As digital marketing continues to grow and become personalised and targeted, the Metaverse is going to continue to require brands to continuously innovate on how they communicate and engage with their customers
The Metaverse is revolutionising the internet and the magic of virtual worlds isn’t just a gaming enthusiast’s dream anymore— its impact is set to resonate across other sectors too. According to Google News reports, there are over 175,000 search results for the search query “metaverse news” and the hashtag #metaverse gets up to 500 plus tweets every hour on Twitter. The technologies underlying the metaverse, real time rendering, cloud computing, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) are now also rapidly changing the cores processes of media production.
Till just recently computer-generated imagery (CGI) was reserved for post-production but now forward-thinking creative teams are free to leverage visual effects at all stages of the production process, previsualisation, scouting, led walls and game engine-powered stages are all being adopted at a breakneck speed. According to research conducted by Forrester, 79% of the respondents say that real-time technology has revolutionised how they are delivering content to customers, while 77% feel it has equally revolutionised the way they collaborate to create.
The real-time 3D-creation tool offers a magnitude of advantages to the users, including ease-of-use for artists who have transitioned from traditional VFX backgrounds. Today, over 80 major motion pictures and episodic TV series are creating stunning digital worlds, taking storytelling into a new era.
Game engine technologies are changing the landscape of what can be done within broadcasts and live events too. Mixed reality is providing the ability to tell new stories, and it can be used by any business that wants to engage its audience with more emotional and informative narratives.
With all these media being impacted from creation to consumption, brands have to adapt to new ways of integrating with these upgraded media and channels.
Step into the Metaverse
In simple words, the Metaverse is an evolution of how users interact with brands, intellectual properties, and each other on the internet. It is an expansive, digitised communal space where users can mingle freely with brands and one another in ways that permit self-expression, co-presence and spark delight. Visualise it as a kind of online playground where users can join friends to play a multiplayer game one moment, watch a movie via Netflix the next, and then bring their friends to test drive a new car that’s crafted the same way in the real world as it would be in this virtual one.
We view metaverse as a shared social 3D space with creation, persistence, discovery, and commerce. In order for brands and marketers to build this unique digital space, to benefit from the endless opportunities that real-time technology can offer, requires them to meet certain prerequisites.
To begin with, building the open metaverse requires the existence of appropriate technology, tools, services, creators, experiences, and industry players. Additionally, it is vital to educate and inspire a greater number of creators to collaborate with software developers in building the metaverse that would redefine the way we interact, play, and socialise with each other.
It is also important that brands and marketers realise the true potential of real-time technology. For instance, while developing an IP, it is essential to conceptualise and prepare to develop every touchpoint and platform across the Metaverse. Whether it is a console game, a mobile companion app, a short film, or even virtual cosmetics, it is imperative to consider the different ways in which a brand engages with audiences. Earlier this year, MediaMonks, a global creative company teamed up with Oreo to innovate and disrupt advertising production catering to the brand’s global audience, efficiently creating a variety of packaging and customised commercials for each localised variation, accounting for cost-efficiencies while retaining the authenticity to regional tastes and culture. Another interesting example is Balenciaga, the French label which wowed the world last year when it unveiled Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow, a video game built to showcase the company’s Fall 2021 collection. Described by Vogue Runway as a “quantum leap for fashion,” Balenciaga’s Afterworld is more than just an innovative way to market clothes. It represents an entirely new era for the industry—one in whichever more sophisticated virtual worlds and immersive experiences will supercharge online commerce. Afterworld represents a new way of thinking about identity in the digital world—that the internet can be a rich, interactive, three-dimensional virtual playground for fashion. In a similar vein, Ferrari marks another example of a brand successfully leveraging the Metaverse to power everything from design visualization to the production of product launch videos as well as has created Ferrari Tailor Made, an exclusive Ferrari program for customers who want to customize every element of their car to create a one-of-a-kind vehicle.
How are brands and marketers preparing themselves to thrive through real-time 3D creativity?
With technology constantly evolving and innovating rapidly, the creators must stay abreast with the latest developments in this space, availing the numerous global learning resources as guides in their real-time journeys.
As virtual spaces become more ingrained into our lives, the applications in the Metaverse seem limitless. Industries such as architecture, manufacturing, automotive, and simulation and training are fast embracing it.
As digital marketing continues to grow and become personalised and targeted, the Metaverse is going to continue to require brands to continuously innovate on how they communicate and engage with their customers.
*The author is Quentin Staes-Polet, GM - India and SEA, Epic Games
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.
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