The biggest metaverses today, which include Fortnite and Roblox, offer brands the opportunity to advertise their products in a way that would be unattainable in the real world.
For instance, the skateboarding brand Vans created a virtual skatepark in Roblox that allows its players to earn points that they can redeem at a virtual store to customise their avatars. This park has, as of 2021, seen upwards of 48 million visitors.
Meanwhile, Gucci opened a Gucci Garden on the same platform: a virtual complement to the real-world experience that they had earlier created in Florence, Italy. They also released an exclusive pair of digital sneakers designed by Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele—called the Gucci Virtual 25—that can be worn in partnered apps like Roblox and VRChat.
These are just two examples of how a metaverse platform can allow brands to be more creative and to engage with more people than they would be able to if they were limited to the real world.
Why is the metaverse so lucrative for marketing?
Right now, because marketing and advertising in the metaverse are so new, the prices to run a campaign are still very low. This makes it a lucrative option for brands that desire to target millennial and Gen Z audiences in a novel way.
The size of an audience can also increase exponentially when you move an experience online. Today, there are an estimated 3.4 billion gamers online, of which 27 per cent are between the ages of 21 to 30. Furthermore, with the increasing popularity of NFTs, the demand for digital collectables (such as the Gucci Virtual 25) is likely to keep growing.
Another benefit of the metaverse is that it doesn’t restrain marketing campaigns to the laws of physics. For instance, like the real-life garden, Gucci’s virtual garden also offers multiple virtual themed rooms that pay homage to Gucci’s old campaigns—but unlike the rooms in Florence, these rooms aren’t capped by a ceiling but are instead open to the sky and surrounded by forests.