During the Big Data & AI Paris 2022 exhibition that will take place on September 26 and 27, Stéphane Guerry will be one of the speakers at the conference entitled: The metaverse, the new frontier of data. On this occasion, we interviewed him to learn more about virtual worlds and their possibilities.
Stéphane Guerry, CEO of Havas Play
Stéphane Guerry, with Havas Play, advises the largest French and international companies (Orange, Carrefour, Nike, Coca-Cola, Louis Vuitton) to use passions as territories of expression. In 2021, Stéphane Guerry founded “Metaverse by Havas”, combining the talents and experience of the group to support brands in the new universe and allow them to take advantage of today’s opportunities.
The metaverse is at the center of today’s conversations. But behind this vague concept for some, what are the real opportunities for brands?
I understand that it is difficult to project oneself when the technologies to make it “possible” and conceivable are not yet available. The fall of crypto-currencies, on which the metaverse of creation is based, may also suggest “that a balloon is deflating”. And I know that most of these new virtual worlds still have everything to prove: their ability to bring people back and forth, their usefulness, their promise of interoperability, their model in the economy, their stability, their ability to guarantee the security and integrity of the visitor. and its property, its impact on the planet and society.
However, the emergence of these virtual worlds is inevitable. And the evolution of video games towards community spaces where we gather, connect, where we interact and collaborate more on a quest, a common interest, is the beginning of it.
Perhaps the private initiatives that are changing the metaverse today will fail. Probably most of these companies will not exist in 10 years. Yet the metaverse will exist. Brands that understand how to help players in this quest, how to bring more value to this experience, means to this community, these brands will stay in people’s lives. Some say “These brands survive”.
From the moment the use changes, it is a question of survival. I don’t know if we are only talking about opportunity. Finally, for a brand, it’s like not having a website and not being on the smartphones of today’s customers. Some can survive but it still complicates the task.
In your opinion, what uses are most likely to be developed in virtual worlds?
First of all entertainment consumption. Not only video games, but also concerts, cinema and series, culture, but generally, the time spent on entertainment grows in the metaverse.
Then, traders and distributors will invest heavily, depending on the shift in use. They will offer immersive, fun, integrated shopping experiences, as opposed to being more inclusive than current digital technology allows. We no longer see advertising but an experience where an emotional relationship with the brand is built.
Professional use will also improve. Course training, but also collaboration. Teleworking has created a very strong need to find a shared corporate culture and metaverses can help rebuild it.
These are probably the three major uses that will develop first. But in the long run, I think the metaverse will take up as much space in our lives as the smartphone does today, transforming into even more devices that will have a very strong impact on all sectors of the economy.
Do you have concrete examples of “metaverse” projects launched by your clients?
We already use metaverses as media to “eventize” entertainment launches to find new audiences but also to strengthen the intangible capital of some luxury brands.
Communication in the series Validated 2 in the world of GTA
Objective: communicate the launch of the Canal + series through an in-game media campaign and thus reach a new audience.
— CANAL+ (@canalplus) October 14, 2021
Louis Vuitton communication with League of Legends
Objective: talk about the luxury brand Louis Vuitton during the League of Legends competition to give signs of belonging to the community. A private collection Louis Vuitton x League of Legends later came out in real life.
What types of data can metaverse brands collect and use to track their customers?
We are at the dawn of a personal data revolution.
The tools used to fully live the metaverse experience (connected glasses, haptic clothing, etc.) are all sensors of our emotions. The sensors of our reactions to lived experience, to the avatar encountered, to the offered merchandise. Patents have already been filed, from a simple bezel, to detect when your retina is dilating, when you cry or smile. Heart rates and body temperature can also be measured.
We’re going to “sell emotional data”. And the boundary that affects marketing where people’s emotions can be the subject of a transaction is very good.
This raises many ethical questions. But what is technically possible always happens. So the operators will track and offer this data. Of course, many brands will set their own limits and refuse to do so. But can they survive if one of their competitors is 10 or 100 times more efficient at exploiting this data?
In your opinion, what are the key factors for a successful metaverse launch in 2022?
Take the time to understand the reasons why this or that community gathers in this space. With what culture, what common project, what ambition, what language and what codes too?
Once these elements are explored, the brand must find the times and places where it can reach and offer a useful service to the community. This presence must also be well aligned with its genes, its history and its own raison d’être. You have to go there with authenticity.
NFTs are also associated with the metaverse. What is the benefit of launching NFT collections for brands?
Here too, NFTs have been hit by the fall in the value of cryptos. Beyond the amount, the number of transactions on the exchanges fell significantly. We may see less speculative NFT launches for more profitable NFTs.
Because what is interesting is the blockchain, the possibility to assign an immovable property right. NFTs can allow brands to reward their best customers, to retain them but also find new customers who may not have considered them.
We can’t talk about the metaverse without talking about the Meta. Your opinion on Horizon Worlds?
We are only at the beginning. We must not judge hastily an experience that still passes through an Oculus and that now presents some limitations. With billions invested in R&D for several years, I am convinced that Meta will offer easily accessible solutions, rich experience that will enable you to spend a good part of your free time… and professional during this time.