Even though there’s no singular definition of the metaverse, its potential for immersive, virtual worlds that allow for new forms of communications, experiences and communities is hard for marketers to ignore.
“It’s a nascent space and we’re very much in the first inning,” says Geoff Renaud, CMO and co-founder of the Invisible North agency—whose clients include Nestle and PepsiCo, along with blockchain-based companies like Coinbase and Algorand.
CPG giants like Unilever are dipping their toes into the metaverse with brand executions in the small, “decentralized” metaverse platform Decentraland and the vast, “centralized” gaming world of Roblox.
On Decentraland, Unilever’s deodorant brand Degree Inclusive hosted what it called the world’s first metaverse marathon tailored to people with disabilities to highlight the product’s container, which is designed for one-handed usage. The route covered 26.2 miles of the platform’s most spectacular scenery, complete with accessible architecture “to reflect a more inclusive landscape.”
Last month, Unilever ice cream brand Magnum used Decentraland to host a virtual museum during the MET AMS metaverse festival in Amsterdam. The company showcased original artwork from its collaborations with painters, designers and sculptors.
On Roblox, Unilever’s Sunsilk hair-care brand created Sunsilk City to engage with Gen Z females and help them overcome “outdated gender stereotypes” long prevalent in the traditional gaming world.
In this interview, edited for brevity and clarity, Invisible North’s Renaud talks about the early stage of the metaverse and its implications for ecommerce.
CPG FYI: What types of CPG brands belong in the metaverse?
Renaud: Any brand that has a digitally inclined consumer base and can create incentives, purpose and community should be experimenting with virtual environments. But they should also know that not all the technology is there, not all the use case and precedents are there. We’re still very much in the early and exploratory, but essential, phase.
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