Metaverse Marketing Strategy: Everything You Need To Know!
Imagine that one day, with just a few clicks, you could change your hairstyle and clothes, teleport to the stage of a concert of your favorite artist or meet your friends from your room. The Oasis of «Ready Player One» was a fantastic dream that only existed in our imagination. Is the metaverse still a possibility or a genuine new avenue for the advertising and marketing community?
What is the “Metaverse” and how does it relate to advertising?
Virtual worlds, augmented reality and the Internet make up the Metaverse. It is a shared virtual sphere generated by virtual enhanced physical reality, where everyone will have their avatar to play, create, explore or socialize in a virtual 3D experience.
“Metaverse” is not a new term created by the Metaplatform. It first appeared in Neal Stephenson’s 1992 science fiction novel “Snow Crash,” which depicts an imaginary world with human beings as avatars interacting in a 3D environment to escape a dystopian reality. It would not be surprising if the Metaverse became our next future, with all the accelerated digital transformation such as 5G, artificial intelligence and cryptocurrencies that have been developed in the last decade.
According to Epic Games Inc. CEO Tim Sweeney, the Metaverse has the potential to become a multi-billion dollar part of the global economy in the coming decades, open to all companies and brands.
Going back to the first quarter of 2021, the VR headset developed by the Meta platform, the Oculus Quest 2, has recorded a shipment record of 4.6 million units for a single model. If the “Metaverse” grows exponentially in the new era, it will undoubtedly be one of the major future playing fields for the digital advertising industry. “Meta Ads” are likely to attract higher engagement from audiences, due to their fully immersive digital experience.
What are the marketing opportunities for brands in the Metaverse?
Virtual reality will be a means to create, explore, identify, express, connect and socialize, transforming the business and marketing mindset.
In 2021, brands around the world experimented with virtual and augmented marketing campaigns, from digital apparel, concerts, showrooms, and collectibles. Big brands like Walmart, Nike, Disney, Microsoft and Facebook are creating virtual communities, content, assets, fashion, art, experiences and worlds. Our physical world and virtual realms can co-exist in a new economy, environment, currency, and behaviors.
Think of it as a new billboard for marketers: storytelling without limits. Here are some of the latest examples of how brands are entering the metaverse.
1. Virtual world: 3D digital exhibition hall
“Nikeland” built by Nike x Roblox
At the end of 2021, Nike has announced a new project called “Nikeland”, a virtual world created on the Roblox online gaming platform. The world includes Nike buildings, fields, stadiums, and sports venues for players to compete in sports mini-games. There is also a digital showroom so users can dress their avatar in Nike gear and check out the latest Nike collection in real life. “Digital is increasingly part of everyone’s buying journey, and we are well positioned to achieve our vision of a 40% digital business by fiscal 2025,” said CFO Matt Friend.
Question for brands to consider: How to buy the digital land in the metaverse and build a 3D showroom?
2. Massive Live Interactive Event: Fashion Show, Virtual Music Show
Massive Interactive Live Events/Experiences (MILE) are made up of interactive elements such as VR, games, live shows, etc. that provide an immersive means for people to connect and drive engagement.
Gucci’s Garden was a 2-week virtual collection show on the Roblox platform, garnering over 19 million visitors. The Collector’s Room allows users to collect limited Gucci items, so they can then display the signature collection as an avatar’s fashion ensemble in the Metaverse.
In addition to the brand’s activities, celebrities have also started to jump into the pool of the virtual world.
Avatar of Justine Bieber for her concert in the Metaverse.
In November 2021, Justine Bieber activated her first immersive and interactive live show as an avatar performing the Metaverse. It allows the public to interact with the star with digital reactions, such as likes, supporting emojis, etc.
Question for brands to consider: Do we need to get involved in social VR from the beginning in order to take full advantage of the capabilities of the metaverse?
3. The new meta-influencer: Avatar models for brands
The goal of influencer marketing in the metaverse is purpose and community driven, it is vital to engage consumers in metacommunities.
Daisy, created by Yoox
Fashion brands like Prada, Puma and Yoox create their avatar models. Last year, Yoox released her new avatar model Daisy on Instagram. To make the clothes feel “more familiar and personal” to her followers, Daisy was created with features gleaned from Yoox user data and customer preferences. Prada also collaborated with Lil Miquela, the Los Angeles-based virtual influencer created by Brud. Lil took over Prada’s Instagram account at Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2018 to upload backstage videos and images.
4. Virtual display: In-game advertising
Brands have also moved from real-world outdoor advertising to virtual billboards within the game, at sporting venues, or at other events. Going beyond billboards, today brands can also set up digital customer service booths at one of those digital events/exhibitions. Bidstack billboard ads in esports.
5. Brand Assets: Digital Collectibles/Virtual Goods/NFTs
NFTs and the metaverse are interconnected. In the metaverse, users can display and exchange digital forms of art and goods using blockchain-backed NFTs, making the metaverse a new marketing dimension for brands to develop their digital assets.
Coca-Cola’s first NFT series – Coca-Cola’s wearable bubble jacket.
Coca-Cola has announced its first series of Ethereum-based NFT loot boxes, including a metallic red bubble jacket wearable inspired by its old cast uniforms. There are also digital versions of vintage Coca-Cola trading cards and some classic Coca-Cola signature packs. The company has also created avatars and other virtual content, such as a pixelated version of the traditional 1956 Coca-Cola vending machine.
6. Virtual brand personas
Some brands have also created brand characters and online events in games to closely interact with their fans.
For example, in the game “Animal Crossing”, Sentosa Development Corporation created a Sentosa Island and invited fans to interact. Food delivery service company “Deliveroo” delivered virtual treats in the game, along with promo codes for ordering food in real life.
Key ingredients for brands to enter the Metaverse
The essential question is: Is the Metaverse for all brands? The first to join the virtual realm will be brands and industries founded around a true commitment to lifestyle. For example, the automotive, luxury, f&b, travel, hospitality, real estate and airline sectors are more likely to evolve. Here are some key components for brands to consider before entering the Metaverse.
- Early movers: Brands built on strong digital foundations or familiar with working with audience, data, social media, and e-commerce applications.
- Gen Z and millennials in mind: Take advantage of AR and VR ads for the visual generation.
- Strong Community: The virtual realm is community-driven, which is best for brands with an active, passionate, close and repeating audience.
- Learn from the creators and top NFTs – they are leading the way into the Metaverse through different innovative approaches compared to traditional brands.
- Associations: collaborations between brands or associations of influencers.
What should brands keep in mind when immersing themselves in the Metaverse?
When brands dive into Metaverse marketing, there are several things to keep in mind. The brand has to find a way to protect its image and reputation.
Since in the Metaverse, everyone can access the platform and do what they want. Any instant digital crisis can happen when scammers or hackers appear on the platform. In addition, privacy and data security are also a challenge for brands. With the development of this new technology, it is necessary to implement and evolve new security measures in case of any breach of company data.
Finally, brands and content creators must also anticipate new measures against the problem of writing digital assets.