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By The Drum | Editorial

November 29, 2023 | 6 min read

Metavision has won the Best Metaverse Company at The Drum Awards for Metaverse. Learn from the award-winning case study.

Metavision’s north star is to build strategies and mainstream experiences for brands and entertainment companies that reach the audiences of today whilst preparing for the audiences of tomorrow. We see the Metaverse as virtual spaces where global, young audiences go to connect. We consequently follow an audience-first approach and foster relationships with the community – from platform developers, map builders and players themselves – to create fresh, engaging experiences that create a lasting impact for brands.

Unashamedly Mass: While we are platform agnostic, we aren’t afraid to call ourselves unashamedly mass. We recommend platforms that already have a big player base (think Fortnite over Decentraland) because this is where we’ll be able to reach those mainstream audiences who are entering the Metaverse not just to game, but to also socialise. When we launched ‘Come Dine With Me’ in Minecraft (aptly named ‘Come Mine With Me’) we worked to create gameplay that encouraged friends to hang out together, whilst remaining fun and true to the platform and the show’s format.

We engage with such audiences because it’s the new behavioural norm and it’s where brands can see lasting impact with the next generation. When we launched our Timberland campaign in Fortnite Creative, we saw 450K map plays spanning an average of 18 minutes playtime – high-quality engagement that demanded the player’s full attention because of the nature of the experience.

Community-Centric: We strongly foster working relationships with the community of players, map builders and platform developers. This allows us to stay on top of developments within the space so that any brief we receive will be relevant, innovative, and most importantly for this space – deliverable. Our good working relationship with Epic Games, for example, means we are both agile and at the cutting-edge, building new features into our experience based on what is being added into the Fortnite ecosystem on a weekly basis. Our Timberland campaign is an example of this: it was the first branded map to use VFX rewards in-game, with such a system now industry standard.

We ensure we build experiences that bring value and make sense for the players. We speak as the players speak and are integrated in the player community – there’s no middle man in between - so we understand what is trending and what is relevant. When brands come to us, they know they will be integrated authentically in the Metaverse and give players what they want. Following our launch of the Netflix ‘One Piece’ campaign, we saw the map featured in various trending categories including: Epic Picks, Best of UEFN and Most Favourited. It has also been organically shared by big Fortnite names.

Defining the Metaverse’s place in the marketing mix: With all of our experiences, we look to make it scalable. We believe platforms and virtual worlds will continue to converge with more traditional media channels, so we always strategize wider content pieces that create an impact – the days where TVC was king will become outdated as in-game/platform assets become an equally important part of the marketing mix. It will need to have a strategy of its own if brands want to reach the next generation audience. Our John Lewis x I’m a Celebrity campaign is a great example, integrating the Fortnite experience with real-time TV making it the first of its kind and setting a blueprint that has been rolled out by other media owners such as the Jimmy Fallon Fortnite world.

We work closely with other partners, from Twitch streamers and influencers, to talent agencies and media agencies. When we brought John Lewis to new worlds with the I’m a Celebrity ITV partnership, we took the spaceship from its ‘Unexpected Guest’ ad and crash-landed it into ITV sets and shows before building towards a synchronized 4D ‘meta-moment’ which played out across three mediums at the same time:

Within Fortnite Creative: A bespoke woodland winter scene was built within the custom map with the spaceship protruding from the ground for a legendary Castle Coin Challenge.

Primetime product placement: Celebrities were seen fixing the spaceship on I’m a Celebrity.

Innovative OOH: An immersive 4D creative of the spaceship crash-landing near the I’m A Celebrity castle played in the physical world on the Outernet screen on Tottenham Court Road. It was the first public use of this screen and was designed using the Unreal Engine and in partnership with Epic Games.

For the Fortnite community: At the same time the 4D OOH launched, the spaceship crash site was also revealed in-map and gamers had the opportunity to explore it and complete a trial to rebuild the ship and send Aurora home.

The next generation media brand: We think the old rules of media will apply to the Metaverse and will require new format IPs and fandom. At Metavision we’re taking the first step into this new world, creating the next generation media brand in platforms like Fortnite - built for brand opportunities whilst also leaning into current platform trends, allowing brands to be part of existing, playable experiences with an already engaged player base at a short lead time. A de-risked route into the Metaverse.

We’ve got projects that take this approach even further. The I’m A Celebrity Fortnite experience was back last year for season 2, this time in the jungle with ITVX as brand sponsor. Deathrun 4 Your Loot, a Metavision-owned experience, garnered 416K map plays to date with an average of 21 minutes dwell time. Brands can therefore get involved in multiple ways, from bespoke mini-games and full arena branding, to targeted brand presence in key areas of the map.

Testimonials: When we set the team at Metavision the challenge of how they could take beloved, long-running TV show Come Dine With Me into the metaverse, we didn’t think anything would come of it. The vision for a Minecraft-based game we got back was brilliant and sufficiently compelling for us to invest our own funds into. Working with Ashley, Ryan, Selina and the team at Metavision have been a joy to work with; they took the time to understand us and the show to incorporate its key format beats into the game, and they were great at keeping us updated through the development phase and as we pushed the game through Microsoft’s quality assurance process. We look forward to working with them on the next opportunity and they have already pro-actively proposed something that is really exciting!!! Pukar Mehta, COO | Two Four Group & MultiStory Media

Technology Awards Case Studies The Drum Awards For Metaverse

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