What about sweet brands and the metaverse?

Never has a word invaded the world’s public spaces so quickly and completely: since Facebook has renamed itself, it’s been the madness of the metaverse! Immediately, it became the buzzword that everyone has in their mouths. We talk about it even though the universe remains vague, even though we do not understand much of it. Because it looks huge, and of course it will revolutionize everything! So many good reasons to be interested in it and take a first look at what this famous metaverse will mean for the beauty industry.

Metaversen: an attempt at definition.

Metaverse is a broad concept. It is generally described as the future version of the web, where immersive 3D virtual universes, from video games, meet social networks, collaborations, marketplaces and e-commerce.

People can access it via the internet and this virtual universe allows you to copy yourself by creating your avatar. This digital space is made more vivid through the use of virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR). In this case, however, it is necessary to be equipped with a virtual reality headset (VR Gear-Oculus Quest 2).

In this room you can enjoy a wealth of options. In short, live a different life, as the ZEPETO (South Korean metaverse) app says: “in this place where there is no impossibility, another me another world ZEPETO. In ZEPETO you must transform yourself into the shape you want, communicate with friends from all over the world and go on adventures and create everything you only can imagine with your own hands. Enjoy an immersive adventure with friends around the world in thousands of themed worlds! Discover new trendy collections or branded products for collaboration. Customize your avatar with millions of items! “

Significant financial problems.

Who is interested in this space and why? Among the players, we find the video game giants, who of course are betting big on this parallel world, which should make it possible to sell “virtual assets” to their audience. Audience that makes it great. During the health crisis, games like Fortnite, Roblox or Animal Crossing – which all offer metavers – saw their number of players explode. For example, in May 2020, Fortnite had 350 million registered players, and by the end of 2021, there were almost 50 million users logging on to Roblox daily – that’s more than twice as many as in 2019.

The brands that see more opportunities in these virtual spaces, visibility, trade, etc. We thus see more and more brands taking their first step in the meta-verse, to market products and services to customers / avatars.

Which in the real world seduces and attracts the luxury world. Prestigious brands carefully study the possibilities that the metaverse offers, and some do not hesitate to make their entry into these virtual worlds without delay. For example, Gucci, which has created a time-limited virtual showroom on the Roblox platform alongside the physical Gucci Garden event. The brand sold its products in virtual format and managed to sell a more expensive virtual bag – $ 4,115 – than its physical version – sold in stores for $ 3,500.

But what about beauty brands?

Not only do they highlight their products, they can also offer NFTs, which are booming, to offer virtual “looks”.

As you can imagine, allowing your avatar to beautify themselves is one of the first options available to beauty brands, especially in a health context where confinement, teleworking and masks have encouraged people to do less makeup in real life. life. Thanks to augmented reality, you can compensate by letting your avatar benefit from sharp looks: Zepeto has already partnered with several beauty brands, including Nars, which offers several make-up looks, and Dior Beauté, which presents looks created exclusively .

As for Estée Lauder, it was at Decentraland that she suggested “signature looks” developed in collaboration with Alex Box on the occasion of Metaverse Fashion Week (March 24-27, 2022), allowing attendees to wear these virtual looks on their avatars.

Tatcha has teamed up with Animal Crossing to reinvent Tokyo in Tatchaland (on the occasion of the launch of Rice Water Cleanser), as well as Givenchy and Glossier, which allow avatars to wear Givenchy Prisme Libre and RAL Le Rouge or the famous Pink Hoodie by Glossier.

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© MAC

Nifties.

NFTs, these non-fungible tokens are unique and cannot be replaced by anything else. These custom digital assets come in the form of videos, jpeg files and artwork that can be bought and sold as is. They are available and sold on various blockchain devices – MintNFT, Opensea, Axie Marketplace and Crpytopunks – and do not exist physically.

The enthusiasm around NFTs can be explained through the notions of exclusivity and hyper-connection. Some NFTs have sold for real fortune: Everydays: the First 5000 Days, the work of Mike Winklemann, the digital artist known as Beeple, sold for $ 69.34 million on March 11, 2021. Similarly, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey sold his very first tweet as an NFT for over $ 2.9 million.

Others do not hesitate to draw a parallel between NFTs and “drop marketing” that generated “Supreme” craze. Some rushed on limited series as we rush today with virtual unique pieces. Gucci thus launched its first NFT in the form of unique sneakers.

gucci

© Gucci

For fashion brands, NFTs have a number of advantages: They can thus strengthen brand awareness, generate and improve sales but above all create connection and commitment.

Beauty and smart.

It is therefore quite logical that an increasing number of beauty brands are embarking on the adventure of NFTs. Guerlain has thus just announced the launch of “Cryptobees”, a series of 1,828 digital works that will be put up for sale, each of which provides an opportunity to naturalize a plot to be sponsored. The creations will be divided into four levels of exclusivity established according to the criterion of rarity. Embossed on Tezos, which calls itself one of the most energy-efficient blockchains, Cryptobees will go on sale at the end of April on the specialized platform Objkt. The advertised entry price for the least rare NFTs is 20 XTZ or just under 70 euros.

But Nars, Givenchy Parfums and even Clinique had already paved the way. For example, Nars commissioned three NFT works from artists Sara Shakeel, Azéde Jean-Pierre and Nina Kraviz to celebrate his heroic product Orgasm blush. Shakeel thus designed a glittering crystal lip film for Nars, with a wavy wave in its mouth.

For the brand, it is not about making money, but about creating an original and innovative experience around a product. The goal was to produce distinctive digital works inspired by the nuance and essence of orgasm.

As for Givenchy, last June it launched a project in support of the LGBTQIA + case on the occasion of Pride Month. Ella collaborated with London gallery owner and LGBTQIA + activist Amar Singh as well as artists from Rewind Collective to create a digital work that was sold for the benefit of an association. This piece was sold in a limited series of 1,952 copies. Called “Pride”, the work has taken the form of a series of animated portraits based on photographs that the artists have digitally processed in the colors of the rainbow flag.

The operation was to be spread over six days, but two seconds was finally enough to exceed the 100,000 euro limit: The 1,952 NFT works attracted speculators and digital art enthusiasts in record time!

Whatever strategy is chosen to go into the meta-verse, beauty brands have realized that they should prioritize lived experience and experimentation – rather than direct sales stimulation. Nurturing the brand’s positioning, strengthening the connection and the connection to its goals: these are the goals that beauty players in the meta-verse are currently pursuing. Until when?

Pascal Barragué is an advertiser, expert in the world of luxury and beauty.

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