This month: brands take traditionally IRL events to virtual spaces. Welcome to the (mostly) Pride edition of Metaverse Top 5.
The top 5 metaverse activations you need to know about right now
As the ad world jetted to France last week for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, many brands and agencies chose to set up shop not only on the French Riviera, but in the metaverse as well. McCann, Wunderman Thompson and VaynerX hosted virtual festival outposts as ways for the many unable to make the international trip to participate in the business and pleasure of Cannes, while Meta and Lowe's took the opportunity to show off their virtual capabilities. And a few Web3-oriented campaigns managed to snag trophies.
Many brands have mounted efforts to make the metaverse a more inclusive space via customizations for avatars. For Pride, NYX Cosmetics launched NFT avatars featuring a diverse series of skin tones and gender and cultural expressions. The effort was made in partnership with Web3 group People of Crypto Lab as part of The Sandbox’s Pride celebration “Belonging Week,” which launched on June 24.
No. 3: Ocean Outdoor x The Immersive Kind
In tandem with London Pride on July 2, agency The Immersive Kind is teaming with Ocean Outdoor and owner of the Piccadilly Lights, Landsec, to bring the metaverse to the parade route. The massive OOH screen looming over the famed road junction will display digital art by Kadine James and MCVISUALS that depict LGBTQ+ avatars participating in Pride celebrations. The visual experience will also include a QR code to connect viewers to a metaverse Pride celebration, combining both in-person and online celebrations.
“Our work highlights often marginalized LGBTQIA+ voices in the Web3 space by creating an art exhibition for LGBTQIA+ communities,” said Kadine James, The Immersive Kind's founder, in a statement. “By collaborating with Ocean Outdoor with this new activation on the Piccadilly Lights, we are able to unite the virtual with the real to create a universally safe space and celebration.”
Microsoft hosted Pride festivities of its own in the metaverse to raise awareness around issues facing the queer community, partnering with advocacy groups to do it. The “Pride Has No Borders” VR experience on June 17 immersed players in a world with opportunities to explore LGBTQ+ history and get face-to-face with organizations like the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA World) and OutRight Action International to learn more about how to participate in the movement against oppressive legislation worldwide. The event was accessible through AltSpaceVR on Windows or macOS, a Windows Mixed Reality headset, HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, and was also streamed on YouTube.
No. 1: Mastercard
Like NYX, Mastercard also activated within a metaverse platform’s Pride celebration—this time Decentraland’s “Metaverse Pride.” The activation, called “Mastercard Pride Plaza,” allowed players to interact with Mastercard executives as well as LGBTQ+ personalities and advocacy groups, plus included a recreation of the company’s NYC Pride float and NFT swag for Decentraland avatars.
Mastercard also launched a Pride world within Meta’s Horizon Worlds: “True Self World.” Available in the U.S. and Canada using the Meta Quest 2 headset, the world will include private spaces for connecting with other queer users as well as interactive games and activities. The “True Self World” is part of Meta’s official “Pride World Hub,” built by LGBTQ+ creators.