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The Drum Awards for the Metaverse launches to recognize those leading in this new frontier


By Dani Gibson, Senior Writer

July 27, 2022 | 5 min read

The Drum has launched the first global awards to celebrate the very best creativity, innovation, people and performance for metaverse, web3 and NFT activations, with expert judges from Journey, Meta and R/GA.

Metaverse awards

The inaugural Drum Awards for the Metaverse will take place in 2023

Entries are open now, with the first deadline closing on November 17.

Although some may say the metaverse is no more than a buzzword, there’s no denying that marketers and agencies are investing heavily (if not in budget, then in time) to explore this new frontier.

Nike says millions of people are spending time in Nikeland, its metaverse world, while top advertisers including L’Oréal and Louis Vuitton have set up dedicated teams to lead experiments. One of the world’s biggest ad agencies, Publicis, revealed thousands of its staff are now working on metaverse projects for clients.

That is why we’re introducing The Drum Awards for the Metaverse, the first global awards program recognizing and celebrating the very best work of brands and agencies in the metaverse.

Categories will include:

  • Best Metaverse Company

  • Best Brand Experience

  • Best Gaming Experience

  • Best ‘Live’ Event

  • NFT Campaign of the Year

  • Creator of the Year

  • Metaverse Star of the Year

A stellar line-up of judges will be led by jury chair Cathy Hackl, chief metaverse officer and co-founder of the innovation and design consultancy Journey.

Dubbed “the godmother of the metaverse,” Hackl is a globally-recognized metaverse expert, tech futurist and business executive, with extensive experience working in metaverse-related fields. She has consulted with clients including HTC VIVE, Magic Leap and Amazon Web Services.

She said: “I feel privileged to be collaborating closely with The Drum and a select group of highly-regarded judges to identify and award excellence in the era of web3 and the metaverse.

“As more brands and communities continue to innovate via virtual worlds, NFTs and even virtual fashion, it’s important to recognize the outstanding achievements of these early pioneers and their continued pursuit to innovate in new ways now and into the future.”

Joining Hackl on the jury are:

  • Ben Ferguson, director of operations and marketing, Soundscape VR

  • Charli Cohen, chief executive officer and creative director, Charli-Cohen

  • Inder Phull, co-founder and chief executive officer, Pixelynx

  • Kadine James, founder and chief executive officer, The Immersive Kind

  • Mehta Mehta, global executive creative director, Hogarth Worldwide

  • Pico Velasquez, founder and chief executive officer, Viira

  • Sahar Lewenstein, creative marketing director, Overwolf

  • Caitlin Ryan, vice-president of creative shop, Meta

  • Irina Karagyaur, web3 infrastructure advisor, NFT Unique Alliance

  • Nick Rosa, metaverse strategy and extended reality lead EMEA and APAC, Accenture

  • Sam Field, director of creative technology, Yahoo RYOT Studios

  • Tom Morton, global chief strategy officer, R/GA

More judges will be announced ahead of the awards taking place in early 2023.

Lynn Lester, managing director of events at The Drum, added: “Whether you are for or against it, whether you think it’s hype or not, the metaverse is going nowhere. Evidenced by the views of engagement The Drum has seen on metaverse-led content, we can confidently say that this part of the industry has gotten the attention of brands and agencies that are innovating in the space. The awards will serve to recognize the people, the companies and the campaigns that are cutting through.”

So what are you waiting for? If you’re creating innovative and exciting work in this space, enter now. The early bird deadline is November 17.

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