John is also marketed with his own game there.
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Roblox is not one game, but a platform that provides access to many user-generated games. And the selection is becoming increasingly diverse for better or for worse. In certain cases, it also allows large companies to market themselves directly to children and young people by offering games on the platform.
In Norway, the game is very popular. Over half of the country’s 9 – 10-year-olds play Roblox (Children and Media, 2022).
Now, FIFA with the upcoming Football World Cup in Qatar 2022 has released its own gaming experience on the platform, but with a commercial backdrop.
And there is no denying that this year’s host country has received some criticism, partly because of the lack of human rights for vulnerable groups, including migrants, women, and homosexuals. This may imply that the entire World Cup is quite controversial in that context.
However, in the Roblox game, this perspective is omitted, although the flags and logo with Qatar 2022 sway high along the entire game world.
The aim of the game is partly to build up the mood around the World Cup and to convey the joy of football.
Among other things, you can watch small video clips from icons in the sport. And you can read facts about everything from the World Cup trophy to selected matches and football teams. In addition, you can participate in games, which are somewhat similar to mini golf but with a ball.
Here, you have to shoot a ball and hit targets with as few kicks as possible.
Another obstacle course makes it possible to collect coins to buy digital stickers. Then you have to go to a booth where it shines in capital letters (VISA). The coins found in the game also reflect FIFA sponsor VISA.
And if that is not enough about marketing, kids can participate in a bowling game supported by Adidas. The logo can be found in various places on the premises, including the floor.
The digital stickers you can collect are not free. They are sold in packages that you can buy using collected coins, or you can pay with Robux, the game’s own currency for which you pay real money.
Thus, from children’s and adolescents’ pocket money, some income also goes to FIFA. As they get part of the revenue from Roblox.
In other football games, such as FIFA 23, it is also possible to play in this year’s World Cup in Qatar. Here you will also find advertisements, but FIFA 23 is often more popular with older children, and Roblox is especially popular with younger ones. This means that Roblox allows advertising pressure on the very youngest who is in their target group.
From football to piano with Elton John
Another artist who has thrown himself on the Roblox wave is singer Elton John. With the game Beyond the Yellow Brick Road, you can go deeper into the life and achievements of the music icon. Among other things, you can buy various outfits that Elton John is famous for with virtual money or Robux (real money).
But much of the time is spent wandering around a colorful game universe inspired by the singer’s style and life.
You can also play small rhythm games that deal with different songs. Here you have to press the piano keys at the right time. This is similar to the old rhythm game Rockstar.
The more accurate you are, the more points you get.
(Translated from Norwegian by Ratan Samadder)