Every holiday season, brands find themselves faced with the challenge of capturing shoppers’ attention and, therefore, clicks — and, of course, some of their holiday season spending. This year, Betches (13 million followers across social media), the media platform known for its humorous takes on everything from politics to “The Bachelor,” decided to build a virtual house, dubbed the Betches Holiday House. The experience will go live on November 14 at betches.co/holidayhouse. The virtual, shoppable house will remain live post-holidays and will factor into Betches’ 2023 strategies, with quarterly refreshes to the content and theme being planned.
Luckily for many users, it’s not a metaverse experience; you don’t need an avatar, and it won’t be confusing to users who haven’t dabbled in gaming, and perhaps don’t want to. It’s more like a virtual apartment, but far chicer than most of the options on StreetEasy. In addition to featuring its own Shop Betches merch, it features a “walk-in closet” decked out with items from partner Saks Off 5th. The House was created by Obsess, a company known for virtual retail storefronts. Previously, Saks Off 5th partnered with Betches to promote its Fourth of July sale via Instagram Stories.
In addition to offering a shopping experience, the house is also intended to build community, a current priority for the Betches team, according to Sami Sage, the company’s founder and chief creative officer, and Randi Windt, vp of sales and brand partnerships. The Holiday House will be promoted across the Betches network spanning Instagram Stories and feed posts across a majority of the brand’s verticals, plus TikTok videos, podcast plugs and newsletter promotions.
Betches approached Saks Off 5th with the opportunity to partner on the Holiday House. “We had identified them as being a really amazing retail partner for our audience and our community, based on Saks Off 5th’s previous work with female publishers in the space, their ability to provide a wide range of both high and low fashion pricing and our audience demo overlap, we knew this partnership would offer our community the ideal virtual shopping experience,” Windt said.
Betches’ audience comprises millennial women, with a majority between the ages of 25 – 35. “They engage with our content, buy products we recommend and are not afraid to share their opinions. 94% are female and 93% are over 21,” according to Windt.
Regarding the motivation for the House, she said, “We’ve been tasking ourselves to think about what’s new and next, and where we can further drive engagement with our community.”
“This was a great opportunity for [us] to engage with a new audience that closely aligns with our core customer,” said Sara Griffin, svp of marketing at Saks Off 5th.
Among noteworthy items featured in the closet, Griffin called out Gucci sunglasses, cashmere sweaters and Stuart Weitzman boots. Sage worked with Aleen Dreksler, Betches’ co-founder and CEO, to curate objects for the rest of the house, including Assouline coffee table books, colorful West Elm velvet throw pillows and a Kitchen Aid mixer. A vanity is filled with Rare Beauty blush, a Summer Fridays face mask and a Pat McGrath eyeshadow palette, among other popular beauty picks. With the exception of the Saks Off 5th Closet, all products showcased throughout the Holiday House wither drive affiliate commission or are Shop Betches merchandise, Windt said.
“Aleen and I were really hands-on with the design and the art, and making sure the House has all these funny touches. It was like a mini version of designing our office,” she said.
To further encourage engagement within the House, there will also be a “phone booth,” where visitors can listen to embarrassing stories the brand gathered via a Google Voice account. And, by exploring the House and collecting tokens, users will be able to earn special discounts for Shop Betches.
A holiday recipe found in the kitchen is among other exclusive content found in the house. “We’re also going to have a podcast wall where you can listen to funny clips from all the podcasts,” Sage said. The media brand has 12 podcasts.