Second Life in the mid-2000s, pokemon go in 2016, Crossing animals in 2020 … and now Facebook’s announcement of the creation of 10,000 jobs in Europe to develop Metaverse. Virtual reality and augmented reality enter our daily lives through devices like Oculus Quest or the defunct Google Glass, but also through fire communication in the columns of our favorite media. But for many of us, this near future has never had a tangible reality. However, it seems that this new twist of the Internet, even a revolution, is now visible on the horizon. And before you determine the interest (or not) of the marks, it is advisable to define the contours.
In the world of technology, Metaverse, the contraction of the “metaunivers” in English, resembles “the next big thing,” according to Mark Zuckerberg. It is a virtual environment that the user can access as an avatar through virtual or augmented reality glasses to chat with friends, play games, work, create, consume, earn a living. In short, a kind of reality stunt doubles digital format. The field of possibility is therefore infinite, with all the positive or negative aspects it may entail. Those of you who could see Ready Player One from Spielberg has had the opportunity to realize this … Moreover, Facebook is far from alone in working on Metaverset and has acknowledged that no company will own and operate it. For example, Epic Games (Fortnite) in particular raised $ 1 billion to participate in the construction of Metaverse. At the same time, all the major technology companies (Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet, Facebook, etc.) are working to create compatible peripherals in order to form a connection base for Metaverse. For its part, Snap has already implemented augmented reality lenses to develop advertising capabilities there. We are therefore witnessing a real shift for all players in the digital chain. With the development of augmented reality and virtual reality, marketing and advertising are also ready to evolve.
Although we can now see display ads or videos on our screens, we will definitely encounter new formats in Metaverse. It could be a virtual salesperson who would try his luck to offer us the latest toothpaste, product placements on the shelves of virtual supermarkets, billboards as we know them in the real world … The Dunlop gateway to the 24-hour circuit Le Mans better gaze! However, several questions remain unanswered. Which company will position itself in these new markets to host these new ads? Who will be able to create the best technology or the best ad formats in this parallel universe? Will the giants of the advertising industry today be giants in Metaverset tomorrow? Will non-Metaverse agencies be able to market locations or create innovative formats? Will interoperability between different Metaverses be effective? While the British Museum has taken the wave of NFTs and put two hundred digital works by Hokusai up for sale, will the market for digital objects be able to surpass the market for physical objects? No one can say that yet. However, we know that promoters of physical products will always need new audience centers.
Thus, to secure the proposal of products or services in this parallel universe to consume them in the real world, to offer users the opportunity to live real alternative experiences that will continue in the physical world, this will certainly be the goal of a diversity of players that Longchamp has already done in pokemon go. Create breathtaking events, virtual art galleries … The Metaverse knows no bounds except our imagination. They will nevertheless have to remember that they turn to avatars and remember that if reality can sometimes go beyond fiction, virtual reality must by nature elevate reality.
This technological wave can thus pose a real danger in his relationship to himself but also to others. If Metaverset lays the groundwork for an extension of oneself into the virtual, then one of the main challenges will be to find harmony between one’s different identities, as an actor sometimes has to do at the end of a performance. On the other hand, some people could quickly fall into the trap of addiction by rejecting the reality of the physical world in order to embrace it in a virtual world of their choice. This generalized behavior would mark the end of social relationships as we have always known them …
Ultimately, this technological revolution is not without danger. However, it could be of a nature to worry all the players in the ad chain more than ever. Placing yourself on the starting line to dig your hole and be among the winners at the finish line is now akin to a legitimate question. “There are no precursors, only laggards.“- Jean Cocteau
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