Waiting for the Metaverse? The revolution is already here

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For those who celebrate the Super Bowl commercials more than the game itself, perhaps the latest one will forever be known as the Metaverse Bowl.

Facebook and Miller both ran ads mentioning and praising the Metaverse, while Matthew McConaughey starred in a Salesforce ad that delves into the Metaverse. The word itself is everywhere and Facebook has draped itself in it with its new name, Meta.

Superbowl 2022 and the Metaverse

But as these “meta” marketing messages roll out with varying degrees of success, there seems to be a noticeable metaverse-shaped blind spot in today’s marketing: The key experiential technologies of the metaverse promise are already the. Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and other cross-reality experiences are widely loved by audiences and used by savvy marketers looking to create highly engaging performances — dramatically outperforming ads, traditional wait times, and ripe for viral sharing.

In the digital ecosystem, new tools and enthusiasts are revolutionizing, and creators are not waiting for a single “metaverse” to be delivered. Consumers use – and even create their own – AR and VR experiences and share their journeys every day on the biggest social platforms such as Facebook, TikTok and Snap.

On Snap alone, more than 250,000 creators have created millions of augmented reality experiences that reach more than 200 million Snapchat users every day. Facebook Community Spark AR hosts millions of creations and invites users to themed contests that attract thousands of participants who create their own cross-reality effects. TikTok’s rollout of their effects creation environment is even a bit fancier, but their AR Lens Gallery features content created by brands as diverse as Pepsi, Listerine, Huawei Technologies, and Call of Duty.

As brands falter, users have flocked to the new medium to express their brand affinity and create their own content when needed. You may see unauthorized and fan-created AR creations that allow you to become Emperor Palpatine from Star Warsor find out which Harry Potter wizard you are or which Disney character you are. (The latter was an instant phenomenon, attracting many celebrities to share their results on social media, including Disney star Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf in Frozen, and Zelda Williams, who ironically matched the spirit of Aladdin, voiced by his father, Robin Williams..)

Meanwhile, tools enable ordinary users to create and explore 3D content, with the secret weapon of the modern smartphone, which is now a gateway for creating 3D content – the cornerstone of any metaverse. Now anyone can scan a real-world scene or object in 3D, leading to their own new medium of user-generated content. For example, sharing your room in 3D became a trend on TikTokand people use the Sketchfab 3D site to share people and places captured in 3D.

As you can see, there are some exciting apps out there today that can creatively expand your marketing and brand without having to wait for a single company-controlled “metaverse” to materialize. To get started with AR/VR today, here’s what you need to do:

  • Determine what major expansion of your product/property/solution would work well in this environment. It’s clear that entertainment companies have a great openness to bringing their properties to life through AR/VR/XR, but brands across industries can bring their brand promise or product features to life to extend their message to this audience.
  • Collaborate with influencers, communities, creators, or agencies who know this space to bring the idea to life. It’s hard to do it alone, especially in a new environment. And while companies have a wealth of marketing expertise, that doesn’t always translate into AR/VR/XR. By collaborating with experts, you create a better experience for enthusiasts faster and with fewer false starts.
  • Consider providing XR’s creative community with 3D resources to work with to share your story the way you want. This is a strategy that video game companies often use. As shown above, consumers use and remix your content without your permission or assistance. Providing them with the right kind of content to play with gives you some control, earning goodwill by working directly with creators, and ensuring your resources are used in a sea of ​​other options.
  • Integrate it into your marketing. It’s not enough just to participate in the AR/VR/XR space, you have to expand it through your ad initiatives. That’s what NBCUniversal did for its AR store, and Purina did it for its AR campaign themed chat. The community will respect and appreciate your attention to their efforts and passions, and you’ll get the stamp of cool by showing you’re part of the next generation of entertainment. They also outperformed regular ads. 360 VR ads significantly outperformed standard ad units by a significant margin of 15-20x.

There is no doubt that the ‘metaverse’ will continue to dominate conversations in the coming years – both in marketing and culture. But there is no need to stand on the sidelines as the new paradigm of 3D or ‘spatial’ communication emerges; it’s already there and consumers are engaged and creative. Get active in AR/VR/XR today to entertain your audience and keep your brand top of mind with the influencers driving the next creative revolution.

Jason Steinberg is Managing Partner of Pretty Big Monster.

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