The buzzword in the tech space for 2022 was undoubtedly “Metaverse,” and as advertisers, we can’t help but wonder what opportunities this new, digital world offers for the future of media. We’ve put together our wish list for the activations we would most like to execute in virtual reality this year.
In-Game Virtual Billboards
In-Game advertising has been around for a while, so it’s not a surprise to see this tactic executed across virtual gaming frequently. Virtual ad space in Metaverse gaming offers a new, immersive version of in-game advertising that allows users to experience native ads while exploring virtual worlds, giving brands access to the attention of younger audiences. “Immersive Ads allow brands to promote their bespoke [virtual] venues to an audience made up of hard-to-reach younger consumers in the Gen Z and Gen Alpha set, ” shares Marketing Dive when announcing Roblox’s new in-game advertising format.
With customizable spaces and foot traffic from global users, the Metaverse is basically a massive digital Out-of-Home ad space, and buying these virtual billboard placements might be the most accessible strategy that a media team can implement for its clients due to the existing and readily available inventory.
From VR Experience to Foot Traffic IRL
A drive-thru isn’t the only place you can visit McDonald’s iconic golden arches. The fast-food brand is among one of the first fast-food restaurants to enter the Metaverse with a virtual restaurant destination primed for hang-outs with your VR buddies. While virtual happy meals won’t curb your cravings, McDonald’s expects to build brand loyalty among younger audiences through their VR experiences.
Following suit, other restaurant chains such as Wendy’s and Chipotle can also be found in the Metaverse featuring some playful and interactive experiences that reap real life benefits. Meta Quest users can visit a virtual dining experience or play Baconator basketball for a chance to win Wendy’s food IRL. Similarly, Chipotle featured a Halloween-themed treasure hunt with free burrito prizes for players to redeem at physical locations.
We expect to see more of this with virtual components added to IRL campaigns as the Metaverse gains popularity. Tying together the brand experience between virtual reality and real life is a great way to drive foot traffic and brand loyalty. And the best part is, this strategy can be applied to almost any vertical! Design virtual products through Nike’s “Nikeland” experience, go off-roading with Hyundai’s Mobility Adventure, and change up your next business meeting using the virtual meeting rooms and keynote events through Microsoft Mesh.
Virtual Event Sponsorships
Another experience gaining popularity within the Metaverse is virtual events such as concerts, festivals, and conferences. While virtual events could never fully replace an in-person experience, it does allow accessibility for those who cannot travel to event locations due to physical limitations or financial constraints—which is something we can get behind! This also allows for massive scalability for advertisers as virtual events do not have capacity limitations. In the real world, only 50,000 people can attend Lollapalooza, but an unlimited number of people can watch performances virtually in the Metaverse.
One industry that has taken to the accessibility of virtual reality within the Metaverse are luxury brands in fashion. Traditionally, fashion shows have been reserved for celebrities and A-Listers, but with the introduction of Metaverse events, brands such as Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, and Hublot are appealing to new audiences through event activations.
The Metaverse offers an exciting opportunity to create events without restrictions, many of which were featured in 2022 Fashion Week. Much like in-person events, brands are able to sponsor virtual events as a way to get in front of targeted audiences in a fun, unique way. This is an exciting opportunity for Arm Candy clients to expand brand recognition with a twist.
Advertising is constantly changing, evolving, and growing, both in the real world and the Metaverse. While we don’t know what is new to come with Metaverse advertising, we embrace the change and look forward to incorporating virtual advertising into our partner’s strategies in the years to come.