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IAB releases guide for brands to start marketing in the metaverse

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The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has released its Metaverse for Brands Guide, designed to help marketers evaluate their options. The report includes key definitions, an overview of current metaverse-like experiences and examples of successful metaverse marketing campaigns.

The IAB’s guide takes a practical approach, helping marketers ask key questions before diving into the metaverse. In particular, the IAB focuses on helping brands pick the right type of metaverse experience for their target audience and helping brands think through long-term strategy questions.

The IAB highlighted some universal takeaways that apply to all brands.

  • Create Memorable Experiences: The metaverse exists in a virtual world, take advantage of that. Brand metaverse experiences should include elements in their activations that are unavailable in the physical world.
  • Prioritize Creators and Authenticity: Creators are the ambassadors to a brand’s metaverse experience. They are an important on-ramp so prioritize relevance and authenticity.
  • Drive Back Into Experience: To truly succeed, metaverse experiences can’t be a flash in the pan. Experiences need to persist and evolve over time in order to retain audiences and entice new ones.  
  • Empower Amplifiers: Empowering content creators is a must to expand the lifecycle and reach of a brand’s metaverse experience.

Additionally, the IAB report provides numerous examples of successful campaigns from non-gaming brands. However, these case studies (perhaps unintentionally) embody the IAB’s concerns about measuring ad effectiveness for immersive experiences. Aside from the firm’s updated guidelines on in-game advertisements, it has no real consensus on standardized metrics to evaluate ad effectiveness in immersive media.

In the absence of industry-wide agreement, most marketers have turned to tried and true metrics like frequency and reach. These come with the bonus of being more directly comparable to more traditional ad formats. However, the IAB suggests this is changing with growing interest for attention-based metrics that more directly measure the impact of media placements. First-party data is often inaccessible to brands, making this switch more difficult. The IAB went as far as to issue a data wishlist that would help marketers evaluate the effectiveness of metaverse ads.

The full IAB Metaverse for Brands Guide is available now and was written with support from industry leaders at Activision Blizzard, esports organization Dignitas, Meta, Trigger XR, Twitch and Vindex.

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