Metaverse (or the Metaverse, depending on who you ask) has been the talk of the town in 2022. From NFTs to virtual makeup, more and more brands are beginning to explore how to engage their communities in these new virtual spaces. Before we get into what a Metaverse is, it’s key to understand why brands believe these new spaces to be important. 25% of beauty shoppers would substitute augmented reality (AR) for an in person shopping experience, with 42% of Gen X and 23% of Boomers interested in virtual apparels like makeup and hairstyles. Snapchat also found there was a 94% higher conversion rate when consumers interacted with products that have AR experiences.
So, what is a Metaverse? Metaverses can include features such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). These platforms provide digital experiences as an alternative, not a substitute, to the real world with social interactions, currency and trade. It’s important to understand that a Metaverse is not just one virtual place that all users go – there are many different technologies and sites for users to engage with. Thus, why brands are beginning to lean away from calling it “the Metaverse” and describing their own digital offerings as “a Metaverse”.
Drest is “taking exclusive real-world events and offering players the chance to improve and exhibit their styling talent using the latest luxury fashion and beauty collections.” The app is the “ultimate fashion playground” where brands, entertainment platforms and talent “can connect with an audience keen to discover, experience and be part of a creative community,” per its website.
Gucci Beauty launched the app’s beauty mode in October 2021 which allowed users to experiment with 29 virtual beauty products. The same month, NARS unveiled a “nine-day beauty campaign” where avatar models could be customized using 30 of the brand’s products. Users were also able to save the looks on personalized mood boards.
Decentraland is a “3D virtual world browser-based platform.” Here, users are able to “buy virtual plots of land in the platform as NFTs.” This platform is recognized as the favored space for beauty due to “its real focus on freedom and expression.”
In January 2022, Valdé Beauty launched their “Divine Crystal Lipstick Armors”, where guests could use NFTs to enhance their avatars and chat with expert makeup artists. Live music and auctions were also included to engage users and increase brand interaction.
Estée Lauder was the exclusive beauty brand to partner with Metaverse Fashion Week in March 2022 through Decentraland. The brand invited users to go “inside the iconic Advanced Night Repair” bottle, which unlocked an exclusive Proof of Attendance Protocol (POAP) and “one NFT wearable that gave their avatars a glowing radiant aura”, promoting the product’s benefits.
The ZEPETO app is a South Korean mobile app where “users create and interact as 3D avatars in different worlds” by uploading an image of themselves.
Dior Beauty collaborated with ZEPETO in July of 2021 to introduce nine avatars designed by the image director of Dior Beauty, Peter Phillips. These avatars introduced a new collection of beauty looks and allowed users to try the styles on their own avatars.
Unique Brand Activations
In April 2022, Charlotte Tilbury launched its first virtual store, the Pillow Talk Party Virtual Beauty Wonderland. Users don’t need to be in any specific metaverse, instead they can access the world by scanning a QR code. Once in the virtual wonderland, guests are greeted by an avatar of Tilbury herself with 3D products. Guests are also able to experience live video shopping excursions (with friends!) and 15-minute virtual consultations with global pro artists.
The same month, Too Faced created their own virtual world with a “unique 360° shopping experience” including games to win voucher codes and shopping with real-life or online friends. Guests can enter this virtual world here to explore new products and fully immerse themselves in the Too Faced space.
NARS also partnered with Roblox in July 2022 to produce the “NARS Color Quest”, an island adventure where guests could meet the founder, François Nars, and collect shades of the brand’s blush franchises. The Color Quest included virtual selfies and SandDollars to spend in a virtual storefront.
It seems clear that, at least for the near future, Metaverse activations are here to stay. Recent surveys have discovered that 80% of female internet users between the ages of 16 and 44 play video games and 53% of beauty fans played or downloaded a free-to-play game in the last year. By activating at these touchpoints, beauty brands open themselves up to a wider audience range.
2022 was a big year for Metaverse interactions, and we’re sure that 2023 will be no different. Many brands have indicated their intention to activate in these spaces, with Fenty, L’Oreal Paris and Aveeno all filing trademarks for virtual products. Stay tuned in the coming months for more stories on this growing space!