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Tammy Bainbridge Executive in Research, Insight and Consulting 07/02/2022

Should brands pay attention to advertising in The Metaverse?

After a year full of events, collaborations, rebranding’s, and speculations regarding The Metaverse, it’s safe to say we’ve all heard of it. But do we really know what it means?

It’s not just luxury fashion houses that are preparing for a gaming world take over, 2021 saw a whole host of online concerts held by leading gaming brands

Data from our consumer tracker shows that one in two consumers aware of the Metaverse but only 1 in 5 (21%) really understand what it means, this rises to in 3 in 10 (32%) amongst 18–34-year-olds.

Interestingly, males are significantly more likely to be aware of and have knowledge of the metaverse than females (29% vs 14%), perhaps due the popularity of the topic within the male-dominated gaming world.

With the whirlwind marketing storm The Metaverse has created, we have seen many collaborations that we never thought we would, with a range of brands trying their hand at what The Metaverse could mean for them.

Back in May 2021 we saw Gucci, one of the world’s largest Luxury fashion houses, collaborate with Roblox to create ‘Gucci Gardens’. But was the unlikely campaign a success?

We’ve taken a look at BrandVue data to understand how the campaign performed:

Around the week of the launch Gucci saw Positive Buzz hit 25%, a nine-point increase compared to surrounding weekly averages. This figure almost doubles when we look at Gen Z alone with Positive Buzz reaching 46% at the time of the campaign launch, illustrating Gucci’s clear signs of cut through amongst this audience.

Dipping their toes into The Metaverse in September 2021, we saw another luxury fashion house, Balenciaga. The brand tested the waters by teaming up with video game giant, Fortnite, to release a collection of designer ‘Fortnite Skins’, allowing players to dress their characters with a variety of Balanciaga items.

At the time of the campaign launch Balenciaga saw Positive Buzz rise 6 points to 21% compared to surrounding weekly averages. The collaboration also helped to improve the brand’s image, particularly amongst Gen Z, with the percentage of those classifying Balenciaga as an ‘exciting’ brand jumping from a monthly average of 14% to 30% during the week of the event.

It’s not just luxury fashion houses that are preparing for a gaming world take over, 2021 saw a whole host of online concerts held by leading gaming brands, from Post Malone and Pokemon to Travis Scott and Fortnite.

Whilst we have seen many success stories of brands entering The Metaverse, there are a number of factors that must be considered before doing so:

  • As we know, this is a predominately Gen Z orientated market. It can also be heavily male dominated with significantly more males than females stating that they are aware of The Metaverse; 6 in 10 males reporting that they game regularly in their free time.
  • Gen Z have very different behaviours and habits to other generations, ethics amongst the younger generation have come to play a critical role in their decision-making with 47% stating that they prefer to buy products from companies they know to be ethical. They are also quick to dismiss brands, with 37% stating that they have boycotted a brand in the past. Does your brand fit this audience?
  • Whilst a lot of brands are trying The Metaverse out through gaming platforms that further enhance the Gen Z skew, there are talks emerging around consumers being able to purchase Metaverse properties and virtual real estate that could help tackle engaging older generations.

Though this may be an emerging market full of potential with many opportunities for brands, it’s a tricky landscape to navigate.

Savanta’s Media team are experts in brand partnerships and leveraging insight to highlight the best opportunities for brands. To speak to one of the team, please get in touch here.

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