Recently, Havas Group bought its first plot of virtual land in the metaverse – just one of its many expansions into navigating this virtual world. Dare! spoke with Pierre Acuña, Head of Gaming and E-sports, Havas Sports & Entertainment Paris, to learn more about Havas’s investments in the metaverse and Metaverse by Havas.
Havas recently bought its first plot of virtual land in the metaverse – can you talk about why we decided on this investment in particular?
Last year we launched Metaverse by Havas, a consulting offer that helps brands approach these new virtual worlds. Based on all the gaming and e-sport campaigns we have created these last 9 years with brands like Coca-Cola, adidas, Louis Vuitton, Puma, Canal and l’Enfant Bleu, we felt we had the expertise to work with new platforms and explore decentralised Web3 metaverses. We wanted to accelerate our investment and we needed to be fully immersed in the space to understand more deeply how metaverse 3.0 works. We targeted the Sandbox, one of the most advanced platforms in the metaverse, to set up our 69th Havas Village.
How does that investment connect to Havas’s broader philosophy around the metaverse?
We are here to explore and create meaningful connections for our clients. Web3 and Metaverse are full of new creators, new possibilities, AND new imaginative ideas. This land must be a collaboration between our meaningful vision and these new communities in order to create amazing worlds that reality can’t offer. This is our philosophy – we are not here to replicate your daily life, we are here to create new facets of it. At the same time, we are trying to be as realistic as possible about our future – we know it will take time, we know that we must keep learning, and we know we may fail sometimes. But that’s all part of the journey!
Can you talk more about the goals and strategy behind Metaverse by Havas?
As we said in one Web3 pitch that we did recently, Metaverse by Havas is a well-established machine made even greater by genius Web3 creatives. We want to take our knowledge and passion to deliver smart and creative products. We want to replicate what we did with gaming and e-sports – we approached these territories with a mix of intelligence and creativity, and now we are one of the most creative groups in the space.
How do you think the metaverse has changed consumer behaviours and engagement with companies and products?
We are in the very early stages, and the metaverse isn’t at its full potential as of now. But when we observe people that can spend hours in these virtual worlds, can spend more money for a virtual Gucci bag vs a real one or set up a wedding within the metaverse, we know that something is happening. We think the metaverse will create an experiential way to consume products powered by social connection. You will be able to play with the brand and the product on the internet for the first time.
Do you think interest and engagement with the metaverse is just a phase or do you think it’s here to stay?
In 2013 when I started to work on e-sports, a lot of people were saying that it was niche or a bubble. Now we have Louis Vuitton, Nike and Mastercard that have entered in the space – and even Snoop Dogg is now part of FaZe Clan. It will take time, but with the proliferation of gaming platforms like Fortnite or Minecraft, the metaverse is here and with what’s coming from Sandbox or Bored Ape Yacht Club, the best is yet to come.