Marketers Guide To The Metaverse


7 min remaining

Brands are sponsoring virtual events and minting NFTs. Let’s find out what all this means.

Advertisers follow closely when people travel to new places. First, highways are constructed. Then billboards appear. Internet development is completed, and then banner ads are created.

This principle is true for the most hyped-up destination, the metaverse.

The metaverse is a term that describes a virtual space with interactivity and connectivity. It has been partially realized in games and platforms such as Fortnite, Fortnite, and Animal Crossing. These and other similar platforms provide vast virtual worlds that allow people to explore, interact, build, and purchase stuff.

These spaces had been growing in popularity because there was a pandemic that restricted real-world interaction. Then, this summer Mark Zuckerberg declared that Facebook’s new objective was to “bring the universe to life”. This declaration fueled metaverse excitement even further. This enthusiasm has given brands a greater sense of urgency to understand the metaverse.


  • Real-life marketing activities can be paralleled.
  • Branded collectibles are available.
  • Invest in immersive experiences
  • Rely on the strengths of existing communities.
  • Embrace experimentation.

“Marketers want to be where people go,” Lindsey McInerney (global head of technology innovation at Anheuser–Busch InBev) told Built-in. Marketers need to pay attention to where there is likely to be new traffic.

As with any shiny Miami digital marketing channel, Tik or Clubhouse are two recent examples. Marketers approach the metaverse as if they are experimenting.

They want to make connections with the citizens of the metaverse that will add value and not intrusion.

What are NFTs and where can I buy them?

Parallel IRL Marketing

McInerney stated that brands can begin to appear more effective in the metaverse if they mirror what they do in real life.

In June, Stella Artois, AB InBev’s Belgian beer brand, partnered with ZED Run, an online platform powered entirely by blockchain technology. Here NFT horses can be bred, raced, and traded. Imagine the Kentucky Derby being crossed with a crypto Tamagotchi.

NFT horses race in the “Life Artois”, on Zed Run. Image: AB InBev

Stella Artois sold 50 bundles of NFTs branded by the company as part of the campaign. Each bundle included a piece of original digital art, a digital horse, and a digital skin (basically, a jersey) for the horse. The brand’s dreamy, real-life “Life Artois” marketing campaign included a 3-D horse-racing track. 

Sponsoring a metaverse-based horse racing race may sound like a big leap for the brand. AB InBev sponsors many sporting events. Stella Artois has a long history of sponsoring major-time horse races. McInerney sees sponsoring the digital equivalent as a natural entry point to the metaverse.

McInerney stated, “This felt like a spot where our customers would expect us, where we would receive well, and where we could play authentically.”

Offer Branded Collectibles 

Many trends were accelerated by the pandemic, including the collection of rare and limited-edition items and alternative assets. These could be digital art, sports memorabilia, or brand merchandise. Another space in which people can display and accumulate accessories and items to express themselves is the metaverse.

It is why Roblox, where 43,000,000 daily active users participate in metaverse-like experiences, like throwing virtual birthday Parties — advises many new advertising partners to offer virtual fashion on the platform’s marketplace. Winnie Burke, director of brand partnerships, said that this is the reason Roblox.

Roblox’s Collector’s Room in the Gucci Garden. Image: Roblox 

Burke stated that it was a great way for designers and brands to be promoted, and try new ideas and launch whole collections. “We encourage brands to consider not only creating a digital copy of their physical merchandise but also exploring designs and custom items that are specific to the metaverse.

Immersive Experiences: Make an investment

Some brands are now creating interactive branded installations and pop-up events, rather than just running banner ads.

Burke stated that brands can increase their emotional investment in customers by providing them with interactive, consistent spaces where they can access the content.

She said that these spaces offer brands immersive engagement opportunities, as opposed to passive engagements on other platforms, such as social media.

These spaces offer immersive engagement opportunities for brands, as opposed to passive engagements that you might find with other companies.

Roblox was busy this summer as a host. Gucci held a virtual exhibit, called the interview with Digital.

In The Heights exclusive video viewing party on Roblox Image: Roblox

Fortnite also offers interactive experiences that brands can leverage to increase visibility. Warner Bros. presented the TENET trailer at a drive-in movie theater location that Fortnite players could access. O2, a telecommunications giant, hosted a sponsored concert that featured an appearance by Easy Life.

created its own video game by luxury fashion brand Louis Vuitton. It features many familiar metaverse touchstones like collectible easter eggs, unlockable items, and stories about the brand’s history and craftsmanship. Although it’s a game, it isn’t the same as taking part in the metaverse. Louis Vuitton’s Creative Director Virgil Abloh revealed other details about his metaverse goals for the brand.

READ MORE MARKETING INNOVATIONQR codes are the future of marketing. This is the time to be real.

Rely on existing communities

It is safe to say that people generally don’t like ads. How can brands make it in the metaverse and not bother people already there? Market to them effectively, let alone?

Roblox’s Burke stated that brands must adapt to the new medium. Advertisers shouldn’t act authentically and foolishly by pretending to know their stuff and then “slap their existing marketing activities from the real world onto Roblox without considering the new format.”

She believes that brands can gain traction by partnering with Roblox developers to create experiences and items. These community members know exactly what works in terms of game mechanics as well as what experiences will be most popular with users.

Similar to the O2 virtual concert, creators who were already familiar with Fortnite’s platform helped create the event.

The metaverse is a vital part of user-generated content (UGC), as well as community members. Brands are more effective when they include platform-native creators in creative design and execution, just like influencer campaigns.

Embrace Experimentation

For several years, there has been talking of the metaverse in some way or another. Marketers don’t know what the future holds or how to measure brand participation in the metaverse. Some people find it easier to just accept the situation.

McInerney, AB InBev, stated that it was a very exciting time to work as a marketer within this space. “I believe that the Web3 metaverse shift is one of the biggest shifts we have seen in a very long time. … We are back where we were in social networks 17-18 years ago.”

“We are exactly where we were in social networks 17-18 years ago.”

McInerney said that at the time, many company leaders didn’t understand how to measure and track social media marketing, or what it meant for branding. Many of these anxieties were dispelled when sophisticated strategies and tools emerged to make sense of them.

McInerney sees the tension brands feel when they venture into the metaverse in the same way. Tools and playbooks will eventually emerge.

She said, “We don’t have all of the answers right now.” It’s still very, really young. This is why brands must be bold, adventurous, and willing to try new things.

About the author

Kobe Digital is a unified team of performance marketing, design, and video production experts. Our mastery of these disciplines is what makes us effective. Our ability to integrate them seamlessly is what makes us unique.