mr. Clean on board washes masses to the Metaverse

As the world debates what exactly the metaverse will and should be, two multinational corporations have made a game of cleaning it up as they determine their place on the internet of the future.

Retail giant Carrefour and consumer products giant Procter & GamblePG
(P&G) invited wannabe metazens to a virtual party at Mr. Clean (M. Propre in French). During the three-day experiment, users logged into P&G’s LifeLab, where they could help the bald mascot clean up different parts of his house while researching various P&G products. The target? Clean as much as possible in two minutes. Users then also entered a giveaway for a chance to win a €40 voucher for use on the companies’ websites.

The house looks spotless upon entering, but each room has a special job to do: surf the kitchen tables on a sponge and clean up food splatters or dance while sweeping the bedroom floor.

While metaverse retail initiatives have largely come from the luxury and fashion industries, with Gucci, Prada and NikeFROM
took the lead, last week’s more prosaic pairing showed that the technology can be used for immersive marketing to audiences beyond crypto fanatics and the ultra-wealthy.

“We think that the metaverse is not just for a few people or for luxury brands, but that it can penetrate our daily lives and be accessible to everyone,” said Denise Rodrigues-Vielliard, press manager at Carrefour.

The three-day initiative gamified the metaverse. Instead of just participating in a virtual world to learn about the brands, users had a task, a time limit, and a price. Barriers to entry were low, allowing for widespread adoption. Users just had to click on a link and create an account, choose an avatar and click “go”. No headsets or other exotic gear needed.

More than an exploration of digital brand identity, the metaverse “offers a new way to engage with a new generation of customers [that are] accustomed to gaming, digital and social interactions and to gamified experience – a generation born with it,” adds Rodrigues-Vielliard.

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Metaverse projects battle blockchain games for most successful forays into blockchain technologies, says Pedro Herrera, head of research at DappRadar, especially when it comes to established brands adapting blockchain technology. In the second quarter of this year, metaverse projects beat blockchain games in sales volume, taking 13% of NFT market share, compared to 6% of blockchain games.

Both companies saw the Mr. Clean initiative as a learning opportunity rather than a sales boost, focusing on user feedback. The average usage time in Mr. Clean was 13 minutes, says Rodrigues-Vielliard.

“This platform allows us to reach a larger, global audience without the barriers of time and location,” said a P&G spokesperson about the company’s virtual LifeLab environment. Users spend an average of 25 minutes on the platform, as long as an episode of a TV show is on NetflixNFLX

This isn’t both companies’ first foray into immersive technology. Earlier this year, Carrefour bought a plot of land in Sandbox, the third largest metaverse company by market capitalization, where it launched its first metaverse supermarket, Supermarket NFBee, where users could learn more about the impact of bees on their food sources. The hypermarket retailer then offered the NFBee NFT collection, a series of 15 bees and fruits pollinated by bees. The NFTs cost only five sands (Sandbox’s token worth about $15 at the time of sale), with all profits generated going to the Fondation de France BeeFund, which is committed to protecting the country’s bees.

P&G’s LifeLab has been at the forefront of the company’s metaverse initiatives, bringing the consumer product manufacturer’s brands together under one virtual roof. This year it released BeautySphere, another virtual world that allows users to explore P&G’s cosmetics offering.

Indeed, Deloitte lists product placement and immersive marketing as one of the top priorities for brands looking to join the metaverse. Carrefour and P&G combined both – Mr. Clean gave the initiative a clear identity with the aim of driving traffic to both companies’ sites.

“This platform allows us to reach a wider, global audience without the barriers of time and location,” said a LifeLab P&G spokesperson. Rodrigues-Vielliard of Carrefour cited this as one of the reasons for the partnership with P&G. DecentrallandMANA
and the Sandbox, two of the most popular metaverse companies, require longer signup processes. Even Roblox, an online gaming platform known for its fashion partnerships, is said to have created an additional barrier: language. Its website does not offer the possibility to display the platform in French.

“It’s too early to predict whether the metaverse is suitable for retail or not,” Herrera added. But “if the company has a purpose, use case and utility and is easily accessible, it has a future.”

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