This Week In The Metaverse: Tinder Hooks Up With Web3, Meta’s ‘Zuck Bucks’ & Chipotle’s Burrito Problem

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Things are moving fast in the metaverse and in the wider world of Web3 as a whole. Depending on who you ask, this futuristic, blockchain-based space is either the next big thing for marketing — and almost everything else — or an over-the-top fad. Here’s what you need to know from the past week:

Adidas takes new steps in the metaverse with personality-based, interoperable avatars

Adidas is launching a new platform that will allow fans to create custom avatars that will be “interoperable” — in other words, they’ll be able to enter and explore “over 1,500 different Metaverse apps and games,” according to one Company statement. The new platform, created in collaboration with agency Jam3, will also use artificial intelligence (AI) to tailor each avatar to its creators’ individual personality traits.

Launched in celebration of the brand’s upcoming Ozworld collection (a revival of a shoe that originally launched in the ’90s), the “Ozworld Digital Experience” is being launched in partnership with Ready Player Me, a popular platform for creating avatars, evolved. While Ready Player Me typically generates avatars based on users’ physical appearance, Adidas says its new platform will create avatars based on personality. “Whether IRL or URL, the Ozworld collection represents a bold platform for style experimentation and a call for the pursuit of personal expression,” Adidas said in a statement.

Adidas has become something of a Virtual taste maker Boundaries have been pushed in recent months as the metaverse has become more relevant to marketers. For example, in December last year, the company made headlines when it launched its first NFT collection with Bored Ape Yacht Club, arguably the most well-known NFT series in the world. The new platform for creating Ozworld avatars is the latest step in its ongoing mission to “create a truly open and upbeat metaverse for everyone,” according to Adidas. The new platform will be launched tomorrow.

Rumors of “Zuck Bucks” begin to swirl

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In February, Meta (formerly Facebook) caused a stir in the press – and made many people wince – when it announced it would start calling its employees.metamates.’ Now, the company appears to be taking branding of its internal ecosystem a step further, with plans to unveil a virtual currency that some are reportedly calling “Zuck Bucks,” a name derived from that of company founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. According to The Verge, the new currency is said to be non-cryptocurrency. Rather, they could be “in-app tokens centrally controlled by the company,” analogous to Robux, the virtual currency collected in Roblox and controlled by Roblox.

Meta has not yet issued any formal statements confirming or denying the report, which was originally published in the Financial Times. If materialized, Zuck Bucks could potentially help solidify an autonomous virtual brand experience for Meta — one that’s less dependent on other financial regulators.

Chipotle serves virtual burritos in Roblox

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Virtual burritos, anyone? In celebration of National Burrito Day (April 7th) — yes, that’s one thing — Chipotle expanded its presence in the Metaverse by encouraging fans to roll virtual burritos to have burritos right here in “Meatspace” (a nickname for the “Meatspace”) to earn. real world’ that has never felt more appropriate). The brand’s new “Chipotle Burrito Builder,” hosted on Roblox, was “inspired by Chipotle fans on social media who have compared the complexities of rolling burritos to playing a video game,” the brand said in a statement .

Chipotle’s new virtual experience draws on the popular “play-to-earn” model built into many games in the Metaverse, where users complete gamified tasks to typically earn crypto – but in this case, they become burritos to earn. “We leveraged play-to-earn, an emerging engagement model in the metaverse, to launch our newest experience on Roblox celebrating the iconic Chipotle burrito,” said Chris Brandt, Chipotle’s chief marketer, in a statement. “We’re blending the Metaverse and real-world elements of our brand to take the Chipotle fan experience to a whole new level.”

This is the second activation of Chipotle in Roblox, after the ‘Boorito Maze“, which was launched in October 2021. The new Chipotle burrito builder also seems to be tapping into ’90s nostalgia — a currently popular marketing strategy — by recreating the look of its flagship store in Denver, Colorado, as it was when it first opened its doors in 1993.

Tinder flirts with web3 and makes a move with NFTs

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Popular dating app Tinder has launched its first Web3 campaign in partnership with VaynerNFT. In an effort to tap into the tremendous popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and to promote itself as a brand that not only has its finger on the cultural pulse but has its heart in women’s empowerment, Tinder departed earlier this week to Twitter to ask his followers, “Which artists and creators should we follow in the NFT space?”

Tinder then used the resulting dialogue to host a conversation via ONE37pm, intended to provide a supportive and constructive space for female creatives and athletes to discuss their diverse perspectives on arts, sports and Web3. Digital artists Sara Baumann and Julie Pacino, and Kaila Novak, a UCLA soccer player and social media star, participated in this panel. As a reminder, Tinder gave participants NFTs with Proof of Attendance (POAP) designed by Baumann and Novak.

“This activation … demonstrates Tinder’s commitment to its long-term vision on the Web3 and its ability to continue to deliver real value to its customers,” VaynerNFT said in a statement.

Evian hopes to inspire young artists with its first NFTs

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Bottled water brand Evian has teamed up with ‘bubbly artist’ Sara Shakeel for a new NFT launch, marking the brand’s maiden voyage into the world of web3. Known for her artwork featuring glitter and Swarovski crystals, Shakeel has created new NFT artwork for Evian which, according to a statement from Evian, aims to celebrate and evoke “the iconic heritage of Evian water from the glacial rocks of the French Alps”. The campaign was launched to celebrate the launch of Evian Sparkling Water which hit shelves earlier this year.

“Sara’s digital reinterpretation of our Evian mountains beautifully captures and encapsulates the essence of this and also brings to life the sparkle of our new Evian Sparkling water,” said Lucille Moreau, Evian’s culture and experiences director, in a statement. “We are very excited to take this leap into the world of digital art with our first NFT and to enable our Evian community to interact with and enjoy the brand in a new and exciting way.”

The brand has also jumped at the opportunity to position itself as one of the more eco-conscious bottled water brands by partnering with blockchain company Tezos, which bills itself as “an energy-efficient alternative to more traditional proof-of-work blockchains.” 100% of proceeds from the new NFT launch will go to the Somerset House Young Talent Fund, which aims to support young artists.

Meta is canceling the 2022 developer conference to focus on building the metaverse

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Meta canceled its 2022 developer conference to focus its energy and attention on building the metaverse. This is the second time in three years that the company — which changed its name from Facebook Inc to Meta Platforms Inc in October last year to underscore its commitment to being the primary architect of the metaverse — has canceled the annual event.

“F8”, as the conference is colloquially known, was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic; it was held virtually last year. Usually hosted by Meta, the conference is dedicated solely to providing an annual opportunity for the social media and consumer electronics goliath to showcase their latest innovations to the rest of the tech world.

“[We] are taking a brief programming hiatus and will not be holding F8 in 2022 as we prepare for new initiatives, all tailored to the next chapter of the internet and also the next chapter of our enterprise: building the metaverse,” the company said in a blog post published on Wednesday.

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