NEW YORK — Metaverse activations and game-like experiences continue to be on the rise this year as marketers look to reach digitally driven consumers, but until such plays are seen as an experience versus an experiment, valuable success metrics will likely remain out of reach, according to Eric Pulier, CEO of Web3 enterprise class platform Vatom, who discussed metaverse marketing tactics during an Advertising Week panel on Thursday. 

In the past year, brands have leveraged the metaverse in a variety of ways, whether it be a virtual storefront, collection of mini-games, augmented reality experience or as a pathway to nonfungible tokens (NFTs). The number of users visiting such activations and the time spent per session offers some insight to performance. However, a data gap lies in the inability to track success beyond walled gardens, begging the question of whether or not such channels are worth it.

“In the end, the data that you’re getting is similar to doing a very successful television commercial — it’s exposure,” said Pulier. “You’re not really building a relationship with that audience, you’re not getting the first party data, you’re not then following up and creating that ongoing experience that is really the essence of a communication strategy.” 

In its current stage, Pulier defines the progression of marketing in the metaverse as the “first inning,” and to move the needle, brands need to be adopting an always-on mindset that keeps the end-consumer in mind, he said during the panel titled “Marketing in the Metaverse,” which also featured panelists from Procter & Gamble and iHeartMedia. 

In one example, the exec pointed to PepsiCo’s Frito-Lays, which this week launched its FIFA World Cup campaign. As part of the campaign, consumers who buy select Frito-Lay products can scan a QR code on a product bag to be prompted to take a selfie, which will then appear on a giant, digital soccer ball. The experience, perhaps the largest cumulative art project in history, Pulier said, offers an initial trade-off — data in exchange for an experience — but also holds the potential for FIFA fans to check back in to see new faces and a finished product.


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