Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Brands will have to adapt to consumer tensions in the metaverse

There are four key consumer tensions that will exist in the metaverse, and brands will need to adapt to the way they communicate to connect with people through these concerns, according to a report released by Publicis-owned media network Starcom.

The ‘Future Tensions in the Metaverse’ report aims to inform the advertising industry on the metaverse, providing clarity, an understanding of the tensions consumers will face, and outlining the roles and responsibilities of the industry within the metaverse.

The report outlines the four tensions as being Social vs. Solo: how the metaverse smashes first and third spaces together; Truth vs. Design: how the metaverse can tell you anything you want to hear; Access vs. Ownership: how in metaverse spaces; actions as well as objects can be owned; and Protection vs. Freedom: how the metaverse is organic but needs regulation.

“Our online habits from the pandemic will have changed us and society forever. Brands understand that the way we consume, interact and what we value will never be the same again,” said Nadine Yong, CEO at Starcom. “The term ‘metaverse’ is currently the shiny new word that seems to encapsulate current excitement of the new stage of the online experience. So, in recognition of these changing behaviours, we set out to understand what new tensions may arise from these innovations and prepare for this new space. We aim to show how brands will need to adapt the way they communicate to connect in the right ways, particularly through media execution and advertising.”

Alongside the report, Starcom has launched five 30-mintue podcast episodes, discussing the report’s findings and the overall impact the metaverse could have.

The first episode features Starcom’s Insights Director, Heather Dansie, and Publicis Media’s Insights Director, Scott Thompson. Subsequent episodes feature the likes of Starcom Business Director Sophie Barr; Reddit’s EVP of Strategy & Special Projects, Alex Le; ExchangeWire’s Head of Operations, Lindsay Rowntree; IAB UK’s Chief Marketing Officer, James Chandler; and others.

“At Starcom, our approach to studying the future is to look at culture through the lens of tensions. We are not just looking at what is going to be different, novel and exciting, but equally any new tensions set to arise from macro, societal changes,” said Dansie. “Only by identifying new conflicting needs can we start to anticipate new behaviours and define new solutions. Where do people simultaneously want oppositional things? We may want indulgence but also frugality. We may value our independence, but we need company. How can brands and media then resolve these conflicting needs?”

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