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Key takeaways:

  • members The Coca-Cola Company, Merck, Target, McDonald’s, and Walmart launched metaverse campaigns to engage with customers.
  • Campaigns included opportunities for users to get one-of-a-kind NFTs, experience virtual learning exercises, express themselves for Pride Month, shop in virtual environments, and hang out in virtual restaurants.
  • Members shared insights on what’s helped them enter the metaverse, including working with metaverse creators and working with products familiar to your brand.

Introduction to the metaverse

The metaverse has over 470 million active users each month, making it the hottest social platform to gain interest from social media leaders on how they can take opportunities for brand awareness and consumer engagement in virtual reality (VR).

Experts explained that over 58.9 million people in the U.S. alone will use virtual reality at least once a month starting in 2022. It’s no wonder that social media leaders are questioning where VR fits in their broader strategies. 

For those looking for answers on the best practices and how to make a splash in the metaverse, you can look to those who have established successful brand awareness within the platform.

Here’s a look at five members whose brands are standing out in the metaverse.

1. The Coca-Cola Company connects with the tech-savvy youth

The Coca-Cola Company, whose membership is led by Board Chair and Senior Director and Head of Global Social Media Strategy and Guidelines Roberto Mastrocola, leveraged the metaverse to connect with their younger audience in July 2021 when they teamed up with 3D digital design studio Tafi for an NFT campaign. It centered around virtual goodie bags they dubbed ‘loot boxes’ containing a variety of one-of-a-kind digital assets.

The Coca-Cola Company‘s digital bubble jacket NFT. (Photo from The Coca-Cola Company’s website)

These included NFTs such as a wearable puffer jacket, a sound visualizer, and a friendship card that was a modernized version of their 1940s trading cards. The efforts were a part of their initiatives to create better relations with today’s younger generation who consume less soda.

This year, they celebrated their first anniversary in the metaverse with a special digital collectible drop on International Friendship Day. The collectibles included designs with themes of connection and unity to help bolster their community of fans.

2. Merck’s Minecraft metaverse

Merck entered the metaverse in 2021 by creating an educational series using Minecraft. 

Merck’s campaign, Periodic Odyssey, created a world in the video game series where students explore elements from the periodic table. The campaign includes an immersive environment to hunt for all naturally-occurring elements using Minecraft’s signature pickaxe. Students have the ability to bring elements to their virtual science labs, which unlocks more sections of their learning environments as they collect more elements. 

The initiative aimed to help turn increased screen time for younger generations into learning opportunities and create interactive virtual experiences for future scientists.

Merck has been a member since 2019, and their membership is led by Board Chair and Director of Enterprise Social Media and Customer Intelligence Larisa Kluchman.

3. Target’s one-of-a-kind metaverse experience in honor of Pride Month

Target, whose membership is led by Board Chair and Senior Director of Brand and Inclusive Marketing Aimee Roesler, entered the metaverse with their Take Pride World campaign

Web developer and artist Kiernan “Flutt3r” Pearce, a transgender creator who identifies as bisexual, led the project and partnered with other creators to develop an immersive world that allowed users to properly interpret their collective journeys of self-discovery.

The campaign is a way for individuals and companies to celebrate Pride by empowering users to “find their own path” within the virtual world.

“My avatar was the catalyst, as it could represent my true inner self. I was not trapped in my disabled, assigned gendered body,” Kiernan said. member Kelsey Dahlager, Senior Social Evolution Manager at Target, also led the project and created her own avatar, and shared how they’re tracking success in the metaverse.

“We wanted to make something native metaverse users actually liked, so the fact that we got actual visitors, our world bounce rates were super low, and the “Dwell Time” was super high all indicate success on that goal,” Kelsey commented after being asked how they measure success.

From left to right: Photos of Kiernan “Flutt3r” Pearce and member Kelsey Dahlager virtual avatars in the metaverse. (Photos from Meta and LinkedIn)

4. McDonald’s to provide a virtual restaurant experience member McDonald’s, whose membership is led by Board Chair and Corporate Social Media Manager Sonia Summers, is in the process of developing virtual reality restaurants where users can talk to friends in entertaining environments.

As a way to interact with audiences that spend more time online, the world’s largest restaurant chain is also using virtual reality to provide NFTs and opportunities for customers to order food and drink deliveries to their homes.

With the growing presence of users within the metaverse, McDonald’s is looking to expand their brand by providing branded clothing for users’ avatars and virtual furnishings for their customers’ virtual homes.

They also celebrated the Chinese Lunar New Year in 2022 in the metaverse with an interactive exhibit called the Hall of Zodiacs. They partnered with Humberto Leon, co-founder of the fashion brand Opening Ceremony, and provided a gallery hosting Humberto’s work where customers received horoscope readings.

McDonald’s Hall of Zodiacs: 2022 Lunar New Year by Humberto Leon – VR Gallery Experience. (Photo from McDonald’s website)

5. Walmart is creating immersive experiences in Roblox member Walmart, whose membership is led by Board Chair and Senior Director of Strategy and Planning Marissa Kargas, is launching two virtual experiences in the metaverse platform Roblox. They are creating environments called Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play as new ways to engage with shoppers.

Walmart Land aims to provide fashion, style, beauty, and entertainment items to Roblox users. The virtual shopping center offers various merchandise for people to customize their avatars. Walmart’s Universe of Play provides virtual games, a Ferris wheel, Netflix trivia, and digital concerts to enhance the shopping experience.

To develop community and engagement with shoppers, Walmart is also offering NFTs and opportunities for gamers in Roblox to earn tokens and other rewards for virtual merchandise.

How members are entering the metaverse members shared more insights on launching metaverse campaigns in a confidential, vendor-free leadership discussion. Members explained there are many variations of metaverses, and partnering with ones based on familiarity to your brand is key.

Also noted was how helpful partnering with Meta’s Horizon Worlds provided a lower barrier to entry given the popularity of Meta’s headset. Along with choosing the best version of metaverse, members shared how essential it is to partner with native metaverse creators who are different from traditional social media creators. These creators are more like visionaries and engineers and are less versed in content aesthetics and brand voice.

If you’re already exploring how your brand can leverage the metaverse or want to learn how to get started, you can join’s community for social media leaders at the world’s largest companies to gain leadership insights to advance your strategies.

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