In this article, we consider what impact the metaverse will have on advertising in the new year, and in years to come, while also taking a look at brands like NASCAR, Balenciaga, and Coca-Cola who are already embracing this new frontier.
The recent rise of the metaverse — a continuous and virtual 3D space where users can interact with each other, have meetings, and even shop for goods — has been a hot topic of conversation for the past few months. The potential for advertisers to target metaverse users with branded content and other sales tactics is an obvious point of interest.
When it comes to advertising in the metaverse, the main selling point will be immersion. That means not only will brands be able to deliver richer, deeper, and more complex branded experiences — they’ll also be able to do it without seeming invasive since users will already be embedded in a virtual world.
What Advertising Might Look Like
Brands should think about the metaverse first and foremost as simply another marketing channel. Like any channel, the metaverse will offer unique opportunities for advertisers, which will lend themselves well to deeper, more immersive storytelling experiences.
But what will that actually look like on a concrete level? Advertisements in the metaverse have already taken on a number of familiar forms, including:
Product placement. With more games adapting to VR environments, product placements are naturally becoming common.
Sponsored content. We’re used to seeing sponsored content on our social media feeds, but the concept is set to make a move to the metaverse as well, with the benefit to advertisers that the content will exist in a social space.
Virtual billboards. One of the simplest forms of real-world advertisements will make a smooth transition to the metaverse, with visual advertisements placed throughout the virtual space.
Native advertising. Complex and immersive native advertising experiences, like pop-up events and spaces, will likely be common in the metaverse.
Brands That Are Already Seeing Success
Despite how new the metaverse is, a number of high-profile brands have already started to experiment with it. NASCAR, for instance, has launched a campaign to appeal to young video gamers. Part of that campaign involved placing a digital branded car and branded apparel in the video game Jailbreak, hosted on the Roblox platform.
Luxury brands like Balenciaga have also shown a willingness to take advantage of the new channel. The storied brand launched a dystopian video game, Afterworld, to advertise its futuristic Fall 2021 catalog, and has even worked with the video game Fortnite to create digital outfits for players.
Meanwhile, Coca-Cola has kept things simple, and stayed true to its collectible roots, by experimenting with NFTs, which are set to be an integral part of the metaverse economy. While the funds from Coca-Cola’s NFTs were donated to charity, branded NFTs will likely become a common source of advertising and revenue for brands in the metaverse.