No word has ever invaded the world’s public space so quickly and completely: because Facebook is replacing itself, it’s the madness of the metaverse! Immediately, it became the buzzword, the one that was all in their mouths. We talk about it even if the universe remains unclear, even if we don’t understand much about it. Because it will look great, and it will of course change everything! There are so many good reasons to be interested in this and see first what this famous metaverse will mean for the beauty sector.
The metaverse: a test of meaning.
Metaverse in broad terms. It is often described as the future version of the Web, where immersive 3D virtual universes, from video games, meet on social networks, collaborative spaces, markets and e-commerce.
People can access it via the internet and this virtual universe allows you to copy yourself by creating your avatar. This digital space is made more alive through the use of virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR). In this case, however, it must be equipped with a virtual reality headset (VR Gear-Oculus Quest 2).
In this space, you can enjoy many possibilities. In short, live another life, as the ZEPETO app (South Korean metaverse) says: “In this place where nothing is impossible, other than me another world ZEPETO. In ZEPETO, change into the shape you want, talk to friends from all over the world and go on adventures and Do whatever you can imagine yourself hands.Enjoy an immersive adventure with friends around the world on thousands of world themes! Discover new trending collections or items with brand collaboration.Customize your avatar of millions of things! “
Important financial issues.
Who is interested in this space and why? Among the players, we see video game giants who are of course betting big in the same world that it may be possible to sell “virtual assets” to their audience. The audience did well. During incarcerations associated with the health crisis, games like Fortnite, Roblox or Animal Crossing – all of which offer metaverse – have seen their numbers of players explode. For example, in May 2020, Fortnite had 350 million registered players and by the end of 2021, there would be nearly 50 million users logging into Roblox daily-that’s more than double the number in 2019.
Brands that see these virtual spaces have many opportunities, visibility, commerce, and more. Thus we see more and more brands making their first steps in the metaverse, to sell products and services to customers / avatars.
Like the real world, the world of luxury attracts and attracts power. Prestigious brands are closely studying the opportunities offered by the metaverse and some do not hesitate to make their entry into these virtual worlds without delay. Take Gucci, for example, creating a limited -time virtual exhibition space on the Roblox platform along with physical activity at the Gucci Garden. The brand sells its products in virtual format and is able to sell a more expensive virtual bag – 4,115 dollars – than its physical version – sold in stores for 3,500 dollars.
But what about beauty brands?
Not only do they promote their products, they can also offer NFTs, which are evolving, to provide virtual “looks”.
As you can imagine, allowing your avatar to beautify itself is one of the first opportunities available to beauty brands, especially in the context of health where confinement, distance work and masks encourage people not to very much makeup in real life. Thanks to augmented reality, you can get paid by allowing your avatar to take advantage of sharp looks: Zepeto has partnered with several beauty brands, including Nars, which offers many make-up looks, and Dior Beauté, which presents looks that are just made.
As for Estée Lauder, it was at Decentraland that she proposed the “signature look” developed in collaboration with Alex Box on the occasion of Metaverse Fashion Week (March 24 to 27, 2022), thus allowing participants to wear these virtual appearances of their avatars.
Tatcha has partnered with Animal Crossing to transform Tokyo into Tatchaland (on the occasion of the launch of Rice Water Cleanser), as well as Givenchy and Glossier allowing avatars to wear the Givenchy Prisme Libre and the RAL Le Rouge or the famous Pink Hoodie by Glossier.
NFTs, these non-fungible tokens are unique and cannot be replaced by anything else. These custom digital assets come in the form of videos, jpegs, and works of art that can be bought and sold whatever. They are available and sold by various blockchain entities – MintNFT, Opensea, Axie Marketplace and Crpytopunks – and not physically.
The enthusiasm around NFTs can be explained by the ideas of exclusivity and hyper-connection. Other NFTs sold for real fortune: Everydays: the First 5000 Days, the work of Mike Winklemann, the digital artist known as Beeple, sold for $ 69.34 million on March 11, 2021. Similarly, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey sold his first tweet as an NFT for more than $ 2.9 million.
Some will not hesitate to draw a parallel between NFTs and the “drop marketing” that has created the “Supreme” craze. Some are rushing the limited series as we now rush to the virtual unique pieces. Gucci thus launched the first NFT in the form of unique sneakers.
For fashion brands, NFTs have a whole series of advantages: they can thus strengthen brand awareness, generate and improve sales but above all create connection and commitment.
Beautiful and beautiful.
So it makes sense that more and more beauty brands are starting to venture into NFTs. Guerlain thus recently announced the launch of “Cryptobees”, a series of 1,828 digital works to be sold, each allowing the re-naturalization of a sponsored lot. The creatures are divided into four levels exclusively built according to the scale of the rare. Placed by Tezos, which pays itself as one of the most powerful energy blockchains, Cryptobees will go on sale at the end of April on the special Objkt platform. The announced entry price for the smallest unique NFTs is 20 XTZ, or just under 70 euros.
But Nars, Givenchy Parfums and even Clinique have already paved the way. Nars, for example, ordered three pieces of NFT from artists Sara Shakeel, Azéde Jean-Pierre and Nina Kraviz to celebrate her hero product Orgasm blush. Shakeel designed a glittering crystal lip film for the Nurse, with a strong mouth wave.
For the brand, it’s not about making money but about creating an original and new experience around a product. The goal is to create unique digital works inspired by the color and essence of Orgasm.
As for Givenchy, in June it launched a project to support the LGBTQIA + cause on the occasion of Pride Month. Ella has partnered with London gallerist and LGBTQIA+ activist Amar Singh as well as artists from Rewind Collective to create a digital work that is sold for the benefit of an association. This piece is sold in a limited series of 1,952 pieces. Called “Pride”, the work takes the form of a series of animated images based on digital photographs reworked by artists in rainbow flag colors.
The operation had to be spread over six days, but two seconds in the end was enough to exceed the 100,000 euro mark: 1,952 NFT works attracted speculators and digital art enthusiasts in record time!
Whatever strategy is chosen to enter the metaverse, beauty brands have realized they need to prioritize live experience and experimentation – rather than directly generating sales. Nurturing the brand’s positioning, strengthening the link and connection to its target: these are the goals that beauty players in the metaverse are pursuing right now. Until when?
Pascal Barragué is an advertiser, an expert in the world of luxury and beauty.