Dentsu designs virtual brand characters for metaverse and beyond – Marketing Dive

Dentsu Creative’s latest offering seeks to provide brands with a way to present themselves in emerging digital channels like gaming, the metaverse and virtual influencer marketing. The virtual identities designed by Dentsu VI are intended to help brands engage as emotively and personally as they can.
“The lines between the online and offline world are increasingly blurred, and we’re at the tipping point to see the potential of the Metaverse fully realized,” said Fred Levron, global chief creative officer at Dentsu International, in a statement. The executive cited data that the livestreaming market is expected to hit $274 billion by 2027, representing massive scope for brands. 
Press materials called out several use-cases for virtual identities, including as product experts and customer experiences representatives in physical stores, on e-commerce platforms or at virtual concerts. They also potentially support long-term brand equity and intellectual property initiatives that could unlock fresh revenue streams, with greater scale and longevity than human ambassadors.
To showcase Dentsu VI, the agency launched its own virtual identity, Rumi, that brands can use now as virtual talent. She has already appeared at various trade events as a speaker and evangelist for learning and innovation around virtual experiences and the metaverse.
The launch comes amid renewed interest in virtual brand representatives. Pacsun this month teamed with Miquela, a top CGI influencer, to support its back-to-school and holiday programs. Similarly, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes last week partnered with Twitch’s Brand Partnership Studio to transform brand mascot Tony the Tiger into an interactive “VTuber” on the platform. This type of virtual influencer or mascot allows for greater control and brand safety on emerging digital platforms where marketing standards are less defined.
Dentsu VI has been in development since early 2021 by CGI specialists on its Singapore team, which has experience using advanced motion-capture tech to drive real-time performance around film, gaming and sports science. The group also has produced major live events for esports, another growing area of interest and investment from brands.
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Topics covered: social media, mobile, advertising, marketing tech, content marketing, and more.
This year so far has brought an unusual number of change-ups in how advertisers support the league. Several factors lay behind the shift.
Photo Illustration: Shaun Lucas/Industry Dive; Getty Images 
As the most enduring consumer brand rivalry enters a new phase in the metaverse, tall orders around sustainability may demand cooperation over competition.
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