Over the past few months, you’ve probably heard a lot of talk about ✨ the Metaverse ✨ But not much about what it actually is. When we talk about the Metaverse, it’s paralleled to how people in the 1970’s would have talked about the internet and its potential. An alien concept that means everything and nothing at the same time.
The search term “Metaverse” currently yields 677,000 search results on Google and over 500 hashtags per hour on Twitter.
We’ve put together a quick and easy guide with everything you need to know about advertising in the Metaverse.
So, what is the Metaverse?
The question we’ve all been asking; what is the Metaverse? Put simply; the Metaverse is essentially cyberspace, a term we’re all probably familiar with.
The dictionary defines it as a “virtual-reality space in which users can interact with a computer-generated environment and other users”. In short, it’s a digital space designed for enhanced social connection.
The technologies that make up the Metaverse can be anything from virtual reality, with virtual worlds that continue existing even when you’re not playing - think Nintendogs and how the dogs would dramatically run away after being neglected for two hours. And, ‘augmented reality’ which combines aspects of the digital and physical worlds, for example, Fortnite.
Product Placement in the Metaverse
Product placement is inevitable as more virtual and augmented reality technologies are created for the Metaverse. Product placements could inspire a whole new market for advertising as we know it. The Metaverse’ advertising and product placement go further than just your standard virtual billboard advert. Cyberspace is naturally experimental, so it’s essential for brands to take advantage of this.
A prime example of successful advertising is Lil Nas X performing a concert in the popular video game Roblox. The virtual performance saw a Lil Nas X avatar shifting between worlds whilst performing four of his hit songs. In total, the event was watched over 33 million times in a single weekend, rivalling Travis Scott’s similarly impressive interactive performance.
Creating product placement and advertisements within the Metaverse allows for enormous scope to market a brand and create a lucrative revenue stream. This eliminates the need to finance production costs, shipping and storing physical products - instead, they exist in a completely virtual space.
Pros of Advertising in the Metaverse
The Metaverse has a lot of potential for brands and companies alike to expand their marketing model, so naturally, there are a lot of pros to advertising in cyberspace:
- It offers previously unattainable opportunities - Popular skatewear brand, Vans, for example, launched a completely virtual skatepark within the game Roblox. Players could earn points to redeem in the virtual store for their avatar. The online skatepark to date has had 48 million visitors. Had it not been for the Metaverse's potential, this level of engagement would’ve been near impossible.
- It’s very cost-effective - With branding and marketing in the Metaverse being a new concept, the price of advertising is extremely cost-effective.
- A new generation of influencers - The Metaverse allows for a whole new area of influencer marketing. And we’re not just talking about virtual influencers. According to a survey, 70% of influencers believe that the Metaverse will replace social media. And, 72% of respondents also reported they are considering or are already making money in the Metaverse.
Cons of Advertising in the Metaverse
No matter how shiny and new a concept such as the Metaverse might appear, there are always reasons to proceed with caution. Here are some potential problems that might arise from marketing in the metaverse:
- Data privacy & ethics - There are still blurred lines between the Metaverse and reality. Many have questioned whether or not it would be ethical for advertisers to target based on someone’s personal experience in virtual reality games and spaces.
- No clear advertising boundaries - The metaverse is currently decentralised. Brands looking to advertise in the Metaverse might lack control over their ad placements. For example, two competitive companies, Nike and adidas, might risk advertising simultaneously in one space.
- Overconsumption of advertising - With increased content such as videos, social ads, brand endorsement and so on, there is a risk of ad fatigue and consumers not engaging with companies and their marketing tactics. A Tsunami of content could put off potential users.
- Advertising is risky - Creating an immersive experience such as the Lil Nas X Roblox concert may bring in a massive stream of revenue; however, a poor one could be detrimental to a brands reputation and business model.