What is the “Metaverse”?
In simple terms, the metaverse is the convergence of physical, augmented reality, and virtual reality. The word metaverse translates to “beyond universe". This glimpse of the Internet's future suggests the connecting of a physical persona with a digital persona, which enables you to live in a digital world. The metaverse will likely give visitors another way to seek entertainment, shopping, travel and many other daily activities.
The thought of a metaverse might sound futuristic, but it’s already here today in various forms. It’s not like you are being used as a power source (as in the movie The Matrix), but a more evolved version of what you see in the movie Wall-E.
(Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar)
Researchers believe the metaverse will be a completely different beast (and arrive sooner than many thought) due to the 2020 pandemic. This is because of the social distancing and isolation caused by lockdowns and other counter-pandemic measures. Many people ended up spending more time online and living more of their everyday lives connected via digital means.
From a marketing standpoint, the metaverse opens many doors of potential opportunities to find and interact with your customers.
According to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, “a virtual environment where you can be present with people in digital spaces. We believe this is going to be the successor to the mobile internet.”
For example, instead of using Facetime or Zoom, you will be able to meet “face to face” in a virtual world.
Digital Advertising in the Metaverse:
The metaverse represents a shift away from traditional advertising and toward brand experiences that are more engaging, interesting, and less bothersome than what we now see in digital advertising.
The phrase "in real life" or “IRL” has taken on a whole new meaning for companies trying to create a relationship with today's new generation of consumers. The same old digital advertising may not be enough; it needs to be engaging, meaningful, and immersive. This is exactly what the metaverse will do for companies in the not-too-distant future.
Let’s take a look at two companies that have already used the metaverse for advertising.
Louis Vuitton: For the 2019 League of Legends World Championship, luxury fashion brand Louis Vuitton collaborated with Riot Games. The Summoner's Cup, which is given to the League of Legends World Champion, will have a special virtual case designed by Louis Vuitton.
League of Legends, commonly referred to as League, is a 2009 multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Riot Games. The game has collaborated with many other brands so users can use a virtual replica of physical items during the game.
Chipotle: Another example of marketers using the metaverse to their advantage is Chipotle promoting its Halloween “boorito” in the game ROBLOX.
"As a digital innovator, we are always experimenting on new platforms to meet our guests where they are," said Chris Brandt, Chief Marketing Officer at Chipotle. "Roblox's popularity has boomed over the past year, and we know our fans will be excited to celebrate the next evolution of Boorito in the metaverse."
What is an NFT and why is it relevant to the metaverse:
NFT’s or Non-Fungible Tokens are crucial in connecting the digital and physical worlds by giving avatars or digital goods a unique identity. An avatar or location, for example, created with an NFT, is not a generic item which can be copied or replicated but a verifiably singular item which can be owned, bought and sold.
This unique, identifiable item now has value and ownership. This is why items in the metaverse can have value, scarcity and ownership. This is where things start to get interesting!
From a business point of view, this means that marketers have access to an entirely new universe for communicating with customers and conducting business, just as in the physical world.
Should you be thinking about marketing in the metaverse?
While the metaverse is still developing and likely won’t reach its fullest potential for some time, there are many opportunities for certain types of organizations to take advantage of this brave new world.
More and more marketers are talking about the metaverse and what it can do for businesses of all kinds.
Here’s a fascinating NY Times article, Investors Snap Up Metaverse Real Estate in a Virtual Land Boom.
Contact us if you have any questions about marketing in the metaverse or
any other digital marketing topics.