It is not unusual to see marketers flocking to what is new and trendy, like the metaverse. What is unprecedented, however, is how a concept as far-fetched as a virtual environment has been so well received by the public. 

This is likely because of the adaptation of augmented and virtual reality technologies into the mainstream over the last few years, which has made this technology more palatable to the everyday person. 

Additionally, consumers just seem to want to know more about the elusive metaverse. '#Metaverse' is a major topic on social media, with the hashtag being used more than 60 000 times on Instagram. This could be attributed to Facebook rebranding under 'Meta', once again bringing the concept to the public at large. 

But how are brands adapting to this whole new world of marketing possibilities? 

Let's take a look at three of our favourite campaign examples: 

1. Coca-Cola auctions NFTs

Coca-Cola, everyone's favourite soft drink company, teamed up with avatar company Tafi to create the brand's NFT loot box. 

The loot box launched Friday, 30 July 2021, which is International Friendship Day, and contained four multi-sensory Coke branded NFTs, such as:
  • the loot box: Made to resemble a cooler box, this treasure chest of digital goodies is enhanced with "motion and illumination".
  • a red bubble jacket: This is a wearable item on the Decentraland 3D virtual reality platform and made to resemble Coca-Cola’s old delivery uniforms. The brand states that the jacket is "illuminated with effervescent fizz" and based off of the Coca-Cola colour palette.
  • the Friendship Card: This is a 3D, motion and light sensitive trading card based off of a 1990s set of Coca-Cola cards. These cards symbolise "friendship and refreshment".
  • sound visualizer: Encompasses sounds associated with enjoying a Coke; the bottle being opened, the drink cascading over ice blocks, a fizz and the oh so satisfying 'ahh'.
*Image sourced from The Coca-Cola Company.

"We didn't want to do this just to make an NFT. We wanted to inject the core principles of Coca-Cola and celebrate both our heritage and ties to friendship — while also doing something that hasn't been done before," says Josh Schwarber, global digital design senior director for Coca-Cola. 

The lootbox was sold at auction for 217 Ethereum, which translated to USD$575 883, 61. All proceeds went to Special Olympics International.

Here, we saw one of the most recognisable brands in the world take a risk on the metaverse and win big time. By targeting crypto fanatics and capitalising off of the growing popularity of NTFs, the brand made a pretty penny for charity and an effervescent debut on the virtual scene.

2. Wendy's conquers the competition

Fast food brand Wendy's joined the cool kids on Twitch to play the new Fortnite game called Food Fight. The brand was also way ahead of the game, implementing this campaign back in 2018. Ah, the good 'ol days

The game allows players to pick between two restaurants — either team Durr Burger or Pizza Pit — with the objective being to defeat all competitors and be the last person standing to win the game.

As Wendy's is a chain that specialises in burgers, one would expect them to choose to play under the burger restaurant, right? Wrong

Turns out that the fast-food redhead found out Durr Burger keeps its virtual beef in freezers, which goes against the brand's policy to always use fresh, not frozen meat.

In the end, Wendy's prevailed and defeated the frozen meat freezers, not the other team. This even led to a trend of other Fortnite players destroying the freezers when playing Food Fight, instead of the other team. We admire the dedication

The Wendy's Twitch stream amassed a total of 1.5 million minutes watched and the brand received 119% increase in mentions across social media platforms. 

Wendy's mission to excavate freezers from Fortnite saw the brand integrate its messaging into this virtual environment and meet consumers where they are — Fortnite, the most streamed game on Twitch. We see what you did there!

This authentic engagement with consumers gained the fast-food chain major respect online and saw them break into the metaverse space before everyone started doing it. By not taking an overly branded approach to gaming, Wendy's showed they’re not like other brands — they're a cool brand. 

3. Louis Vuitton gamifies fashion

Of all industries trying to break into the metaverse game, the retail brands have it the easiest — often launching clothing items that are wearable in these virtual spaces. 

However, Louis Vuitton decided to take an unprecedented approach and launch Louis: The Game to celebrate the brand founder's 200th birthday. 

The game lets users play as mascot Vivienne who wanders "the magnificent world of Louis Vuitton". Her objective is to:
  • collect 200 birthday candles 
  • gather information about the Maison 
  • collect fashion accessories, and
  • if the player is lucky, be the first to find one of 30 NFTs. 
For each candle the user finds, they access a new tidbit of information about the brand's journey, as well as facts about Louis and his family. Additionally, 10 of the available NFTs were created by Beeple, a creator whose digital collage sold for USD$69.3-million

The gamification of a luxury brand, which is unattainable for many, makes Louis Vuitton more accessible to the public at large. Not only can players have a laugh with friends, but they can learn more about the founder and the company’s journey. 

Furthermore, by creating their own game, Louis Vuitton displays an unprecedented level of innovation and creativity, showing its consumers that it's not afraid to venture where no brand has before. 

What do you think about the metaverse and its growing popularity? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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Want to learn more about metaverse marketing? Then be sure to check out our article, The 411 on metaverse marketing.
*Image courtesy of Pixabay.