Lions in the Metaverse

The metaverse, first referenced in a science fiction novel in 1992, is starting to take off as something real and accessible to the general population, and was the darling of the French Riviera during the Cannes International Festival of Creativity. While it is strange seeing sci-fi find a place in our lives (and onto the beaches in the South of France), it is clear that some brands have managed to stay on the cutting edge, using the metaverse to raise product awareness. We’ve seen these online universes expanding, from Minecraft to Fortnite, but this medium is sure to continue to evolve and grow in popularity as a means of consumerism.

Bringing people from around the world into one place, online

Is a huge opportunity for brands to increase reach. This is a marketplace for people to gather and enjoy everything from concerts to parties from anywhere, with anyone. Finding an in to earn attention can be a huge win for any brand.

This can be a low-cost medium if you’re smart about it

In 2019, Wendy’s used Fortnite to livestream a nine hour rampage of destroying freezers within the game. The results were over 1.5 million minutes watched and 119% increase in mentions. It didn’t require any spend other than perhaps hiring a gamer. Without using paid ads or interrupting game play for users, they got people’s attention. It also happened to win a host of Cannes Lions in 2019, including a Grand Prix.

This year there was some incredible Metaverse work featured and taking home Lions, including Heineken

Heineken Silver – with help from Publicis – launched the world’s first virtual beer, at their virtual brewery in Decentraland, which seems to be the new hot spot for brands. Samsung, Christie’s Auction House, Coca-Cola, and Dolce & Gabbana, to name a few, have all been selling e-luxury or hosting events in Decentraland.

Roku announced a partnership with Walmart

Where Roku users will see ads with products they can buy with a click of the remote. Up until now, we’ve mostly seen ads using QR codes for users to navigate to the product; using the remote to make the purchase is less cumbersome. It seems like an obvious next step that we’ll soon be able to try products and make purchases in the Metaverse that will show up on our doorsteps IRL.

This article is part of the Commerce at Cannes Trends Report – download the full report here.