A word that might go on to become an adage for future civilizations.

Everyone’s talking Crypto. Some are staking it (If you know, you know) while some are faking it.

One is surrounded with a lot of techno babble as NFTs get minted, which by their very definition are shiny intangible objects that will only ever exist virtually.

But gamers have been living as their virtual avatars for a while now.

So, what’s really changing in the real world and how do we agency folks help our brands adapt?

To better understand advertising in the metaverse, we need to first understand the two esoteric states that exist.

First are the likes of Roblox, The Sandbox, Fortnite, etc., with their roots in gaming. This is the more defined of the metaverses with certain existing rules of engagement wherein brands such as Coca Cola, McDonald’s, Ralph Lauren, etc. have already rolled out activations.

The other is the crazy town of ‘Decentralized Platforms’. This is akin to the ‘Gold Rush’ days of when social media first popped up on the scene. Some examples being Decentraland, Somnium Space, Sensorium, Genesis World, etc. 

2021 already saw several brands dive into the metaverse, discovering smart contracts, and manifesting Web3 experiences. 

Technological research firm Gartner has predicted that by 2026 a quarter of the world’s consumers could be using the metaverse daily.

So, definite potential there for brands. But how does one go about defining the role of advertising agencies in this much touted and talked about multiverse?

As we know, the traditional model of advertising is simply put a paid economy.

The metaverse model will be a people economy, a purpose economy.

However, one needs to be mindful of the dynamics that govern this Metacosm.

  • This will be both a creator and curator economy
  • Creating cognitive connections that will deepen as fidelity improves
  • Build-up of a positive sentiment that will drive mass adoption
  • Merely showing up is not enough, you will need to co-create community
  • Authenticity will be King but will also be to each his own with an opt-out option

As brands and agencies spiral down the rabbit hole, they will need to ensure that the people coming into their metaverses are not only engaged in positive sum protocols but also able to build on their on-chain resumes, which simply is the proof of a person’s participation in the community.

As always, with new opportunities come new challenges. Unpredictability, the lack of regulation, and authenticity are just a few that will need to be dealt with in the initial days. 

Speaking to analysts & Adweek, this is what MARK READ CEO WPP had to say, “An amazing number of clients have asked to talk to us about what it means and what they’re trying to achieve. What they’re saying is that creativity and ideas remain critical, but they also need to have global partners that will reach a breadth of scale to be able to execute those around the world—as well as an understanding of how to use data in their marketing and how technology is changing the way they reach consumers.”

Currently the answer probably lies in being able to measure opportunity in the metaverse. If you look at only associating community participation with transactions, then yes, interaction might just pass off as a successful ROI.

But to move with measure would probably be the more prudent step as we spend more time to really understand how to play the game.

For now, I think agencies should start to curate a list of creators who are already making an impact in the metaverse to then connect brands with these creators and their audiences.

I think this quote by Mark Zuckerberg sums it up quite nicely, “Today, I think we look at the internet, but I think in the future you’re going to be in the experience.”