A few weeks ago, H+K Canada hosted Grounded in the Metaverse — a talk and Q+A designed to give our clients and partners a basic understanding of this new landscape and the potential it holds. With speakers including Andy Hood, Vice President of Emerging Technology for WPP, Ruby Quince, UK Creative Director and Jed Phillips and Taylor Goeman of Ink Overflow (one of the metaverse’s premier build collectives), we set out to demystify the Metaverse. You can watch the full session, or you can read our six key takeaways below.

1. The Metaverse isn’t a single place

Instead, it’s a group of digital worlds. The wildly popular game Fortnight is part of it. So are other games like Roblox, Minecraft and Rec Room. In addition, specific worlds including Decentraland and Sandbox are included in the Metaverse. As of yet, we cannot create a single digital persona/avatar to move seamlessly through these worlds but stay tuned — the general consensus is that we’re five years or so away from that.

2. It’s a big business. And getting bigger

IN 2021, the Metaverse was valued at $1.3 trillion dollars, including $586 billion invested in advertising, $475 in social commerce, and $94 billion in social events. Add a prediction of 44% mean annual growth over the next six years and it’s easy to understand why Mark Zuckerberg pivoted one of the world’s most influential companies from Facebook to Meta.

3. NFTs play an important role

Non fungible tokens (NFTs) are a key component to the Metaverse. Because the Metaverse is a digital world, it’s going to include a lot of digital versions of what we have in our physical world. From homes to artwork to concert tickets, the Metaverse needs a way to establish ownership of items. That’s where NFTs come in. Using the same blockchain technology as cryptocurrencies, an NFT is attached to a specific item. That means the art on the walls of your digital home, or your digital home itself, is yours and yours only. With ownership comes value — and a Metaverse economy that could well be like nothing we’ve ever seen online.

4. The Metaverse can be a force for good

The Metaverse is still in its infancy (think Netscape in 1994) and very much being defined. Now is the time to incentivize better social behaviour, safeguard privacy and security, embed diversity and inclusion, secure brand safety and copyright, and move towards crypto sustainability. In other words, now is the time to collectively ensure this space is one where everyone feels safe, secure and welcome.

5. You can start experimenting today

There are simple, cost-effective steps you can take right now to familiarize your team with the Metaverse. Open a crypto wallet. Buy a few VR headsets and start exploring. Purchase an NFT. Deputize someone on your team to become the internal Metaverse expert, a resource that can commit to learning and sharing. Book time to have meaningful conversations on how you want to show up in this brave new world now, because it’s right here at your doorstep.

6. We can advise you on your next steps

We have the VR headsets charged and ready to try on for an introductory walk-through. But more importantly, we have the strategic and creative knowledge to help you get started in this digital world. Reach out if you’re interested in an H+K ‘What If’ session and we’ll provide you with further details.

There is no denying that the Metaverse is bringing seismic change and opportunity across every sector and category. The governments, organizations and businesses who choose to embrace it could set themselves up for unprecedented success. Those who shy away may find themselves falling behind.

Our advice? Come try on the headsets.