It’s hard to go a week without hearing about the metaverse. And it does not end because the real metaverse, unique and interconnected, should not exist for 5 to 10 years. This gives brands time to experiment with new approaches to existing virtual universes, from Meta Horizon World to Decentraland and Minecraft. But prefer other brands hijack the metaverse codes to bring us back to the real world. For example there are 3 cases of brands that put social and environmental issues at the center of the metaverse: world, Rexona (Unilever) and McCain Foods.
The Entourage app
Since its creation in 2015, the Entourage association has worked to strengthen social relationships and the inclusion of people excluded from disadvantage. The entourage especially organizes training to learn how to act for the homeless. The association also created a mobile social network, the Entourage app, where residents, associations and homeless people can connect to get to know each other, discuss and take actions of solidarity. This network has more than 150,000 engaged citizens.
In June 2022, Entourage received a bronze award at Cannes Lion 2022 (of Brand Experience & Activation) for his experience with Will, Metaverse’s First Homeless and Spokesperson for the Invisibles. This campaign was activated by TBWA\Paris on March 31, at the end of the winter break and before the last presidential election.
Excerpt from the launch press release: “As massive investment in the virtual world accelerates, as the metaverse begins with presidential campaigns, and as virtual worlds are built, social isolation has never been stronger. With Will, Entourage questions the evolution of our society, in social relations, and invites us to guard the most dangerous, in real life”.
Will’s avatar is there in social networks to talk to Internet users but also to interview other homeless people. Results in terms of exposure: 960K impressions, 7.1M Euro in advertising equivalent and 850% increase in visibility of the “Entourage” brand as well as international media coverage (TBWA figures).
Consumer brands cannot do without experimenting with new social networks. They should be where the majority of the public comes to enjoy, learn, and form an opinion. So it’s no surprise to find it in the metaverse Unilever with its Rexona deodorant brand (also known worldwide as Sure and Degree).
But the chosen approach has merit in conveying important real-world messages. So Rexona joined the Decentraland platform in April 2022 to organize the “Degree Marathon” (or rather Metathon). This is the first ever marathon organized by metaverse and the brand took the opportunity to highlight “inclusive” avatars. Users can choose appropriate clothing and wheelchairs for their avatars to represent different disabilities. Paralympic athlete Blake Leeper took part in the race with his blade-like prosthetic legs. The virtual marathon also includes a disability-accessible architecture to promote inclusivity.
This is a comment Kathryn SwallowVice President of Global Brand Degree (press release): “We hope the Degree marathon will spark conversations about why representation matters — in the metaverse and in the physical world — and its power to challenge social norms.”
The Canadian food company McCain, known for its famous frozen fries, announced on October 28 a collaboration with Roblox and Bored & Hungry, the first NFT-themed fast food chain. The idea: a game in the metaverse to help young people understand the problems of conventional agriculture and the benefits of innovative methods. (communicating)
In the game “Farms of the Future” Players can earn rewards by growing potatoes with regenerative farming techniques (or regenerative organic farming, a sustainable farming method, similar to permaculture). On the agenda: the planting of cover crops, the integration of livestock through rotational grazing and the promotion of biodiversity.
Why these educational efforts? Because McCain has committed to implementing regenerative farming practices on 100% of his potato acreage worldwide by the end of 2030. (McCain measures 6% lower yields per year on agricultural land, a consequence of impact of climate change. So the company encourages potato farmers to participate in the transition. Details La Tribune) The company also wants educating young consumers in these efforts to transform the food system. This operation is part of a global environmental program with the #SaveOurSoil initiative and the “sustainable” Regen Fries range.
This is a comment Christine KalvenesMcCain’s global head of innovation and marketing. “It is important that we reach young consumers with the right message, in the right place, at the right moments of acceptance – meeting them where they are. It is important to raise awareness about building a more sustainable food system through regenerative agriculture. » (details at Sustainablebrands.com)