Luxury brands and metaverses: join an existing environment or create your own virtual space?

By Vincent Burgevin, Founder and CEO of SkyBoy

why join the metaverse Who’s doing the buzz?

Let’s start with an observation: luxury brands have fallen in love with metaverses, and in particular those of the Sandbox, Decentraland, Roblox or Fortnite type.

By integrating these virtual worlds, it is surprising to see that brands, usually so inclined to stand out with the help of differentiating marketing, agree to share a common space and adorn themselves with the same artistic direction as their competitors (pixel art style). in Sandbox and Roblox, 3D cartoons in Decentraland and Fortnite).

The reasons are multiple: there is of course the advertising effect that results, for example, from the purchase of land, there is also the desire to rejuvenate its customers by communicating with the codes that are specific to them, it is also a matter of presenting versions of their products as quickly as possible, otherwise copies of this or that watch or iconic jewel will appear. But above all, thanks to this pioneering approach, brands offer themselves the possibility, in the future, of saying that they were there first. The bet is good because there is no doubt that these platforms will receive a growing audience in the coming years.

However, there are many questions that brands ask themselves: will the artistic direction they impose on me allow me to keep my DNA? Are these video game-sounding universes conducive to real storytelling? Will I be able to generate in my audience a visual emotion equal to the one I create in my television or online communications?

create your own metaverse to tell us better

To create a powerful narrative and a strong emotion in the viewer, there is an alternative: create your own metaverse. By doing so, brands can immerse their visitors in a truly cinematic environment that is both memorable and perfectly in keeping with their artistic direction.

There are many animation studios that have mastered the technologies that make it possible to create bespoke metaverses. Some will say that it is essential to use so-called “real-time 3D” tools such as Unreal Engine or Unity. This is an interesting option, but if you want the image quality to be there, these tools require downloading an app, using a headset, or even browsing the internet using a powerful computer, which limits the number of potential users.

The alternative is in pre-calculated 3D tools such as 360° video or Overlap Reality. In these cases, the visual representation of the created universe is irreproachable because it is totally dominated. Furthermore, the experiences can be enjoyed without downloading an app, scanning a QR code or clicking a url using a simple smartphone.

Let’s note one drawback anyway: in a precalculated metaverse, the presence of an avatar is impossible, and the user’s freedom of movement is a bit less important. But for all this, it is the best way to reach a large number of users, without friction and without making concessions in visual quality.

And while we’re talking smartphone experiences, it’s important to point out two other benefits of putting experiences in users’ pockets: It’s a great way to collect data. It is also an effective tool to bridge the gap between the virtual world (social networks, brand sites) and the physical world (point of sale).

How do physical points of sale fit into the ecosystem of metaverse ?

Doesn’t the race for virtuality carry the risk of alienating consumers from physical points of sale? The question is legitimate because it’s a major issue for brands that want to maintain a foothold in the real world. For them, it is critical that their metaverses not imprison users but instead augment and re-enchant the physical world.

To do this, they must not only create virtual reality metaverses, but also link their experiences with the real world using technologies such as augmented reality or superimposed reality. In addition, the mixed reality headsets that are emerging will undoubtedly allow the number of territorialized experiences to increase rapidly in the coming years.

The question of metaverses “in real life” is fascinating because it allows us to change our vision of screens and see them no longer as enclosing tools but as fabulous enhancers of meaning.

Vincent Burgevin founded SkyBoy after a career as a film and television director and writer. Its Overlap Reality® technology allows it to innovate in the world of audiovisual storytelling by offering a new way of telling stories.

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