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An Introduction to Metaverse and Advertising

By: Cody Albright    May 31, 2022

Here we go… another article about metaverse. But wait, what is a metaverse anyway?

Before we dive into the benefits of using a metaverse for your brand and audience, let’s first get to know what is a metaverse. Metaverse is the combination of multiple virtual reality platforms, online communities, augmented reality and virtual avatars. Basically, it’s a virtual world where users can interact, communicate and experience different scenarios together.

It’s also important to note that there’s not just a single metaverse, as you’ve likely already picked up by this articles use of “a metaverse” rather than “the metaverse”. Some of the more popular virtual-worlds / metaverses (…metaversi…?) include Decentraland, The Sandbox, and Horizon Worlds.

So, what are the benefits of using a metaverse in advertising? 

Well, because the use of VR, AR and interactive platforms, a metaverse brings awareness, engagement and interaction with a brand. This not only creates benefit for brands using a metaverse to promote their products or services, but it also allows for a better customer experience.

Brands get to better connect with their audience, while metaverse users get to have a more immersive buying experience for things they may not have immediate access to, whether through monetary (it’s an aspiration purchase) or location restrictions (local stores don’t have the product in stock).

Let’s take a deeper look at the various ways ways using a metaverse can benefit both brands and customers, alike.

Advanced Awareness

The ability to let users have a first-hand experience with your brand through a metaverse creates advanced awareness. Users get to feel and “touch” what the brand is about through interactive platforms and first-hand experiences. This kind of awareness becomes a powerful vehicle to increase recall and build a positive brand image.

Interactive Engagement

By allowing users to interact with your platform, a metaverse creates an engaging experience. Not only are users able to try on products, but also interact with characters, other users and experience different scenarios. This keeps users hooked and excited to come back for more.

Direct Purchase Channels

Because the VR experience allows users to try out the product, they are more likely to purchase the item through a direct purchase channel. Users get to “try on” the outfit, experience its quality and even see its price, so they’re more inclined to buy it in the actual sales channel.

Low Risk Purchase

Because users get to experience interacting with the brand, even if they’re buying a virtual item, the purchase is considered a low risk. So, users are more likely to buy necklaces, earrings, rings and other jewelry as well.

Increased Sales Volume

Having a metaverse to experience the brand firsthand, and buy virtual or real products, will increase the sales volume of the brand. Just imagine being able to have a digital version of your physical product that can be purchased within a metaverse that can be worn, used, or displayed by the purchaser (and can be verified through the use of NFTs… which is another topic altogether).

Necessary Competitive Advantages

Having a VR experience and buying items in a virtual channel gives brands a necessary competitive advantage. This way they’re able to stand out from the competition by giving users a way to try on their outfits, see their colors and experience their quality. A brand is also more likely to gain feedback, which they can use to their advantage.

Social Impact

Having a VR experience and buying items isn’t just about having fun and making money, but also have a social impact. By “wearing” a brand’s ring, necklace or earrings, for instance, users are helping a cause close to their heart.

Hard-Hitting Engagement Rating

Hard-hitting engagement ratings are hard to come by nowadays. Usually, brands get a hard-hitting rating when users take a peek at their virtual item and buy it immediately after. Additionally, when users post their experience with the brand and their purchased items to social media, it creates a ripple effect and impacts other users to buy the items too.

How to Create a Metaverse Virtual Experience

Creating a metaverse experience isn’t easy. For bigger metaverse campaign deployments, you need the right equipment, a nice studio and artists that know what they’re doing. But that doesn’t mean all metaverse campaign activations have to be grandiose and logistically complex.

Here are some examples of metaverse applications of varying degrees of execution difficulty but have applications for all brands.

Metaverse Ground Floor – NFT’s

An NFT is a great way for brands to dip their toe in getting started with a metaverse deployment.

NFT’s, or non-fungible tokens, have historically been used as a way for digital art to be created and sold to interested parties for no real purpose other than to say that they owned the uniquely verifiable NFT; however, there are already brands coming up with creative ways to add utility to NFT’s and combine the “real world” with a “digital world.

For example, the Chicago Blackhawks created NFT’s to act as tickets to a particular hockey game. All fans had to do was show their virtual ticket once they got to the arena and they were admitted into the game. After the game was over, the fans not only had the experience of watching the game in-person but they also had a unique and verifiable piece of art that could be sold to collectors at a future date. This isn’t so different than what’s already being done with physical sport ticket stubs, it’s just now adding a whole new level of transferability and fraud prevention.

But how does this translate into a metaverse?

Imagine you’re a brand that sells premium headphones. One of your customers just purchased a new pair of your headphones and the purchase also came with a uniquely verifiable digital version (NFT) of the same pair that can be displayed in one of the various metaverses currently in existence. This customer will be able to show those of both the physical and digital worlds that they love and use your headphones, which gives you brand further brand exposure and allows for your customers express themselves regardless of how they interact with others.


Stepping Up Your Metaverse Campaigns – Hosting Virtual Events

Metaverses offer a great opportunity for your brand to host virtual events. These events can be used to promote a new product or service, or they can even be used to connect a cause or message to your brand.

Take what the Degree® brand did with their Decentraland metaverse event, Degree Metathon. This virtual marathon, which is the world’s first marathon in the metaverse, allowed for users of all physical capabilities to “run” with para-athletes and celebrities. This allowed Degree® to align their brand with an event that promoted diversity and inclusion, showing that their products aren’t just for “able-bodied” individuals.

Virtual events like this allow for brands to break barriers and connect with new and existing audiences in ways that weren’t possible before. A user’s location, physical disabilities, or any other limitation are less of a factor when being able to engage with these virtual events, and by association, your brand.

Maximizing Metaverses – Fully Immersive Experiences

For brands wanting to dive head-first into a metaverse campaign, there are several routes to take. A single example is the recent launch of Wendy’s® Wendyverse™, hosted on the Meta-owned metaverse, Horizon World.

Wendyverse allows their fans to enter the virtual world to engage with the Wendy’s brand through fun, virtual games, which furthers the connection between brand and customers.

While fun and seemingly simple, making a virtual world like Wendyverse takes a lot of time and preparation.

  • Hardware and Software: In order for the audience to properly interact with the virtual world, augmented reality (AR) equipment and software are needed.
  • Artist(s): You will need artist(s) to create the virtual experience you plan to deliver. This includes creating 3D models, animation, visual effects and motion graphics. Be prepared to spend a lot on cyber actors and digital artists that know what they’re doing.
  • Story: Think about the story you want to present. Is it a linear one? Does it involve multiple characters? Does your ad have a moral? Keep the story simple and frame everything around your moral, product or service.
  • Script and Dialogue: Think about the script and dialogue you’ll use. Don’t add any unnecessary scenes or words. Keep it simple and effective.
  • Cut Scenes: Think about cut-scenes that will help move the story along. These can be a product’s packaging being opened or a service being provided. You want to keep the user engaged and these quick scenes will do just that.
    • And so much more!


So, What’s Next?

We’ve only just scratched the surface of what is a metaverse and what are some applications for your brand. From creating brand-related NFT’s that can be purchased and displayed by verified owners in a metaverse to creating an entire virtual storefront where digital guests can browse your available inventory from the comfort of their home, the options are limitless. It almost seems like an impossible challenge to get your brand going in a metaverse.

But that’s where Marcus Thomas comes in!

We seek impossible challenges here at Marcus Thomas, and we challenge you to reach out to us to get the conversation started on how to implement a metaverse campaign.

Let’s do the impossible, together.