Interesting Brand Activations in the Metaverse
In the final installment, we share five activations that used brand-building principles we discussed in the last post. These brands went beyond simply dropping an NFT art collection and linked their metaverse experiences to their mission or philanthropic goals. This resulted in deeper audience engagement and differentiated them from competitors.
NIVEA VALUE OF TOUCH
Nivea believes that “skin lets us feel the breeze of the wind, the warmth of the sun and the touch of the people we love”.
Even though skin is the largest human organ, touch seems to be the least valued sense, compared with sight, smell, taste and sound. However, as a result of the global pandemic and lockdowns people were talking about the 'loss of touch' and how it contributed to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Nivea, the 100 year old skincare brand, decided to commit 20 million Euro to human touch projects to raise awareness of the importance of touch, to our overall mental health and well being.
The brand teamed up with Italian artist Clarissa Baldassarri, who due to a temporary visual impairment early, in her career, had to learn to to rely on touch in creating art. The result was Nivea's touch inspired NFT art collection. Unlike other brands the NFTs were give away for free because Nivea believed that like touch, their art should also be “accessible while incredibly valuable and powerful.”
2. BUDWEISER: #RoyaltyNFT
Rather than promise to “donate proceeds from the sale” of branded NFTs as most companies do, Budweiser decided to do something more innovative with their philanthropy.
They sponsored 22 emerging musicians from around the world by minting a three tier Royalty NFTs collection. The NFT’s give the up-and-coming local artist, a global stage to showcase their talents and start to build a fan base, and they allow fans to directly support their favorite artists and unlock exclusive experiences with them.
This is a creative way to use NFT technology to facilitate micro-sponsorships. Each NFT serves as a social badge of musical honor, showing that you supported the artist before they were discovered by the crowd, and also includes opportunities to unlock future rewards and fan experiences.
3. LOUIS VUITTON: Louis: The Game
This luxury brand decided to celebrate their founder’s 200th birthday by creating a game featuring a character named Vivienne; who was designed using the brand’s monogram. Vivienne takes the player on an adventure through the early years of Louis Vuitton’s personal life and professional journey, leading up to his establishing the brand in Paris.
The game is set in six real-world locations and as the protagonist travels through them, the goals is to uncover 200 candles. Each candle reveals a story about Louis, his family and the brand’s journey to becoming the 9th most valuable in the world. In addition to the candles there are 30 NFTs embedded in the game, which cannot be purchased. 10 of the NFTs were designed by Beeple, the artist whose NFT sold at a Christie’s auction for $69.3 million.
Louis Vuitton's target audience has traditionally been wealthy, older women and young fashion followers - this was a smart way to introduce the brand to a younger, tech savvy, early adopter Gen Z audience, who would not normally interact with or seek out the brand.
4. DISNEY: MagicBand+
Disney took a different route into the metaverse; albeit one that builds on an existing experience at their theme parks. In 2013, Walt Disney World Resorts launched the MagicBand, which contains a scannable chip that allows guests to manage and access all their passes and payments; including Lightning Lane reservations, dinner reservations, purchases in the park, and more.
The new MagicBand+ adds an experiential layer for guests to enjoy throughout the park, using virtual and augmented reality. It has built-in haptic vibrations, gesture recognition, colour-changing lights to notify and unlock surprises. Guests can participate in digital scavenger hunts, join Star Wars Baatu Bounty Hunters to locate virtual bounties, unlock digital achievements and watch their bands light up to compliment magic in the skies.
Rather than re-invent the wheel and create a virtual Walt Disney World, they are using AR and VR to merge the metaverse with real-world experiences.
5. VENUS: My Skin. My Type
Starting with Ogilvy's ground breaking Dove Campaign for Real Beauty in 2004, the beauty industry has been taking a hard look at itself and moving away from the idea of perfection, by not only featuring real women but embracing blemishes and flaws.
More than any other generation, Gen Z are about inclusive, diverse and authentic beauty and believe that inner confidence, comes from being comfortable in your own skin. So when P&G's Venus, the largest email hair removal brand in USA, entered the metaverse, they did it in collaboration with a popular Gen Z video game called Animal Crossing, to launch the “My Skin. My Way” campaign.
While they understand that gaming is a form or escapism, Venus wanted to allow Gen Z players to be able to bring their authentic identity into the virtual world. They did this by offering players19 different skin types they can add to their avatars; including freckles, cellulite, acne, scars, stretch marks and vitiligo. Overall, players can choose 264 different skin tones and types.