7 successful metaverse implementations from world-leading brandsBlog 10.2.2023
How do the world’s leading brands market in the metaverse?
The Z-generation is spending more and more time in digital worlds. Global brands have noticed this phenomenon and understand that the future of social interaction is rapidly heading in that direction.
Marketing in the metaverse might sound distant, but it’s a world that Gen Z, with its nearly $150 billion purchasing power, is transitioning to.
Metaverses provide brands with a platform to create interactive experiences, engage with their audience, and explore new marketing opportunities.
What is metaverse?
Metaverses have been one of the hottest topics of the 2020s. While the term has only recently gained prominence with Facebook’s rebranding, the concept of the metaverse first appeared in Neal Stephenson’s classic novella, “Snow Crash,” back in the 1990s.
So, what is the metaverse? There isn’t a single official definition, but generally, the metaverse is a virtual world where users can communicate and interact in real-time.
Users typically navigate the metaverse using their avatars. It allows for sharing content and applications, as well as various activities like games, concerts, and conferences.
There are many metaverses, but the vision of the future is that they will all be interconnected, forming a vast ecosystem of virtual worlds and an internet economy where users can seamlessly move and engage.
Does it seem distant and confusing? The concept takes some getting used to. You can think of the metaverse as the next step in the development of the internet. However, the shift won’t happen overnight; it will likely be a gradual transition, similar to the rise of social media.
Right now, the metaverse is an excellent environment to reach the curious and adventurous Z-generation. It offers interactive and engaging digital experiences through which brands can connect with this internet-native generation.
The metaverse is the perfect platform for creating experiences that excite and engage the Z-generation.
In this article, we’ll explore 7 bold brands whose marketing efforts in the metaverse have been highly successful.
Nike invests in virtual experiences
Sports manufacturer Nike has always been at the forefront of digitalization and has demonstrated a deep understanding of the younger generation. In recent years, Nike has incorporated metaverses, NFTs, and Web3 into its brand strategy.
In 2021, Nike applied for patents related to virtual fashion. Then, they launched Nikeland, a Roblox universe filled with online games and virtual products. In December 2021, Nike acquired the NFT studio RTFKT, known for its virtual sneakers.
The pilot phase is now history – metaverses and Web3 have become part of Nike’s brand identity. Here’s an overview of two ways Nike leverages virtual reality to stay at the forefront of cultural change.
Nikeland is a virtual world launched in November 2021 within the Roblox metaverse. In Nikeland, fans can create and share experiences, as well as compete with each other.
Since its launch, Nikeland has seen 7 million visitors. Fans have had the opportunity to witness appearances by sports stars like LeBron James in the metaverse and purchase exclusive digital items for their avatars.
Nike’s metaverse includes various mini-games where players can test their skills. Developers can also create their own mini-games for Nikeland using the provided tools.
Nikeland encourages visitors to stay active in the real world. Offline activities translate into the online game through a mobile device. So, when a player runs, jumps, or exercises in the real world, their in-game character also benefits.
Nike has quickly capitalized on the NFT trend as well. NFT stands for non-fungible token, a unique digital token that lives on the blockchain. While they are most commonly associated with art, NFTs can make anything digital into something unique.
In December 2021, Nike acquired RTFKT Studios, known for its virtual sneakers. RTFKT had managed to sell 600 pairs of NFT sneakers in just six minutes, earning a staggering $3.1 million from those sales.
Nike’s first NFT sneaker collection, Dunk Genesis CRYPTOKICKS, is the creation of RTFKT Studios. Owners can customize these sneakers by adding special effects and patterns to them.
Last year, Nike became the highest-earning brand in the world through NFT sales, generating a stunning $185 million in revenue. There were 67,500 transactions in the secondary market, with a total sales volume exceeding $1.29 billion. One NFT from the Cryptokicks collection was sold for an impressive $134,000.
“Nike is the only brand in the world that shares our deep passion for innovation, creativity, and community. We are excited to grow a brand that was born entirely in the metaverse.” – Benoit Pagotto, Co-founder, RTFKT
Coca-Cola conducted promotions in the metaverse
The world’s most popular soft drink is in the metaverse.
Coca-Cola continues to incorporate digital elements into its marketing strategy. In April 2022, they released a new version of Coca-Cola Zero aimed at the younger gaming community: Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte.
Byte pays homage to the pixel, the fundamental unit of light and color used to create entire worlds in video games and metaverses.
Coca-Cola has always invested heavily in promotions, and the Byte metaverse campaign was no exception.
Before the physical drink’s release, Coca-Cola created an entire island in Fortnite called Pixel Point, filled with engaging mini-games, activities, and hidden treasures.
The physical version of the drink hit shelves in the United States at the beginning of May. After the release, Byte’s physical packaging included a code that allowed access to an AR game that told the story of an 8-bit character.
Coca-Cola’s metaverse campaign was a grand execution, demonstrating the company’s forward-thinking approach. Unfortunately, sales figures are not available, but the campaign received significant media coverage from outlets such as Forbes, the New York Post, and Marketing Week.
Warner Music Group created an arena for metaverse events.
How does a Bruno Mars, Cardi B, Ed Sheeran, or Michael Bublé concert in the metaverse sound? Well, now it’s possible!
The music industry took a historic step last year when Warner Music Group announced a partnership with The Sandbox. Warner created the first music-themed world in the metaverse, serving as an arena for live performances and a theme park for visitors.
As part of this collaboration, Warner acquired virtual land from The Sandbox, where the company plans to host a series of virtual events and concerts featuring artists from Warner Music Group’s roster.
“Warner Music is pioneering by securing a beachfront property equivalent in the metaverse. We are developing engaging social music experiences on this property that defy real-world constraints and allow our artists and their fans to engage like never before.” – Oana Ruxandra, Chief Digital Officer, Warner Music Group
The Sandbox has already featured various well-known artists even before the Warner partnership, including Snoop Dogg, Steve Aoki, and Deadmau5.
Balenciaga x Fortnite collaboration
Two cultural icons, Balenciaga and Fortnite, joined forces to breathe life into a fashion collection that bridges the physical and digital worlds.
Fortnite has always disrupted traditional video game norms by placing the player experience at the core. Fortnite isn’t just a game; it’s a metaverse and a cultural phenomenon that constantly showcases the power of modern gaming. Currently, it boasts a staggering 400 million players worldwide.
The multifaceted and creative collaboration with Balenciaga was a significant milestone for Fortnite. Balenciaga became the first luxury fashion brand to create a collection within the game.
The Fortnite x Balenciaga collection featured both digital and physical elements. Players could purchase digital Balenciaga outfits for their in-game characters. The collection was also sold in selected Balenciaga brick-and-mortar stores and online. Buyers of the physical product could unlock the outfit in Fortnite as well.
The collection received a tremendous positive response on Twitter, and despite its steep price tags, it sold out in no time.
The result of this collaboration was an engaging digital experience, making one of the hottest fashion brands accessible to a younger audience.
Samsung built a flagship store in the metaverse
The well-known Korean electronics giant has excelled in both consumer and business markets. 72 percent of U.S. households own one or more Samsung products, and it’s ranked as the 5th most valuable brand in the world.
Over the past year, Samsung has been working to increase its brand awareness in the metaverse.
In January 2022, the company introduced a virtual representation of its flagship store, Samsung 837X, in Decentraland.
The name 837X comes from the physical store’s address, “837 Washington St, New York.” The “X” refers to the experience and stands for “virtual experience.”
The idea was to create an inspiring place where young people could learn about technology innovation. The result was a unique virtual experience that combined technology and culture with new ways of communication.
In March 2022, Samsung announced that nearly 120,000 people had visited its virtual store in Decentraland.
Visitors had the opportunity to win NFT collectibles in the store. Samsung also introduced an exclusive task called “You Make It,” where users could create personalized NFT art.
Samsung also launched its own metaverse, “My House,” specifically targeting the Z-generation and millennials. This metaverse, simulating a virtual interior design experience, quickly surpassed the 4 million visitor mark.
Thanks to its successful start, Samsung plans to aggressively expand its metaverse projects in the future. Samsung’s Chief Marketing Officer, Michelle Crossan-Matos, stated that the company aims to do many more things in the metaverse.
Louis Vuitton celebrated its birthday by creating an NFT game.
Louis Vuitton doesn’t usually evoke thoughts of gaming – let alone NFT games. However, at the beginning of 2023, one of the world’s most famous luxury brands has been deeply immersed in the Web3 world for nearly 2 years.
LV celebrated its 200th anniversary two years ago. In honor of the milestone, the brand released an engaging 3D metaverse game, “Louis: The Game.”
In the game, players control LV mascot Vivienne. The goal is to find 200 birthday candles in eight different worlds. Along the way, players earn NFT collectibles created by the well-known American NFT artist Beeple.
The results have been promising for Louis Vuitton. By May 2022, the game, available on iOS and Android devices, had already been downloaded 2 million times, and updates have been developed to attract new players.
Gucci presented its history in The Sandbox.
Luxury fashion houses are actively exploring new business opportunities in the virtual world. In October 2022, the Italian fashion house Gucci introduced its metaverse pilot in The Sandbox. It became the first luxury brand to create its own digital world in the metaverse.
Gucci Vault Land is a virtual space where users can experience the fashion house’s history through games and NFTs. This experimental concept was available to players from October 27 to November 9.
Players could engage with Vault through a learning narrative and complete tasks to win exclusive rewards, as well as The Sandbox’s cryptocurrency, SAND tokens.
Vault, designed by creative director Alessandro Michele, represented rare vintage clothing from the brand, a dialogue between contemporary designers and Gucci, and enthusiasm for NFT art.
The ultimate goal of this project was to bring Gucci’s heritage to the awareness of the Web3 community through gamification.
Gucci has been at the forefront of Web3 and metaverse technology. In May 2021, it became the first luxury brand to launch its own NFT collection. In the same month, the company introduced the Gucci Garden experience in Roblox, celebrating its creative vision. The virtual world, set in Florence, Italy, attracted over 20 million visitors.
Leading brands in their respective fields are cleverly using the metaverse as part of their marketing efforts. The metaverse removes many physical world limitations, enabling extremely creative implementations.
Brands can utilize the metaverse for:
- Promoting physical products
- Creating a digital fashion line
- Hosting virtual concerts or events
- Engaging customers through gamification
- Establishing a virtual showroom
Although the metaverse can be used for creating innovative and engaging experiences, its full potential has not yet been fully unleashed. As technology advances and the user base grows, we can expect to see increasingly sophisticated marketing implementations.
The metaverse is quickly becoming an essential part of the marketing mix.