How The Metaverse Will Revolutionise Advertising
Since the rebrand of Facebook to Meta back in October 2021, we can’t stop hearing the term Metaverse everywhere. Literally everywhere. So much so, you might actually now be a little embarrassed to ask, what is the metaverse and how can I use it? But don’t worry, we got you. Answering this question isn’t that straight forward. There is no universally agreed upon definition of the metaverse since, well, it doesn’t exist yet.
You might be wondering why we insist you pay any attention to a concept that is still only hypothetical, however, the next evolution of the internet is much closer than you may think. Already we are seeing what we will call protometaverses rapidly gaining popularity, becoming hot topics, not just for individuals, but also for brands and advertisers.
Protometaverses are virtual realities that exist only in isolation. The metaverse that Zuckerberg has invested $10 billion in, however, will exist as an interconnected virtual reality; only coming into fruition once all these virtual ‘worlds’ are combined into one giant universe.
So what will the metaverse look like? It’ll connect users in all aspects of their lives, in the same way different websites are all accessible through a single browser. It will be a huge interoperable network of immersive, 3D virtual worlds that are always active, existing in real-time, and can be experienced synchronously by an unlimited number of users.
Put simply, the metaverse will officially exist when a user can move from one universe to another with their digital identity, history and belongings. For example, if a user purchases virtual shoes from Nike in the metaverse, these shoes will be available for their avatar to use in other areas of the metaverse such as Fortnite, Minecraft, and even in Meta’s Horizon platform.
It’s still uncertain when the fully-formed metaverse will come into existence, however we’re already amidst a major shift towards a more digital existence.
For example, at JWI, we are already offering our clients the option to run fully virtual experiences, where attendees can attend immersive experiences, augmented by virtual reality, all without leaving their home or office. Not only does this align with the post-pandemic’s ‘new normal’, but moving experiences online enables reach to grow exponentially, and allows your budget to go a lot further. Within the metaverse these virtual events have the potential to become even more immersive and engaging.
So the metaverse is in, and seems like it’s here to say. Here are some other ways your brand can take advantage of the current protometaverses to support the inevitable takeover of the one and only metaverse:
1. EXPLORE VIRTUAL REALITY BILLBOARDS
Think Times Square in New York, or Piccadilly Circus in London. It’s impossible to look around without seeing brands everywhere. The metaverse will look very similar to this through your VR headset. Imagine you’re in a virtual meeting room and you look out of the window. You won’t just see billboards targeted at the masses, you see your favourite snacks, clothing companies, and electronics – curated to directly target you.
Similar opportunities are already available through in-game advertising. Real brands are placing ads in games like GTA online and Fifa, making virtual experiences feel even more like real-life.
The good news is, renting a billboard in the metaverse will always be considerably cheaper than one in Times Square! This technology is still fairly new, making it a cost-effective form of advertising with engagement remaining high due to the novelty aspect.
2. CREATE YOUR OWN NFTS
You’ve heard about them, you’ve seen them, but what are they? Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are one-of-a-kind digital assets stored on the blockchain that can be sold and traded.
NFTs have skyrocketed in popularity, branching into mainstream consumerism to become highly sought after investments. NFTs have opened up a new type of economy, allowing digital creators and brands to offer unique, irreplaceable digital assets that only belong to one person at a time.
Creating your own NFTs is a unique way to raise brand awareness. By offering NFTs, you can create new and unique brand experiences that foster greater brand loyalty through building a community. You may even offer NFTs as rewards to your most loyal customers, increasing customer lifetime value.
3. OWN VIRTUAL REAL ESTATE
The closest thing we currently have to the metaverse is one particular virtual world known as Decentraland, launched in January 2020. Here, people can live an alternate reality through their avatar, with the option to buy and sell assets as NFTs, visit art galleries, and even attend university.
What sets Decentraland apart from other VR video games is the fact that it uses cryptocurrency as a legitimate form of money. Decetraland’s currency, unlike the gold coins collected in Super Mario Bros, are programmed to be transferable as real-world assets. Imagine making real money from playing a game!
The system has 90,601 equal-size plots of virtual land, sold in the form of NFTs. But what’s the advantage of brands owning virtual land? You can sell on it, hold events, or build your own property. JPMorgan, the largest bank in the US, is the first lender to invest in this digital real estate, having created a lounge in Decentraland, called Onyx Lounge.
We’ve only skimmed the surface of the vast opportunities the metaverse will provide businesses of all sizes and types. One thing’s for certain, a single blog is not enough to explain the full complexity of this technology, but remember, it’s an emerging concept, one in which no one is really an expert yet. But that doesn’t mean it should be considered irrelevant, or too complicated for your brand. Learning as much as you can, and staying attentive to new developments will position your business as a pioneer of the next digital revolution.