In 2022, the global metaverse market was valued at $68.49 billion, with this figure predicted to increase to $1,527 billion by 2029. The beauty industry has not shied away from the opportunity the virtual world presents. Early adopters are engaging with consumers through web3 spaces in various ways, from NYX Professional Makeup and Urban Decay's adventures on Roblox to Clinique's mobile-first Clinique Lab and Living Proof's virtual store. L'Oréal has also been a pioneer for all things virtual beauty, creating hairstyles for the Ready Player Me platform and making a minority investment in metaverse start-up Digital Village. Seizing the metaverse potential for beauty brands, creative agency Cult Ldn organized the first-ever Metaverse Beauty Week.
Metaverse Beauty Week is set to take place from June 12-16 across Decentraland, Roblox, and Spatial, featuring popular names such as Brand Agency London's umbrella of markers—Lottie London, Ciaté London, and I Am Proud, as well as Lush and Neutrogena. The initiative was inspired by Metaverse Fashion Week, created by Decentraland in March 2022. In the first year, Metaverse Fashion Week hosted 108,000 individual attendees across five days, garnering $77,000 worth of sales for offerings such as avatar wearables, and was deemed a great success. The second year saw a significant drop in attendees at Metaverse Fashion Week, with virtual footfall decreasing 76% to 26,000 across the running days of March 28-30.
Metaverse Fashion Week’s footfall decrease was due to consumers feeling there was a lack of hands-on experiences within the offered events. Many felt that Metaverse Fashion Week focused too heavily on replicas of real-life shops as opposed to creating experiences that can not be accessed in real life. "You don't just want to recreate real life in the metaverse; you want to be pushing boundaries and going really crazy with your designs, show spectacles, and the actual experience," Max Vedel, co-founder and Creative Director at metaverse creative agency Swipe Back, said in response to the feedback.
Hoping to learn from the trials and tribulations of Metaverse Fashion Week, Cult Ldn plans to focus on the user's experience, offering wearables for avatars, including hairstyles and beauty features, as well as popular beauty initiatives seeing success in real life, including sampling and gifting.
"We hope to engage with our consumers during Metaverse Beauty Week in an entertaining and reimagined way," Nora Zukauskaite, Global Marketing Director at Brand Agency London tells BeautyMatter. "Such experiences help brands tell their story further and connect beyond just a product, avoiding the limitation of inaccessible locations or time zones like a physical experience would do."
The activations taking place will stay true to the brand's audiences and its messages across other social media platforms. On Roblox, Lottie London will be hosting a game that sees its TikTok viral products become collectible for tokens that can be redeemed for prizes in real life. "It's like hide and seek, merging the digital world with the real world," Zukauskaite continues. On Spatial, I Am Proud will make its debut in the metaverse, featuring vending machines that gift wearables from the Skin Proud, Hair Proud, and Body Proud Walmart bestsellers. Lush is set to focus on sensory elements of beauty, experimenting with how physical elements of beauty can be presented in a virtual setting. The brand will encourage visitors to indulge in elements of synesthesia at the Lush Spa, where it will reveal the metaverse's largest-ever bath bomb, which will melt in front of visitors. Lush also plans to reveal new surprise experiences each day, taking place in Decentraland's Wellness Zone, created specifically for Metaverse Beauty Week.
Cult Ldn's main aim for Metaverse Beauty Week is to bring metaverse platforms, brands, and consumers together, allowing everyone to celebrate virtual beauty. As the program is a public-facing pilot, all numbers and results will be made available once the week has concluded, with Cult Ldn hoping this will demonstrate the possibilities the metaverse presents for brands and consumers alike, regardless of budget and status.
Metaverse Beauty Week has the potential to be successful specifically with Gen Z, of which 60% use the metaverse as a form of entertainment. "We do believe that the metaverse plays a part in beauty activations, especially within the gaming space. This audience is mainly Gen Z and Millennial consumers, so it's only natural that we are aiming to engage with these customers (both new and existing)," Zukauskaite states. Cult Ldn will be promoting the initiative across social media platforms, hoping to connect with young consumers who interact with brands predominantly online. The agency is also planning to push educational ads that explain how the metaverse works, making it further accessible for all.
Scheduling for Metaverse Beauty Week is set to be revealed in the upcoming weeks. Regardless of the outcome, numbers, and revenue, Metaverse Beauty Week's existence tells us one thing for sure: digital activations are in demand and on the rise.
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