UAE top brands test Web3



Metaverse and Web3 innovations are transforming the fundamental operating approach of the virtual world.


Sandhya D'Mello

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Published: Sat 23 Apr 2022, 11:07 PM

Last updated: Fri 17 Jun 2022, 6:50 PM

Web3 is here to stay and it’s time you do some self-study before you retreat to the cave of ignorance. Terms like distributed ledger technology (DLT), blockchain, cryptocurrency, tokens, non-fungible token (NFT), decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO), metaverse, and many jargons that may sound new are the basic in the world of XR (extended reality).

So the rush is real and not just by individuals but regional brands in key sectors in the UAE here are already testing the new virtual zone to market their products as they believe that people tend to see the products first in the virtual market and then in the real world. This is now shaping the disruptive trends in metaverse marketing which is poised to see a spike in business and top regional brands are making a foray into the same.

Misha Hanin, Co-founder, and CEO of Bedu, said: “Metaverse and Web 3 marketing is all about creating communities and community values. Businesses that do not take a real value-creation and community-sensitive approach to their target consumer group will run the risk of becoming “untuned” to the developing web 3.0 community.”

So are brands globally compelled to strike balance between the virtual and real-world to boost their customer base? “Metaverse and Web3 innovations are transforming the fundamental operating approach of the virtual world. Instead of viewing the internet as a collection of corporate sites and proprietary apps, metaverse envisions a persistent 3D environment. This effort is a key influence on corporate efforts and will have an impact on the marketing decisions of businesses and in the effort to maximise marketing budgets in the split between conventional online and out-of-home advertising and marketing and the always-on, persistent metaverse spaces that are rapidly developing,” added Hanin.

The latest research from Deloitte, Future is here: Global XR industry insight shows that metaverse creates a new environment where users are virtually connected with their family, friends, pets, favourite items, and experiences — the metaverse transports users to the next-generation of social interactions. The metaverse encompasses 5G, AI, blockchain, content creation, and other elements. The core of metaverse is to continually optimise users’ digital life experiences through XR (Extended Reality) and continuous iteration of XR technology and equipment.

Recently Alejandro Sáez, founder of eGoGames, María Bravo, founder of Global Gift Foundation hosted the Global Gift Gala Abu Dhabi Dream Ball and Alejandro Laplana, founder of Shokworks, created eGoClub, an exclusive NFT-based ecosystem with a humanitarian mission that offers unique benefits and opportunities to its members. eGoClub is a philanthropic community using the power of blockchain and emerging technology to help those in need.

NFT artist Idriss B

Similarly, MContent introduced the world’s first supercar ownership NFT series selling the first three in minutes. The unprecedented launch event unveiled the NFT’s, which allow buyers to own and drive the highly sought-after Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series for a whole month every year when purchasing a bespoke digital and physical artwork by globally renowned NFT artist Idriss B.

Chalhoub Group

Another example of global and local brands tapping the Metaverse is Christofle, the Parisian Silversmith Maison since 1830, entered the metaverse with its first NFT collection ‘925 Genesis MOOD’, to be unveiled on May 7, 2022, referring to a fantastic imaginary city, named: Christofle Aurifaber Citatis in Latin, or The City of Christofle Silversmithing.

Michael Chalhoub, President of Strategy, Growth, Innovation and Investment at Chalhoub Group, added: “I feel extremely humbled and proud to witness our Group’s first NFT drop. And it only makes sense for it to be done with Christofle, the first luxury brand we introduced to the GCC over 65 years ago. Innovation and retaining the entrepreneurial spirit of our founders have always been part of our core values. And we take it as our duty to lead the way and introduce the first luxury tableware NFT. We are committed to constantly reinventing ourselves and to bring the right products, services, and experience to our customers, that stay at the heart of everything we do.”

Acquired by Chalhoub Group in 2017, Christofle is known for its exceptional tableware, silver flatware, and home accessories created with elegance, craftsmanship and know-how. Christofle entering Web 3.0 is the completion of a fruitful collaboration between Christofle, and Exclusible, the market leader in the development and sale of coveted NFTs and luxury digital real estate powered by Chalhoub Group’s Innovation unit.

Atul Hegde, Founder, YAAP, said: “There has been a lot of talk about the Metaverse lately both among brand managers and agencies alike. As with all things new and uncharted there are many questions. Is it a fad ? is it only for new age brands ? Is it only for brands talking to Gen Z. To be honest there are no definitive answers to all these questions. But there are some clearly early pointers for brands to look at.”

Fashion brand Kenzo recently had a very high profile relaunch when they roped in streetwear pioneer NIGO as their artistic director. NIGO dropped his first pieces and with it Kenzo ran a campaign on a Discord group to give away NFTS of the launch piece. This was Kenzo taking its first steps into the world of the metaverse. Similarly Gucci has a collab with Superplastic for a beautiful range of NFTS and some really funky avatars . As we speak today every major luxury brand from Louis Vuitton to Gucci have already made their foray into the Metaverse and all of them are using this to drive additional revenues too and not just marketing. This makes for a very powerful combo and will ensure brands will push the envelope when it comes to their presence in the Metaverse, informed Hegde.

“The metaverse has opened up a whole new playground for the new hybrid work culture we now seek . Companies are buying real estate in the metaverse to set up virtual spaces , host events and conferences and even monthly townhalls. Start-ups are making it easy for companies to enter this world by providing solutions to create avatars to actually building their spaces. This by large will be the single largest use case for the Metaverse for now. While it’s early days yet , it’s clear that there is no utopian time to enter the Metaverse. The time is right now and right here. Take the plunge and discover the magic of the Metaverse, make your mistakes , course correct and keep building furiously. For before you know all your consumers will be on it and you can enjoy all the rewards of being a first mover and accolades that come from it.”

Similarly a  strong metaverse promoter,  Abraham Gomez, Co-Founder, Wild and West, said: “Marketing is entering an exciting new form in the metaverse. It’s a way for brands to build new 3-dimensional environments and experiences targeting millennials and Gen Z. With the Metaverse growing by 42.5 per cent CAGR every year it’s a new medium that cannot be ignored. The market size is expected to reach $716.5 billion by 2027. The last time we’ve seen this level of disruption within the marketing world was when social media advertising first began. The Metaverse allows for low price campaigns, greater creativity, higher engagement, and an ideal target audience, all of which are a winning formula for a marketing campaign.” —

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