Super Bowl in the Metaverse: 5 Marketing Strategies for Brands

The countdown is on for Super Bowl LVI. Marketers without extra large budgets are finding new opportunities to gain traction at a fraction of the cost by latching on to one of the buzziest marketing strategies of 2022 — the metaverse.

As the gateway to all things digital, the metaverse and NFTs present an immediate opportunity for brands that are willing to get creative. With experiences and expectations for what surrounds Super Bowl LVI at an all-time high, brands are developing strategies with mixed-reality touches and avatar-like characters. 

Get your creative juices flowing by taking a look at five examples of metaverse-inspired Super Bowl campaigns coming from brands in 2022.

1. Establishing Virtual Venues

You can’t eat and drink in the metaverse—yet—but Miller Lite’s virtual bar is designed to bring all the other aspects of a traditional tavern into consumers’ homes right in time for Super Bowl LVI. Patrons who visit Miller Lite’s virtual bar can watch the company’s commercial adjacent to the big game and participate in a drawing to win cash to stock up on Miller Lite products for their Super Bowl watch parties.

The creative strategy, developed with the metaverse company Decentraland, is designed to give Miller Lite a way around Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Super Bowl alcohol marketing exclusivity deal, which began in 2010 and still limits other beer brands from advertising during the Super Bowl game itself.

2. Selling Digital Collectibles

Charitable donations are always a good way to get press, but Animal Planet is putting its own modern spin on the time-tested strategy by selling Puppy Bowl NFTs to benefit Ariana Grande’s animal rescue charity. Thousands of “Puppy Bowl Pass” NFTs will be available leading up to, and during, the Puppy Bowl on February 13th. The NFTs will be hosted by Chronicle, an NFT studio and marketplace. Animal Planet’s NFT strategy is designed to generate awareness of its annual Puppy Bowl event by tapping into one of the most ubiquitous pop culture phenomena of the year. 

3. Retailing Virtual Products for Digital Avatars

Football fans will splurge on limited-edition Super Bowl merchandise when they watch the game in person, and now they’re getting the opportunity to spend big on virtual Super Bowl merchandise even when they watch from home. The NFL is partnering with Meta to release virtual shirts that represent the AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals and NFC champion Los Angeles Rams, along with a shirt with the Super Bowl LVI logo across its front. The virtual shirts are meant to be worn by digital avatars on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and within Meta’s Oculus Quest virtual reality platforms. The strategy opens up an entirely new revenue opportunity for the NFL, as well as other professional sports leagues, which could soon be able to sell branded merchandise to people streaming games in VR through Oculus Quest headsets.

4. Creating Immersive Experiences

Nothing brings to mind the Super Bowl like spicy wings. In an effort to drive engagement ahead of this year’s big event, Frank’s Hot Sauce released its own “edible NFT,” along with a joke currency dubbed Bonecoin. In the month leading up to the big game, fans have been encouraged to scan images of chicken wing bones to earn Bonecoin at Bonecoin.com. The fan who accumulates the most currency wins the Frank’s Redhot NFT and also its edible replica, an eNFT. The Super Bowl campaign is designed to tap into a buzzworthy trend and introduce interactive advertising elements around a big, live event.

5. Building Interactive Spaces for Fans

Event-based VR will someday help marketers attract audiences for new forms of blended entertainment. While we wait for the metaverse to achieve widespread adoption, brands are already taking inspiration and integrating VR technology into mainstream Super Bowl campaigns. Consider Avocados From Mexico (AFM), the No. 1 selling avocado brand in the U.S. AFM’s Super Bowl strategy couples a traditional TV spot with a 3D walk-through of a “virtual home” online—dubbed AFM’s House of Goodness. Visitors can participate in unique experiences, like taking a virtual selfie with Drew Brees, discovering new guacamole recipes, and purchasing avocados directly from home. All of these experiences are immersive, interactive, and they could easily be adapted for the metaverse in the coming years.

​​Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

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