By India Dowley

The metaverse, a virtual reality space where individuals can interact and create, is no longer a futuristic concept. It's a rapidly emerging reality and the implications for various industries, including PR, are significant. 

As the metaverse gains momentum, PR professionals are recognising the vast opportunities it presents for engaging audiences and creating immersive brand experiences. To ensure you don’t get left behind, In this article we explore how the metaverse will affect PR and why it's a crucial opportunity that cannot be ignored.

The Metaverse: An Untapped PR Opportunity

A survey of 50 top communications executives reveals that PR is already embracing the metaverse. With 70% of PR professionals discussing metaverse plans and 45% actively working on metaverse projects, it's evident that the industry recognises the potential of this virtual landscape. From agencies to brands, PR professionals are exploring a wide range of metaverse campaigns that go beyond mere multi-million-dollar immersive experiences.

Unlocking PR Potential in the Metaverse

Strategy and Compelling Messaging

PR's leadership in strategy and developing compelling messaging will be vital for metaverse success. As brands venture into the metaverse, they will need PR professionals to create immersive experiences that attract media attention and resonate with target audiences. Crafting narratives that engage stakeholders and convey a brand's identity will be key to making an impact in the metaverse.

Virtual Events and Conferences

The potential for virtual events and conferences in the metaverse is immense. Brands can now host Metaverse Press Conferences (MPCs), allowing journalists to participate fully without leaving their workspaces. Moreover, incorporating metaverse components into in-person conferences can enhance attendees’ experiences and widen their reach.

B2B Opportunities

PR's expertise in strategic communications makes it well-suited for B2B metaverse campaigns. Brands can leverage the metaverse to strengthen partnerships, enhance connections and engage global customers. Working with PR firms can help organisations navigate this new territory, reducing costs and maximising impact.

Inclusivity and Accessibility

To fully leverage the metaverse's potential, PR professionals should prioritise inclusivity and accessibility. Requiring expensive equipment for participation can limit the potential audience. By creating experiences that can be accessed through simple devices like phones or computers, PR campaigns can reach a wider audience and increase engagement.

Education and Awareness

The metaverse is still relatively unfamiliar to many, including communication professionals. As PR leaders, it is crucial to educate both ourselves and our clients about the metaverse's potential. By driving awareness and understanding, PR professionals can position their brands as pioneers in this emerging space.

Risk Management

As with any significant opportunity, the metaverse comes with potential risks, including privacy and data security concerns. PR professionals must be prepared to address and communicate effectively about these issues, ensuring brands maintain trust and authenticity in the metaverse.

Six Brands Leading the Way in the Metaverse:

Louis Vuitton's Metaverse Success

Louis Vuitton embraced the metaverse to celebrate its 200 years of dedication to craftsmanship. The brand created an interactive experience called "Louis the Game", where players embark on a journey as Vivienne, the brand's mascot. In the game, players explore various city streets to collect 200 candles, symbolising the brand's heritage. This metaverse campaign not only innovatively engaged Louis Vuitton's audience but also showcased the potential of the metaverse as a storytelling platform for iconic brands.

Gucci's Initiatives

Gucci has been actively exploring the metaverse marketplace with various NFT collaborations. The fashion house employs hierarchical access for limited NFT collections, offering unique and exclusive experiences to its audience. "The Vault" is one such initiative, occupying virtual space at The Sandbox, where players embark on a treasure hunt to collect exclusive NFT pieces crafted by Gucci's creative director, Alessandro Michele. By venturing into the metaverse, Gucci showcases its adaptability across experiences and communities, engaging audiences in innovative ways.

Nike's Interactive Metaverse: NIKELAND

In November 2021, athletic apparel brand Nike launched NIKELAND, an interactive world hosted on Roblox, a popular metaverse platform. NIKELAND allows visitors to play mini-games and indulge in a lifestyle centred on sports and play. Users can customize their avatars with Nike gear from the game's outfit collection and share their creations with fellow players. This metaverse campaign expands Nike's market to the digital space, engaging more people with its products and services.

Clinique's Campaign

Beauty brand Clinique tapped into the metaverse's rising popularity to run a campaign that encouraged customers to make digital versions of their products. Using NFTs as incentives, the brand converged its products into new virtual spaces, creating an inclusive digital native experience. By leveraging the metaverse, Clinique engaged its existing customers and attracted new virtual audiences, demonstrating the potential of PR in enhancing brand awareness and connecting with consumers in novel way

Burberry's NFT Collection

Burberry joined the metaverse revolution by releasing its first-ever NFT collection in partnership with Mythical Games' Blankos Block Party. The collection includes wearable NFTs adorned with Burberry's trademark logos, allowing players to dress their in-game characters with iconic luxury fashion. This initiative demonstrates the fashion industry's adaptability across experiences and communities, showcasing Burberry's innovation and forward-thinking marketing approach.

Ferrari's Virtual Product Preview

Italian luxury carmaker Ferrari collaborated with Fortnite to give players an exclusive virtual preview of their 296 GTB model before its physical debut. Fortnite players had the opportunity to experience the highly detailed and realistic model in the game, generating excitement and anticipation for its real-life rollout. This successful collaboration demonstrates how brands can leverage the metaverse to engage with their audience, build a community and create unique product experiences.

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