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Web3 Creatives Share What’s to Come from the New Tech


Experts from Dentsu Creative, Virtue Worldwide, Virtual Worlds at Media.Monks, Geometry Ogilvy Japan, Unit9 and LERMA/ tell LBB’s Nisna Mahtani about what’s to come with web3

Web3 Creatives Share What’s to Come from the New Tech

As the third leg of the World Wide Web comes into effect, there are many questions on people's minds about what this means for creative industries, what changes we can expect to see and which pieces of tech are here to stay. 

Incorporating concepts such as decentralisation, blockchain technologies (the combination of which make up the metaverse), and token-based economics - there’s a lot to wrap your head around when it comes to the future of innovations. Furthermore, as AI is implemented into various areas of web3, digital experiences are adapting and progressing much faster than before. With so many thoughts about what’s to come, we posed three questions to experts in the web3 realm and asked them to share their answers:

1. Where are the most exciting creative opportunities in the web3 space?
2. How do you navigate between hype and the real McCoy? 
3. What's your dream web3 project?

Speaking to LBB’s Nisna Mahtani, Dentsu Creative’s head of innovation Alex Hamilton, Virtue Worldwide’s global executive creative director Morten Grubak, Virtual Worlds at Media.Monks’ creative director Brett Burton, Geometry Ogilvy Japan’s executive creative director Yasishi Arikawa, Unit9 strategy director Rosie Copland and LERMA/'s principal of digital strategy and integration Francisco 'Pancho' Cardenas share their thoughts.

[Duolingo Roblox campaign by Media.Monks’ Brett Burton]

LBB> Where are the most exciting creative opportunities in the web3 space?

Alex> The most exciting use case in web3 is tokenised loyalty. Using tokens to drive new consumer behaviours and build new incentive structures should, over time, reinvent the way brands think about rewarding their customers.

The second, broader, opportunity area relates to how brands can use gaming technologies to build more immersive and ownable brand experiences. In my opinion, games designers are the new architects of the web. What we have learnt/will learn from gaming, from experience design to 3D and measurement, will impact the way in which we build brand experiences for the foreseeable future. 

Morten> In-game activations. The metaworld’s ‘The Otherside’ (a meta-RPG) recently drew a staggering 40,000 virtual attendees to its housewarming event. The Otherside offers a unique and ever-evolving experience that is co-created with its players and I seriously can’t wait to co-create with brands there as well. 

Brett> I get excited about projects that are fun, innovative and have real value. The hype and the crypto gold rush were focused on the wrong things. The average person doesn’t care about the cogs in the machinery or market value, they just want fun experiences, cool stuff and real connection.

Yasushi> Web3 aims to be decentralised, distributed, and user-driven. However, for web3 to become mainstream, it is essential to further evolve and promote web3 services and solutions as indispensable components of daily lifestyle, just like web2.0 SNS. It is important to continuously disseminate and set up content and services that utilise metaverse and NFT, and promote the creator economy engaged in web3 to make these areas a part of daily life. To transition from a web 2.0 way of thinking to 3.0 for future lifestyles, it is essential to focus on technological innovations that will help communication take root, such as platform communication that solves the problem of simultaneous connections in a 3D world and cloud rendering platforms that update further.

KDDI's αU, a service solution brand for web3 and metaverse launched in March of this year, aims to become the mainstream of next-generation communication for the major Japanese telecommunications company, KDDI. The brand offers various service solutions, from NFT wallets and markets, metaverse focusing on voice distribution, digital twin commerce services, and interactive live entertainment distribution using cloud rendering. The concept movie produced for the brand's launch features a combination of several generative AIs, including Mid Journey, Stable Diffusion, and Runway Gen1. It animates just four illustrations to question whether the world has started to become one without drawing a line between virtual and real. This film, produced using VFX sensibilities and human judgement with AIGenerate in collaboration with the Australian production company T&DA, makes me feel that we are moving towards a new era, including the process of its own production.

Francisco> A huge opportunity is to build true independent communities that self-regulate and are connected through a passion or love for a story, a cause, or a brand. As agencies, marketers and brands we are still trying to figure out the true foundation and home of these communities. What is their ecosystem and their user experience. In the end, customisation of messages through a tokenised consumer presence could be achieved giving brands the opportunity to deliver on truly unique and customisable experiences. Excited to see what it does for existing communities like AMEX, Starbucks or an Airline Reward System. What do all of these folks have in common beyond their love for the brand.

[The Otherside as mentioned by Virtue Worldwide’s Morten Grubak]

LBB> How do you navigate between hype and the real McCoy? 

Alex> I get under the hood of the technology and try to find relevant use cases for it. People expect everything now and must realise that we’re 10 years away from realising the true potential of some of these technologies. Patience and an analytical mind help us as a team cut through the hype to unearth the gems that can help us do great work for clients today.

Morten> It went from meta-FOMO to JOMO. All the tourists are gone.

However, what has endured are the projects that truly made it worth people's while. To uncover their true value, it's important to look for the storytelling within them - a crucial yet often overlooked component in many unsuccessful projects.

Brett> The real McCoy is cool even if you remove the tech and the speculator market. If it makes someone happy, it’s real.

Yasushi> In the current situation where use cases such as demonstration experiments and trial videos are increasing exposure and interest, many people still need to be convinced about the web3 world, except those who jump into that area. While there are still many discussions on issues such as copyrights and rule-making for generated digital outputs, and the development of NFTs with a focus on investment, it is a domain that requires further refinement. However, I have the same feeling as when P2P emerged in the web 2.0 era, and I believe there is no reason for many companies to stop this evolution.

Rosie> I’m excited for when brands stop creating ‘metaverse’ projects for a PR headline and actually leverage the technologies that underpin this concept and use them to drive powerful storytelling and create valuable utilities. The possibilities are incredibly exciting as they provide brands with entirely new playgrounds to create and offer the ability to tap into new global audiences and subcultures. 

I think the fact brands are becoming more conscious about their efforts and adopting a ‘think before you build’ approach when creating in this space is an amazing thing. It’s where we will begin to see ground breaking experiences. The tech has to be the vehicle, not the goal.

I think the most exciting creative opportunities are when we use tech to solve a real problem or to tell a story in a more engaging or meaningful way. Look at Travis Scott in Fortnite – that was in 2020, and in my opinion, it’s still one of the best examples we’ve seen. Why? Because the solution tackled a real problem (no IRL concerts during lockdown), it tapped into a sub-culture and understood its audience, it told a story in an engaging and innovative way and provided access to a world and experience that we have never seen before. (Rosie's work includes Nike's cryptokicks)

Francisco> A lot of hype and sometimes little action. As an industry we need to identify what is real and what is not. The only way of doing is by building, testing and through observation, see if consumers find utility or value on what we are offering. Our industry naturally energizes itself through hype, optimism, and expectation but we need to get our feet wet if we want to find true answers into what sticks and what does not. The challenge is convince clients on the value of taking this approach.

[Vodafone'a  AR game 'Elf and Seek' and Kelloggs' Pop Tarts Blankos metaverse by Dentsu Creative’s Alex Hamilton]

LBB> What's your dream web3 project?

Alex> I’d love to work on a DAO [decentralized autonomous organization] project with a brand. DAOs can be powerful tools that champion community and promote ownership, but few projects to date have really delivered on their promise. For me, the concept of a DAO turns on its head traditional business thinking around how companies should be owned and operated. It’s a revolutionary idea that adheres to all the fundamental principles of web3.

Morten> My dream web3 project would involve a seamless integration of meaningful AI into a metaverse experience. As AI continues to gain momentum as a hot topic, it has always been a crucial aspect of the metaverse's blueprint. However, until now, these two concepts have often been discussed separately, without recognising their potential for mutual enhancement.

Brett> I don’t have a specific dream project, but it’s always fun to work with great IP. I also love anything unexpected or with authentic community value. The collections we did with Gucci and Coolcats or the crazy metaverse invasion we created for Duolingo are examples where we checked those boxes.

Yasushi> Until last year, web3 had drawn market interest with metaverse and NFTs. Still, the revolution in communication that web3 brings is further fueled by the emergence of generative AI this year. I am most interested in creating a community formation with more people participating through content and experiential offers such as virtual human/pet/IP through bot x generative AI, which makes people feel new values beyond human common sense. I'm excited about the future where diverse values take shape and it becomes natural to communicate with machines that surpass humanity daily.

Rosie> I think it’s all about building utility or telling incredible stories. When new tech comes out (like we’re seeing with AI at the moment), there’s a lot of fear and panic, but it would be amazing to work on a project that shows how these technologies can be used for good. I’d love to create a web3 experience within the music industry that leverages technology to democratise creativity and provide a platform to the underrepresented. I love the idea of a 15-year-old in their room that can probably make better music than half the people in the charts. Pairing the new wave of creatives with established creatives and even AI to develop new ways of creating would be so cool. 

Equally, it’s been so exciting to work with some very traditional companies and institutions that you’d think would be stuck in their ways but are actually experimenting with tech to completely overhaul their offering and provide new value and experiences.

Tech is here, it’s happening. I think brands have a choice - to innovate or get left behind. It’s really about finding the right partners that understand their business, audience, and their vision and then find exciting solutions that will future-proof their brand.

Francisco> For Avocados From Mexico we’ve been trying to build a community that comes together through their shared love for avocados and the value that avocados bring to their life. Activating this community over a web3 platform and philosophy, could potentially ‘tokenise’ each avocado lover so they can get special benefits and perks across retailers regardless of the retailer the avocados are purchased from. The story telling opportunities under an infrastructure like this could be endless.

[KDDI's αU as mentioned by Geometry Ogilvy Japan’s Yasishi Arikawa]

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LBB Editorial, Thu, 25 May 2023 19:32:00 GMT