PopSugar launches a brand-heavy online shopping game

This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

Banner ads are so 2007. Integrated advertising — so seamless, you barely realize you’re being hawked something — is the new modus operandi at style websites.

Case in point: Online women’s media company Sugar Inc. (which owns a slew of female-focused sites, including PopSugar and FabSugar), just launched a social online fashion game, PopSugar’s Retail Therapy, funded by ad dollars from numerous big-name fashion companies whose wares are featured in the game.

The hyper-girly shopping game, which is available at, on Facebook and through PopSugar’s home page, allows players to merchandise and design their own fashion boutiques and dress their characters in brands including Banana Republic, Barneys New York, Diane von Furstenberg, Gap, Juicy Couture, Topshop and Tory Burch.

Beginning with an empty boutique, players stock their shops with clothing and design their store layout (the looks are replicas of real items that — surprise! — players can buy right off the game). They then earn virtual money to deck out their boutiques with furnishings or grow their stores into mega-sized department stores.

“Our goal is to constantly add innovative offerings that entertain and delight our large audience of women,’ said Brian Sugar, founder and chief executive of Sugar Inc., whose other goal is to make tons of cash, presumably. ‘We wanted to create an addicting game that would appeal to one of their greatest areas of passion — fashion.’


-- Emili Vesilind