As quickly as NFTs and blockchain trends have burst in popularity, they were just as quickly replaced with the next new craze- the Metaverse. The introduction of marketing through the metaverse allows brands to expand and break out of previous limitations on customer interactions depending on time, day, season and location, 24/7. Due to the nature of the metaverse, this also means that AI specialists, experienced designers, talent from the gaming world, and creatives will be in high demand. Gartner predicts that a quarter of consumers will use the metaverse daily by 2026, meaning brands such as Wendys, Coca Cola, and McDonalds are all scrambling to push their activation strategies and platforms into the metaverse. However, Metaverse at its core is like any other digital platform, which means there is a need for a long-term plan, rather than a short term money-grab solution. A number of years may be needed before a brand can publicly push their metaverse campaign, and it’s recommended that at the bare minimum, you have a strategy and internal road map to chart the journey your brand will take towards integrating into the metaverse.
Let’s take a look at two different brands looking to expand into the metaverse: Wendys and Epic Games.
Wendys has just launched Wendyverse, a virtual restaurant on Meta’s existing Horizon Worlds platform that enables a virtual Wendy’s restaurant, a plaza centered around partnerships, and a March madness-themed experience that allows users to play basketball on the court.
Meanwhile, Epic Games has taken a less direct focus (although, they are already an existing brand centered around games), by hosting events featuring artists such as Ariana Grande and Travis Scott within the world of their popular game Fortnite. While Epic Games has pushed their integration of the metaverse rather subtly in a way that made it seem like an extension of the game, Wendys has simply pushed their agenda of marketing using the metaverse as another trendy tool. It’s safe to assume which method is deemed more successful. While Epic Games may have an advantage, being a brand that is already integrated with gaming and the metaverse, this is a good example of how not to push your brand blindly into the metaverse. Consumers don’t like to have ads shoved into their face, and they especially don’t want to interact with your brand unless there happens to be something in it for them. It’s hard to imagine anyone who would want to specifically log onto Wendyverse to play basketball when there are way more popular video games centered around sports (NBA 2k, Madden, etc.) and the entire universe is just a big ad in disguise as a virtual world.
Brands, if you want to join the metaverse craze, you need to be a bit more consumer-minded about it. Create something that you know will benefit or entertain the user- work on making it popular first. Then, you can start thinking about adding in advertisements. The metaverse is greatly aligned with the Esports industry and gaming- and if there’s anything gamers hate, it’s ads from brands that have no relation to gaming, who just want to make a quick buck.
Photo by TheBetterDay