metaverse marketing

Though metaverse is still a nascent concept and businesses are waiting to see how it unfolds, there are brands that have dived into it by hosting games, concerts and walk-throughs in the last two years. In this blog, we look at four examples of brands that have used AR, VR and 3D technologies to engage their audiences in the metaverse. 

What is the Metaverse?  

There’s an interesting history behind when the word ‘metaverse’ was first coined. In 1982, Neil Stevenson, who writes speculative fiction, released a book called Snow Crash, where the characters would go to a virtual place (a metaverse) to escape a totalitarian reality. The book gave foresight into a future where we could create avatars of ourselves and slip into a virtual reality. But, it’s possible Stevenson’s premise may not have been conjured out of the blue.  

Even prior to this period, scientists and authors explored the concept of alternate reality or metaverse in their research and works. For example, in 1838, Sir Charles Wheatstone attempted to create a 3D image by combining two images, one for each eye. Later in 1956, Morton Heilig, known as the pioneer in virtual reality, built the Sensorama Machine, which could simulate the 3D experience of riding a motorcycle in Brooklyn. He even combined the virtual reality with sights, sounds, smell and a vibrating chair to give the user a close-to-reality experience. 

The Metaverse with Google, Facebook and Microsoft 

In the past decade, the metaverse has become more real with brands like Google, making an AR-VR Google Glass, Microsoft releasing HoloLens and Facebook acquiring VR gaming brand, Oculus and renaming itself as Meta. These moves by tech giants are showing us that the metaverse is the way forward, and there’s a lot to explore when it comes to realising the possibilities the metaverse can unfold. 

In our previous blog, we talked extensively about what is metaverse and why the metaverse is a great platform for B2B marketers.  

In this blog, we’re going to look at examples of brands that have successfully run trade shows, product demos, advertisements, product enhancements, and customer service campaigns in the metaverse. These examples can help marketers understand the various possibilities they can explore in serving customers and growing business through the metaverse. 

How Sephora France Created Augmented Product Experiences  

While online shopping has boomed in the last two years, there are some product categories where customers still prefer to try on before they purchase. Understanding this need, Sephora launched its virtual artist app, which uses AR (augmented reality) and facial recognition software to help its customers try on the make-up products, see how it looks on them, and then purchase it. The app additionally provides personalised step-by-step makeup tutorials too, to help customers recreate the looks they like. 

More recently, when its customers couldn’t come to physical stores to purchase its products, Sephora France came up with an innovative digital marketing strategy to launch its new perfume collection, Do Not Drink. It collaborated with neuroscientists to build a campaign around the fact that scent and taste share the same receptors in the brain. Its campaigns had Instagram influencers including neuroscientist creator Jessica Herrington create AR filters that evoked the senses through textures, colors, shapes and movements.  

An expert at Merit adds, “With Meta’s Spark AR Studio, it is now possible to create an augmented reality experience for your brand fairly quickly. It may not exactly be the metaverse at its fullest extent, but it certainly lies within the virtual landscape.”  

Celebrating Pokemon’s 25th Anniversary in the Virtual World 

In 2021, to celebrate its 25th anniversary, Pokemon collaborated with Selfridges, a chain of high-end department stores in the U.K, designer Charlie Cohen, and Yahoo RYOT Lab to create a virtual city where customers can shop for exclusive virtual and physical products. In this virtual, 3D environment, customers could walk through the stores in their avatars, wearing digital garments, and explore or shop for Pokemon products.  

Pokemon also supplemented this with campaigns in physical stores where customers could register for physical easter egg hunts and win physical prizes or digital collectibles.

Attending virtual concerts with Marshmello and Fornite 

Some time ago, Christopher Comstock, a DJ and EDM player who goes by the name DJ Marshmello, partnered with Fornite to host a virtual concert on the popular gaming platform. Fornite is an online video game that was released in 2017, and has over 200 million registered users worldwide.  

During the 10-minute EDM concert, the gaming platform saw 10.7 million people attend the concert within the gaming app. 

Building VR-based Events for Businesses 

A German-based global event technology company, called Rooom, put together a hybrid event for IFA Berlin, which hosts one of the most sought-after consumer electronics and home appliances trade shows in Europe. Rooom created a 3D replica of the exhibit hall with 3D product demos and platforms, and made the virtual reality (VR) technology available for virtual audiences on their desktop, mobiles and VR devices. It attracted 200,000 virtual attendees and 16,000 in-person visitors over four days. 

Sneakers for the Metaverse 

In late 2021, Nike acquired RTFKT Studios – a company that makes NFTs and virtual shoes for the metaverse!  

As a Merit expert says, “Obviously, the value of something like this is unclear. How are we going to get people to spend money on virtual shoes, in a virtual world, only time will tell? For now, there’s a curiosity factor at play and it is certainly a space to watch out for.”  

RTFKT designed these virtual sneakers to celebrate a round of funding from VC-firm, a16z, a few months before the Nike acquisition happened!

The Future of Metaverse is Yet to Unfold 

While these are just a handful of examples, there are other brands like Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton and Coca-Cola which hosted similar events on the metaverse, where its customers could create virtual avatars of themselves, and engage with the brand through games, events, and walkthrough-stories.  

The reality of today is, while we are increasingly seeing brands adopt AR, VR and 3D technologies across events, concerts and games, seeing avatars close business deals in the virtual world, or support teams solve customers grievances in the virtual world are things that we are yet to see unfold. 

Will the virtual world of metaverse ever become real? Let us know what you think by writing to us.  

Merit Group’s expertise in Marketing Data   

At Merit Group, we partner with some of the world’s leading B2B companies. Our data teams work closely with our clients to build comprehensive B2B marketing contact lists that provide a direct line to their target audience in the metaverse or in real life.  

If you’d like to learn more about our service offerings or speak to a marketing data consultant, please contact us here: 

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