The 'first homeless person in the metaverse' highlights our real-world problems
Campaign from nonprofit Entourage via TBWA/Paris aims to create connections between those wealth divide
Apr 07, 2022
While brands and those who have bucks to spare have become increasingly bullish about the metaverse, a new campaign introduces a sobering concept to the virtual world—homelessness.
The effort from TBWA Paris and the nonprofit organization Entourage created Will, the “first homeless person in the metaverse,” who features in a TV spot (above) and will also appear in social posts reacting to real-time events.
In the TV ad, Will points out the discrepancy between the massive investments people are making in the metaverse and what’s still lacking in the real word. He also calls attention to the isolation experienced by those who are unhoused. While virtual worlds have been touted as a way to bring people together, homeless citizens become deprived of social ties. Of the 300,000 people in France without homes, Entourage notes that 85% of them say they feel rejected by passers by and 25% of French people speak to them.
The campaign film also promotes Entourage’s app, which helps to connect those with homes and those without them. Entourage is a non-profit comprising 150,000 French citizens. It bills itself as “the social network that really is social” and leverages technology to help create social bonds and interactions for the homeless. TBWA teamed with Entourage’s Street Committee comprising 15 currently or formerly homeless individuals to make Will as authentic as possible.