“[Web 3.0] is not about spending more time on devices, but making that experience better and connecting with each other in a better way.” - Luke Franks, Host, Welcome to the Metaverse Podcast
Every era has a dominant medium. Greek theater, broadway, movies, TV, radio. etc. And in the past 10 years games have become our grand media. So much so that Fortnite, a player-versus-player game developed by Epic Games, is seen by many to be a precursor to the metaverse.
The metaverse is the next iteration of the internet (Web 3.0) where we will experience our digital lives in persistent 3D virtual worlds and interact immersively in really rich ways. The term doesn't really refer to any one specific type of technology, but rather a broad shift in how we interact with technology. It includes VR and AR, but a virtual world, like aspects of Fortnite, can also be accessed through PCs, game consoles, and even phones.
It also translates to a digital economy, where users can create, buy, and sell goods. And, in the more idealistic visions of the metaverse, it's interoperable, allowing you to take virtual items like clothes or cars from one platform to another.
For more information on the metaverse, I recommend this article from Wired and this demo by Meta.
We are starting to see more brands experimenting in this playful space, primarily using existing virtual platforms like Fortnite and Roblox. These spaces make a lot of sense for luxury brands or companies who are more into streetwear culture or entertainment.
But it’s becoming apparent that you don’t have to just be a “cool brand” to play in these spaces.
For example, last year O2 set a record for engagement with a ‘musical adventure’ experience in Fortnite Creative. They had 15 million views and 8 million attendees for an 18 minute game play. A key factor in this success was not only quality execution, but that it was a natural move considering that 02 already has is a connection to music.
The ability to connect your brand to a theme or association with a particular message is really important because there is less ability in the metaverse to lean into the “this is my product and this is what it does” form of content marketing.
For a brand to find success it must identify a virtual value proposition. This is where the space gets really exciting because virtual value proposition should be connected to the real-world value proposition, but it can be heightened.
Nick Pringle, the SVP Executive Creative Director of R/GA has a great example: “You’re an energy drink in the real world and you make jet packs in the virtual world.”
However, keep in mind that the metaverse puts people before brands which stems from decentralization and its gaming roots. Web 3.0 is very much like Discord, a community hub, where you put out ideas to the community and get feedback so you build together.
Brands must position their offerings very carefully and move at a steady non-rushed pace so as not to jump into a community without understanding the culture of the space. Be careful and think about where you have permission to play. We’ve seen some big brands enter and stomp in and use the language of the space in a way that wasn’t authentic.
It’s obvious and people will notice.
It’s very early and so much is unknown. We are looking at what is commonly considered to be the hardest creative problem in the history of humanity.
Get a console, play, learn. You can’t understand from Youtube. Put on an Oculus headset and go in. Look at what other brands and creators are doing.
Tip: don’t think about how you can recreate the current physical world. The most interesting thing to think about is what you can do completely differently.
Is your brand doing something interesting with the metaverse? Do you have advice for brands looking to get into the space? WE want to hear about it! Feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter Mendelson is the Founder and Executive Creative Director of Posture Media, an independent branding and marketing studio based in Brooklyn.
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