The metaverse is currently every marketer’s favourite toy. Brands left, right and centre are creating experiences or NFTs in hopes of targeting a younger, digital audience. The metaverse offers brands unlimited creative opportunities to engage and interact with new potential consumers.
Even though metaverse-style platforms have been around for years, cultural and societal shifts over the past couple of years have cemented the fact the metaverse is here to stay. This means consumer brands need to get on board or risk being left behind.
The metaverse will be game-changing for everyone—brands and consumers alike. Metaverse developments are blurring the lines between online and offline, and are creating a unified experience that will connect reality with the infinite possibilities of online.
FMCG brands need to realise the metaverse is the future, and that future is coming fast. There may be some teething periods while consumers adapt to the new platform, but brands need to realise metaverse leaders will recover quickly from any loss from modernising.
But how have FMCG brands begun entering the metaverse? And will it actually work for them?
FMCG brands in the metaverse
Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte
Coca-Cola has had a few forays into the metaverse, but its latest digital adventure is the Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Byte. The new beverage is actually real and can be purchased and consumed. With an innovative flavour inspired by the fun of pixels, Coca-Cola has fully embraced a metaverse mindset, and created Pixel Point, an island in Fortnite. The island is full of immersive mini-games that must be solved collaboratively with other players.
In addition, when purchasing the soft drink, customers can check out the packaging to receive an access code to an augmented reality game that tells the story of BYTE, an 8-bit character who was left behind when the brand entered the metaverse.
Miller Lite’s Meta Lite Bar
Ahead of the 2022 Super Bowl, Miller Lite opened its very own metaverse bar in Decentraland. Called the Meta Lite Bar, guests over 21 years old were invited to enjoy an immersive, communal experience with virtual pilsners and the chance to have their real Super Bowl celebration paid for by Miller Lite with the Virtual Cheers for Real Beers giveaway. Miller Lite’s aim was to encourage real-life hangouts through the virtual giveaway, blending the online and offline.
The Meta Lite Bar was also the only place fans could see the first ever Super Bowl ad in the metaverse. To celebrate, Miller Lite created exclusive NFT swag that Decentraland users could buy with a crypto wallet.
Heineken’s virtual beer
While most brands entering the metaverse have done so with serious intentions, Heineken has played on the irony of a drinks brand entering a virtual metaverse. Being incredibly transparent that its latest beer was an “awesome marketing stunt”, Heineken revealed Heineken Silver in Decentraland.
Heineken was quick to remind people that you can’t do much with a virtual product. Speaking of the marketing stunt, Heineken said, “Our virtual beer is made only from the freshest pixels: no malt, no hops, no yeast, no water, and also, no beer. The result? An unusual & inaccessible premium lager with a tech and meta finish that no one can enjoy.”
To further its ironic marketing joke, Heineken encouraged visitors to take a snapshot and post it with “a cool and relevant hashtag: #awesomeheinekenmarketingstunt.”
At CES 2022, Procter & Gamble revealed its own mini-metaverse experience, BeautySphere. The virtual storytelling world is P&G’s purpose-driven Responsible Beauty platform that aims to provide immersive and digital experiences to connect people with P&G brands, products and values.
Through a desktop browser, users can explore content in BeautySphere that discusses P&Gs principles and commitments to inspiring positive change around the world, including sustainability, product design safety and inclusive beauty.
FMCG into the Metaverse
When it comes to the metaverse, it’s important that brands fully understand how consumers behave; it’s almost guaranteed that consumers will have different behavioural patterns and spending habits within a digital environment. As the metaverse and metaverse technology continues to evolve, so will consumer behaviour.
As technology evolves, so will brand experimentation. The tech boom we are witnessing will result in smoother consumer experiences in the metaverse, encouraging them to embrace the metaverse more openly. The metaverse will not take up time in their day, but become fully ingrained in everyday life.
FMCG brands need to consider how and why they should enter the metaverse. The why is obvious—it’s the future. The how is less obvious, but with endless possibilities, there’s an answer.
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