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4 ways brands can succeed in the metaverse with influencer marketing | ITB Worldwide | Open Mic

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In the new world of web 3.0, the possibilities for building more impressive, immersive and valuable experiences and content are greater than ever before. So, where do brands fit in and how should they explore talent and influencer marketing in the metaverse? Crystal Malachias at ITB Worldwide investigates.

By 2026, 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse, according to a recent Gartner survey. Whilst not a total gamechanger, this is significant enough to make brands stand up and take note, and they’d be wise to start now, considering how to incorporate metaverse activations as a complementary element of their marketing strategy, driving innovation and incremental revenue streams.

A recent Vogue Business experience in the metaverse called it “a shared virtual or digitally enhanced interactive space” – an environment that allows for, and extends possibilities for, greater creativity and self-expression. In this exciting new world of web 3.0 the possibilities for creation are practically infinite as there’s potential to build spaces and products that aren’t limited by the laws of physics. So where do brands fit in and how should they activate talent and influencers in this new and ever-evolving space?

1.) Build more interactive and immersive experiences

While it may seem like a complex concept, at its core, the metaverse is simply a new way to bring communities together in deeply immersive experiences. No matter where you live, you can interact, transact and engage with others in a way that is almost as intimate as ‘real life’.

Brands like Nike, adidas and Gucci have led the way with metaverse activations that lean into this opportunity for creativity and community building, experimenting with the unrestricted possibilities of a digital environment. Each provide audiences with new and interactive ways to experience their brand and product, and rewarding superfans with early or exclusive access to launches.

Where brands have fallen flat in the metaverse so far is by building with a vision to directly mirror real life or web 2.0 content and experiences. Simply replicating real-world experiences like a runway show, or showcasing flat campaign imagery isn’t enough for the metaverse audience who expect greater innovation and creativity. Rather than reproducing pre-existing apparel or showing it on avatars who look like the models we’d come to expect in a real-world setting, brands should get creative and explore the idea of shared experiences and co-creation, so that audiences have the freedom to interact with and build the vision of the brand they want to see.

Gen Z, in particular, are starting to spend a huge chunk of their time socially interacting in the metaverse, almost twice as much as they do in real life – a stat for brands to be jumping at. As we continue the transition to web 3.0, Gen Z will be the ones to watch as they increasingly adapt to the virtual world. Already we are seeing reports show that over 50% of Gen-Z gamers have said they want to make money in the metaverse and even build careers there. With a generation of short attention spans and forever changing trends, it is clear from the offset that brands need to be prepared to go above and beyond to create engaging experiences. The key will be to find a balance of producing recognizably on-brand experiences but which offer more than can be achieved in-person or on web 2.0 touchpoints.

2.) Leverage true creators

The metaverse is slated to help creators do just that – create. In a new world, not bound by the laws of physics, the stakes are raised, with an expectation for creators to build ever more impressive, immersive and valuable content than ever before and explore new opportunities to forge meaningful interactions with their audiences.

NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are a natural route for artists and creatives to experiment with, allowing them to create art beyond the realms of the physical and empower them to produce scarcity of their original work, while inviting fans to own a piece of it. Just look at Snoop Dogg and his recent venture into the world of NFTs with his son – a virtual weed farm where fans can truly feel a part of Snoop’s community. As collectibles, NFTs are also a way to reward and incentivize loyal fanbases, building engagement and interest as well as providing a new revenue stream.

With metaverse experiences, artists and entertainers can take their creative vision one step further – reaching even broader audiences across the world at once and showcasing themselves in myriad changing forms outside of the restrictions of real-life set or costume changes. Think Travis Scott x Fortnite and the Lil Nas x Roblox concerts. In environments like Roblox which are predicated on ideas of construction, creativity and innovation, creators have the opportunity to share their creative journey and process with their fans which in turn will encourage stronger and more extensive relationships.

For brands looking to activate in the space, aligning with true creators – pioneering talent and influencers who already play with notions of identity, experiment with future-forward technologies and who are curious about new ways to reach fans – is a sure way to make an impact. Ultimately, the creators that will thrive in this new format are the agile ones willing to take the time to level up their skillset and explore the unknown.

3.) Use virtual influencers

As web 3.0 begins to take shape and brands are eager to build clout and community in the metaverse, virtual influencers are only going to attract greater interest from marketers. Just as TikTok and Instagram stars have risen to prominence by sharing authentic real-world content for communities who look like and love them, virtual influencers are perfectly positioned to provide the creative experiences users will come to expect from the metaverse, which is their native home. Aligning with virtual influencers in the metaverse also gives more authenticity and credibility to a brand’s activation as they are seen as the experts in this space.

In addition to pre-existing virtual influencers like Lil Miquela, Imma and Bermuda, leading social platforms Meta and TikTok are clearly preparing for widespread adoption of online avatars by experimenting with tools that allow fans and users to create virtual versions of themselves. This will naturally play into Gen Z’s desire for fluidity of self-expression and identity, allowing users to change their appearance, wardrobe and characteristics as they please, in ways simply not possible in real-life (or other social network) environments. Within the metaverse it will also be possible for these avatars to be user-generated by shared communities – encouraging greater levels of creativity, experimentation and connection amongst widely disparate global audiences.

Avatars and virtual influencers will be a constant as web 3.0 evolves, so there is also a natural opportunity for brands to integrate through product placement – creating digital versions of apparel, beauty products and accessories for our digital selves to enjoy.

4.) Experiment in this new world

Whilst it may be the buzzword of the moment, the metaverse is still in its infancy and the technology and resources to support the vision many have of it is still a long way off. As it stands, the current iteration of the metaverse is a world for experimentation, opening doors for brands to be genuinely transformative, to amplify what’s already happening in the space and reward loyal fans with unique experiences.

Until technology advances further, its sensible to continue exploring the best of both worlds, combining complementary activations in an IRL/web 2.0 as well as a metaverse setting. For those pioneering brands taking steps into the virtual waters of web 3.0 it’s key to keep an open and curious spirit, in the words of Kering’s president and chief exec François-Henri Pinault, “rather than wait and see…test and learn.”





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Metaverse

Metaverse News: Metaverse crimes challenging, say legal experts

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As a small but growing number of Indian users of the Metaverse– a virtual three-dimensional world that is termed as the next frontier of the internet–report cases of assault and sexual violation of their digital avatars, it is stoking consternation amongst legal experts confronted by new-age crimes that are not covered under existing laws.

Earlier this year, a young woman based in one of the country’s top metros sought legal recourse for what she termed as “violation” of her avatar on the virtual reality platform. But criminal and judicial systems in India, and even world over, are still not ready to handle the challenges thrown up by the Metaverse, according to lawyers being approached to handle such issues.

Avatars represent the virtual identity of individuals while on the Metaverse with all actions conducted through these digital representations.

“There is a need for a new legal framework,” said cyberlaw expert Pavan Duggal, who is a part of the Metaverse Law , a global body working towards bringing in common guidelines on how to manage such virtual conflicts.

Pointing out that “the current law doesn’t recognise (digital) avatars,” Duggal said the problem is exacerbated by the Metaverse being a “global ecosystem, which makes it hard to litigate.”

“Attribution of identity and jurisdiction are some of the challenges at present,” he added.

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While still at a nascent stage, there is rising interest in the virtual 3D platform that combines social interaction with virtual and augmented reality, allowing users to live different experiences virtually.

Gartner reports that 25% of people will spend an hour per day in the Metaverse by 2026 for work, shopping, education, and entertainment, while 30% of organisations will have products and services ready for metaverse. Late last year, Facebook renamed itself Meta Platforms and said that it would invest $10 billion in the business, given the huge potential it sees in the space. Several brands and individuals have started investing in buying land virtually and building their virtual worlds.

Goldman Sachs predicts the Metaverse market size will be worth $1-12 trillion, while not specifying a time period for the same.

This influx of activity is drawing brands and consumers to the virtual world and is also leading to instances of cyber bullying and harassment, as well as financial crime, point out industry experts.

Mukul Shrivastava, Partner, Forensics and Integrity Services, EY said “this is a very fragmented space with no centralised set up. Several of the platforms are not based in India so that makes it harder when trying to litigate.” he said.

The inability to apply the same regulations applicable to such crimes in the real world is a major challenge, as well. “In the case of non-economic crimes, you have to prove that you are connected to the avatar that was harmed in the virtual world,” said Abhishek Malhotra, founding partner of TMT Law Practice. And when it comes to financial or economic crimes, it is still a grey area since the foundation is cryptocurrency, which is still not legal in India.

Tech-based remedies

Noting that prevailing laws cannot be invoked to deal with virtual crimes of assault and molestation, Supreme Court advocate NS Nappinai said one must “look for remedies based on the mode and manner of commission of crimes.”

“ For instance, in a case of rape of an avatar on Metaverse, or even in an online game, whilst Section 376 IPC will not be applicable, other offences such as hacking and tampering with source codes and even publishing and transmission of obscene or sexually explicit content punishable under IT Act can be invoked,” she said.

However, the first step, is to take it up with the platform itself according to Nappinai who also runs the CyberSaathi Foundation,

Platforms strengthen screening

Rajat Ojha, Founder & CEO, Gamitronics, which runs the PartyNite metaverse platform said that they have set up predefined emotes and movements to ensure that the system is protected for any ‘physical or sexual’ gestures.

At a recent public event, PartyNite mandated users to undergo a KYC to go to a bar area, as it helps to associate digital identities with real world identities. “That gave us enough insights and adoption metrics and we are currently working on our learnings from that,” said Ojha.

Some Metaverse platforms offer built-in safety features like safe zones, or methods to not allow strangers within a certain radius of your avatar.

“At this moment, every public event has our policing, and we warn the person if an issue is raised. We have features to kick the offender out, but we know it’s not sufficient, so we focus a lot on letting our attendees know how to reach out to us and we then go case by case basis,” Gamitronic’s Ojha said.



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Metaverse at Cannes—marketers show off virtual worlds on the Croisette

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The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity may be in person this year for the first time since 2019, but that hasn’t stopped brands and agencies from thinking virtual. Not only are some marketers making Cannes sessions available in virtual real estate platforms, but parties and activities outside of the normal programming are also being offered in the metaverse. 

A common theme running through many of these activations is democratizing what has hitherto been an inaccessible event for many in the industry. The ticket price for Cannes is steep, not to mention fees for transportation and a hotel. But through virtual experiences, which can be accessed from anywhere using only a desktop or sometimes a mobile phone, more of adland can celebrate creativity in the industry.

Of course, not all the metaverse activations at Cannes are designed specifically with this goal in mind, yet the democratizing effect is still there. Marketers may be realizing that the virtual tools they use to reach consumers can also help them reach each other.

Here are some of the ways that marketers are activating in the metaverse during Cannes.



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Cap Off Pride Month with the Metaverse Pride Parade and Drag Queen Bingo | News

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Certified LGBT Owned Business, Fun Team Events, Co-hosts one of the first Metaverse Pride Parades and Drag Queen Bingo Events on Thursday, June 30th, 2022 in Virbela’s New Metaverse Campus

ATLANTA, June 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Fun Team Events is set to co-host one of the first metaverse Pride Parades and Drag Queen Bingo Events in Virbela’s new open campus on Thursday, June 30th, 2022 at 2PM ET. This event is open to all and gives individuals the opportunity to celebrate Pride Month and check out the metaverse space. Participants can also learn about notable stories and resources related to LGBTQ+ experiences through Virbela’s Pride Month exhibit.

“Virbela builds engaging experiences to inspire our community and drive education around important topics,” said Sarah Segrest, VP of Community at Virbela. “Our Pride Month exhibit highlights the positive and celebrates success, while acknowledging the difficulties of past and present. We’re excited to partner with Fun Team Events to bring this Pride Parade to life in the metaverse.”

“As a certified LGBT-owned business, Pride Month is such a special time for us. We’re thrilled to partner with Virbela on this Pride Month celebration. Our team loves hosting events in the metaverse and we can’t wait to share this fun experience with others in the community,” said AJ Seliga, CEO, Fun Team Events.

Everyone is welcome and newcomers can enter the metaverse earlier to get acclimated to the space and dress up their avatar ahead of the Virbela Pride Parade. There will be prizes for the “Most Fun and Fabulous” avatar and bingo game winners. San Francisco-based Drag Queen, Pollo Del Mar, will be the Grand Marshall for the Parade and will emcee the Pride Bingo Event on the Virbela beach after the parade.

Sign up and get more information about the event here: https://future.virbela.com/metaverse-pride-parade

About Fun Team Events: Fun Team Events (https://www.funteamevents.com/) hosts custom virtual and metaverse events for corporate clients and non-profit organizations. These events include Team Trivia, Drag Queen Bingo, Office Olympics, and much more. Fun Team Events’ U.S. clients are Amazon, Google, EY, Home Depot, Anthem, Johnson & Johnson and many more including many up-and-coming tech startups. Fun Team Events is a certified LGBT-owned business with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and a proud member of the OUT Georgia Business Alliance.

Fun Team Events Media Contact:

AJ Seliga, CEO | 339424@email4pr.com  | 415-519-5222

Cision View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cap-off-pride-month-with-the-metaverse-pride-parade-and-drag-queen-bingo-301573647.html

SOURCE Fun Team Events





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