Ad of the Day Creativity

French non-profit introduces ‘Will’, first person experiencing homelessness in metaverse

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By Chris Sutcliffe | Senior reporter

April 4, 2022 | 3 min read

The Drum’s Ad of the Day highlights work that stands head and shoulders above the rest. Today’s winner is Entourage’s ’Will’ by TBWA\Paris.

The metaverse is seen as the new frontier of entertainment and marketing. For all that, though, it is an extension of the real world. To make the point that we can’t retreat fully into the metaverse to avoid real-world issues, it created ‘Will’, the first person in the metaverse to be experiencing homelessness.

TBWA Paris Entourage

‘Will’, the first person experiencing homelessness in the metaverse

The announcement makes the point that, as people are already buying virtual properties and items worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, there is still a need to address the reality of homelessness. It marks the end of France’s emergency accommodation plans for precarious people, which takes place every year on March 31.

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As a result, the Entourage Network – a community of 150,000 citizens – is sounding the alarm on the “unprecedented crisis of fraternity in France” with ‘Will’ intended as a spokesperson for the people in precarious situations.

Jean-Marc Potdevin, co-founding president of the Entourage Network, said: “The 7 million people who are isolated in France – a country that has included the word ‘fraternité’ in its motto without really understanding it – are silent. They do not demonstrate. They are invisible and alone, just ignored. Let us recover our own dignity by living a true relationship of communion with them.”

300,000 people are living without a home in France, and 85% of those say they feel rejected by passers-by. And only 26% of French people say they talk to people experiencing homelessness. The new campaign, seeks to re-establish social ties in the real world before we abandon it for a virtual one.

The campaign comprises a short film explaining both the concept of the metaverse and contrasting it with the reality of life as a rough sleeper. It is also set to have a social component and will include interviews with people experiencing (or who have previously experienced) homelessness.

Entourage: Will by TBWA\Paris

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