Marketers must be clear about their objectives and “humble in expectation” when speaking to their CFO about opportunities in the metaverse, Mini’s head of global brand management Sebastian Beuchel has said as the brand launches its first metaverse experience.
The ‘MINIVerse’, a Meta Horizon Worlds experience built in partnership with Pereira O’Dell and Creative Shop, allows players to race a Mini around a gravity defying track. Spectators can interfere to help or hinder drivers, pressing buttons to flick cars off ramps or block them with “whac-a-mole” style pins. Players can also customise their car and unlock other Mini vehicles.
According to Meta, the true potential of the metaverse is still five to 10 years away, so Beuchel admitted that for a marketer, getting the CFO and CEO on board could be a challenge.
“What’s critical is to be clear about the objectives and at the same time humble in expectation, because what we see today is far from what the metaverse will one day be able to deliver,” he told Marketing Week at a press roundtable hosted by Meta at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
I’m convinced the metaverse and respective tech can do a great job on further levels down the value chain, but at this point in time we’re really focused on the upper funnel KPIs.
Sebastian Beuchel, Mini
“However, I think there is no point in waiting. The whole thing is evolving and I’d rather be a part of contributing to the ways it can take shape and in that way learning how to improve as we go forward.
“It is also part of our brand to be a forerunner – we’re a little faster, quicker and more receptive to these kinds of technologies than some of our competitor brands. That is an argument that even the CFO should buy.”
For Mini, the metaverse experience is being looked at as a tool to drive brand awareness and reputation, while engaging audiences it is less able to reach in other spaces.
“At this point of time it’s not about selling cars to the audience as a primary objective. At the moment it’s about brand awareness, hopefully bringing Mini up the consideration list in the moment when [consumers are] deciding to buy a car. We want them to associate the brand with something that is uplifting, fun and relevant and part of their lifestyle so when it comes to that moment, Mini is top of the list,” he said.
“I’m convinced the metaverse and respective tech can also do a great job on further levels down the value chain, but at this point in time we’re really focused on the upper funnel KPIs.”
Beuchel said Mini decided to venture in to the metaverse to “build on what makes Mini popular in this universe” – which he said is Mini being the “most fun to drive car”. The brand also wanted to create a “new social space” for Mini “fans” to come together.
“Mini is a love brand, a community brand, both in the offline and online world,” he said, noting that there are Mini car clubs around the world.
“Those fans really enjoy coming together… to share the passion of the brand and the lifestyle that comes with that… What we see here is the opportunity to build an incremental community.
“That’s not to say all our existing fans will adopt and move into the space but I’m sure we will reach new audiences that we might not reach with a physical get together.”