The Metaverse isn’t arriving, it’s been here all along. The difference now is that companies are seeing its business potential alongside its role in the entertainment space. Some of the biggest companies in the world are diving head-first into this new frontier. Facebook has even gone so far as envisioning itself as a “Metaverse company” in the near future.
What is the Metaverse?
In the simplest terms, the Metaverse is a virtual environment where users connect socially via the Internet.
The thing is, as “new” as the concept seems, we’ve had experiences like this for a long time. In fact, the most obvious example is the world of gaming. Users have been sharing spaces with virtual avatars in games like Neverwinter Nights in 1991 to Grand Theft Auto 5 in 2013. Both of which have migrated platforms and are still played to this day.
These platforms have even cashed in with virtual items users can buy as a sort of virtual status symbol. For example, Grand Theft Auto 5 is the second-highest selling entertainment product in history. It has sold over 160 million copies worldwide since its launch. Thanks to the ability to buy in-game cash with real money, it still earns over $2 million a day.
What Makes the Metaverse Unique?
Through virtual reality, augmented reality, or a mix of both, the Metaverse changes the conversation from browsing the internet to living within it. There are a few characteristics that make the Metaverse stand out:
- Always on: The Metaverse doesn’t end or pause when you leave. It all happens in real-time, you may come and go as you please, and each user has individual agency.
- User-generated content: People in the Metaverse can create (and sometimes sell) art, products, experiences, and more to other users.
- Labour rewards: Many spaces allow users to earn virtual items, money, and real estate. Some even buy and sell items for currency outside the Metaverse.
- Multi-platform: Metaverse platforms actively connect, allowing users to transfer items and avatars to multiple different networks.
The Metaverse is an ever-expanding universe that aspires to have no end. Equally important, the space grows and changes depending on the input and decisions made by its users. It merges reality with the virtual.
Marketing in the Metaverse
If it wasn’t obvious yet, the opportunities to make money and expand your brand within the Metaverse are exciting and varied. Different forms of marketing like influencer, social media, experiential, and more, collide in the Metaverse. Here are a few of our favourites:
An in-game event called ‘Food Fight’ split players into two teams: Team Burger and Team Pizza. The two teams were tasked with fighting one another until only one was left standing.
They learned that Team Burger’s patties were stored within in-game freezers, something that goes against their ‘Fresh, never frozen beef’ motto. Using Twitch, Wendy’s invited players to join them in a quest to ignore other players and destroy the freezers instead. The stream took 9-hours, accumulated a combined 1.5 million minutes of watch time, and increased the brands mentions across social media by 119%.
For their 100th birthday, Gucci utilized both physical and virtual experiences to showcase the vision, aesthetic, and philosophy of the brand.
For two weeks, an immersive multimedia experience was installed in Florence, Italy using cutting-edge technology. This experience was then replicated virtually in Roblox.
Users were able to visit a virtual Gucci Garden for a limited time and view special experiences. Users could also purchase exclusive virtual items such as the Gucci Dionysus Bag With Bee which was eventually re-sold for 350,000 Robux, an in-game currency equal to $4,115.
Coca-Cola (NFT Auction)
If you don’t know what an NFT is, that’s okay (they’re a little confusing). In short, it’s a digital asset using blockchain for storage and protection. The other thing you need to know is that they are very hot right now.
Coca-Cola capitalized on this popularity, creating a collection of multi-sensory NFT’s and auctioning them off in a single bundle. So, the winner of the auction received four NTFs along with a real-world fridge stocked with bottles and extra prizes.
The final selling price of the collection was $575,000. Coca-Cola also utilized its brand to push the collection and raise over $500,000 for charity.
The Metaverse is a new renaissance when it comes to marketing your brand. The opportunities are seemingly endless with the only limit being how creative you can get. Collectables, immersion, and parallel experiences are driving the Metaverse towards its new place in the marketing sphere.