Our leading contender for 2021’s most overhyped trend is also likely the least surprising: the metaverse.

Though there might be some recency bias at play here (Facebook’s Meta makeover came at the end of October), marketers think talk of an entirely new *plane of existence* feels a bit overblown and misunderstood. Is the metaverse the future? Is it Facebook, or is it Roblox? Do we have to hang out with Zuckerberg and wear that silly headset?

“Marketers and brands are treating the metaverse and NFTs as if they were fully realized technology when both have long ways to go,” Dave Meeker, head of Dentsu’s design and innovation practice, told Marketing Brew over email.

Meta, meta, meta

So, what is the metaverse? It’s the “embodied internet, where instead of just viewing content—you are in it,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg told The Verge. As The New York Times wrote, games like Roblox and Fortnite, as well as social media, have “metaverse tendencies.” But it largely remains a concept.

Naturally, like the internet, the metaverse will welcome brands whether people like it or not. Already this year we’ve seen brands from Adidas to McDonald’s to Chipotle dip their toes into the NFT and metaverse game to varying degrees of success. But we’re still a far ways off before your mom and dad join the blockchain with your one crypto cousin.

  • To be clear: NFTs are essentially digital media with a virtual certificate of ownership.
  • They’re often dropped by artists, resulting in a community built around these NFTs. Buying NFTs signals ownership in the metaverse—which, again, is still undefined.

Though there’s been incredible work done in AR and VR, explained Eric Franchi, an ad tech investor and general partner at AperiamVentures, “It’s still quite early.”

“The reality is you need all of these formats to be adopted by the hundreds of millions or billions of people that make a market meaningful to advertising,” he told us.

Source: https://www.morningbrew.com/marketing/stories/2021/12/20/why-marketers-think-the-metaverse-was-2021-s-most-overhyped-trend

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