By Alona Elkayam
Cannes Lions 2022: The Muddled Metaverse
Katie Burke, co-lead for the metaverse continuum, Accenture Song
Shachar Scott, senior director, Reality Labs, Meta
Sir Martin Sorrell, founder and executive chairperson of S4 Capital
The Truth Bomb
The metaverse discussion was very muddled at Cannes Lions 2022. This wasn’t a crypto or NFT conference where the rooms were filled with people who eat, breathe, and sleep all things metaverse, but I suspect next year the programming will include the metaverse. There were a lot of skeptics and some unwarranted slander directed at Gary Vaynerchuk, aka Gary Vee, a business and media agency owner who is betting on NFT’s and crypto, since the collapse of crypto.
Let me clear up some confusion because the metaverse is not going anywhere.
Cryptocurrencies are built using blockchain technology. Blockchain doesn’t need crypto to work, but crypto needs blockchain to work. A cryptocurrency is to a blockchain what email is to the Internet: a small part of an extremely innovative, world-changing piece of technology.* Same with NFT’s. The crypto collapse is not a signal that the future of the metaverse is a farce.
However, decentralization is a huge part of the promise of the metaverse, so saying “I told you, so” at the collapse of crypto won’t help move culture forward. When someone makes a blockchain or decentralized app, they need some way to reward users and miners. People also create a token to be used for their particular blockchain or dapp in order to reward people for using or contributing to it.
Crypto, in essence, is one of the core tenets of decentralization, thus community building in Web3.
With that said, brands, agencies, and creators: You are part of what the metaverse will be. Don’t look over your shoulder to see what your competitor or others in the brand space are doing. Get in there and activate your brand promise in a way not reflected in Web 2. Start experimenting in the metaverse now and you will be rewarded later.
While benchmarking and community building technology are still nascent along with everything else in the metaverse including the 3d spatial software, there is no upside to being late to the metaverse party. Look at the metaverse as a cost of doing business, not necessarily a source of ROI, at least for the next 6-8 months. And remember, you don’t have to create an NFT art collection or have a VR headset to start building your universe in the metaverse.
Follow Far From Timid on LinkedIn for more Cannes Lions coverage and legendary news and stories for brand, culture, and design addicts like you.
Far From Timid is helping their clients develop metaverse experiences and strategies. Book a 30-minute brand therapy session with us and let us help you build your metaverse strategy.
Cannes Lions 2022 Award-Winning Metaverse Work
Break Chains with Block Chain: From Horizon FCB for Children of Female Prisoners Association.
First Interoperable Sneaker: For Under Armour from Berlin Cameron
Panel Title: Building agency partnerships that move at the speed of digital
Sponsored by: The Wall Street Journal
Moderated by: John Stinchcomb, global chief revenue officer, of The Wall Street Journal
Panelists: Martin Sorrell, founder and executive chairperson of S4 Capital, Christian Deuringer, head of global brand communication at Allianz
Panel Title: Building a Wardrobe for the Metaverse.
Sponsored by: The Mill
Moderated by: Andrew Melchior EVP global director of brand experience at the Mill
Panelists: Katie Burke, co-lead for the metaverse continuum, Accenture Song; Nick Pringle, SVP ECD, R/GA; Elav Horwitz. SVP global innovation & creative partnerships director at McCann Worldwide; Gareth Jones, SVP marketing, North America at Wunderman Thompson.
Panel Title: Meta And The Metaverse
Sponsored by: Influential
Moderated by: Ryan Detert, CEO, Influential
Panelists: Shachar Scott, Senior Director, Reality Labs, Meta; Brian Irving, VP Marketing, Reality Labs, Meta
Far From Timid covered Cannes Lions 2022 for our Honey Pot magazine and pulled together the top themes we think brands need to prioritize, supported by quotes we heard (and read) at selected sessions from the brands and agencies that inspired us. Then we mashed them up to create cross conversations because ideas cannot happen in a vacuum. For example, we can’t just talk about diversity on its own. We need to talk about diversity as it relates to media buying. Finally, we feature the “truth-bomb” takeaway insights and the award-winning work connected to each part of the series because we can’t make progress if ideology isn’t practiced.