Here’s the digiio team’s pick of three of the hottest trends of 2022.
The growth of in-game advertising
Sales of gaming PCs rose through the pandemic as we looked for ways to be entertained at home. Worldwide, the video game industry grew into a $180 billion category with roughly three billion gamers. This spike in gaming through the pandemic also led to a big rise in in-game advertising.
For example, in May 2021, gaming platform Roblox hosted the Gucci Garden, a two-week art installation aimed at building brand awareness among young customers.
But why choose in-game advertising? One of the main attractions for brands is the way games present pre-segmented audiences for marketers to target. The players of Fortnight, Candy Crush and War Hammer, for example, typically fit very different demographics.
Reaching your audience when they’re already highly engaged is another big plus. The challenge is to ensure that your advertising and/or collaborations can live authentically within the world of that particular game.
The march of the Metaverse
Elsewhere in cyberspace, big brands are rushing to buy up real estate in the metaverse. Back in February, the Guardian reported that Walmart has filed “several new trademarks” that apparently indicate it will be creating its own cryptocurrency and a collection of NFTs. Similarly, McDonald’s had filed 10 trademark applications, including one for a virtual restaurant that would offer home delivery to a home in the real world.
While the notion of the “metaverse” might seem a bit nebulous to most of us right now, this blending of the virtual and real worlds is going to seem normal to future generations. As the Guardian points out, “Gen Z-types born after 1995, and the kids currently in elementary school – the metaverse will be commonplace. They’ll be used to living in both a virtual and actual world.”
And that’s why brands are rushing to seize opportunities now – leading to a surge in prices. The World Economic Forum reports, “Prices have risen by as much as 500% since Facebook changed the name of its holding company to Meta in October 2021, with people paying millions of dollars to buy plots of pixellated land in this virtual world, even though it doesn’t fully exist yet.”
The switch to “friend-shoring”
Supply chains were already reeling from the impact of the pandemic, with Far Eastern ports particularly badly hit and lockdowns in China impacting production. Now, the war in Ukraine is putting further pressure on global supply chains.
In response, some companies are seeking to build resilience in their supply chains through diversification. Others are shortening supply chains and switching back to more local production. Now, we hear that the “right shoring” equation includes a new consideration: how aligned are the government’s values in the country of production? This “friend-shoring” goes beyond existing quality controls around modern slavery and environmental protections to look at attitudes to democracy and human rights more generally.
If it means shorter supply chains in the near-term, this has to be a good thing. Reduced transportation emissions are necessary if the world is going to meet its global climate targets. Plus, local production offers opportunities for new innovation, especially around digital printing and “batch size one”.
How can the digiio team help your brand to respond to these digital opportunities?
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