On Tuesday, Neutrogena, Ulta Beauty, Lush and Lottie London were announced among the first brands set to participate in Metaverse Beauty Week. The event will take place across Decentraland, Roblox and Spatial from June 12-16. It’s being marketed with the tagline “Reality Gets a Makeover.”
The brands and retailers taking part in the event want to both engage their existing fans by bringing them into a digital space and connect with social gaming fans already active in web3 environments. For their activations, the brands will reimagine their products as AR filters, digital wearables and gamified tools.
For some of the brands, like Neutrogena, this will be their first entry into a virtual world. Neutrogena’s parent company, Johnson & Johnson, filed trademark applications for digital goods in March 2022. For others, like Lottie London and Lush, MBW presents an opportunity to test their web3 initiatives in a larger environment.
Ethical cosmetics company Lush famously left Instagram and Facebook in November 2021, after deeming the spaces “not good places for the brand to be.” Along with launching a metaverse activation during MBW, its efforts to build out its community include managing a dedicated Discord. It also has 81,000 fans on an existing community-led Lush subreddit that places it in the top 5% of Reddit communities. Lush executives are confident that the brand’s audience is keen to engage more with the brand via web3. “For us, [taking part in MBW] is about the community. For engaging in the metaverse, [we want] to reward them with something special IRL that they can’t get in the shop,” said Annabelle Baker, global brand director at Lush. The exact details of Lush’s planned rewards for MBW visitors are still under wraps.
Lush launched its first metaverse space, Lush House, in Decentraland in March. That mirrored and coincided with an IRL Lush House, which popped up during SXSW in Austin. The brand saw 1,000 visitors to Lush House in Decentraland from March 11-30.
“Our event for MBW is going to be more sensory, in terms of color. We’re going to lean into one of our best-selling products and include our own label’s music,” said Baker. The brand will also incorporate aspects of synaesthesia from its Lush Spa. In addition, it will unveil the metaverse’s biggest bath bomb, which will melt in front of users. Lush will reveal new experiences each day in a designated Decentraland Wellness zone.
For Lottie London, MBW will be the brand’s third foray into the metaverse. It launched two Decentraland activations last year in May — one around prom season, and the other in collaboration with celebrity nail artist Chaun Legend. Each of the experiences attracted 2,600 visits, and offered users proof of attendance protocols (POAP’s) and wearables. For MBW, the brand is introducing gamified vending machines in Spatial, where customers can try out product-inspired skins. The brand is also hosting a mini-game in Roblox, where users will be timed as they collect Lottie London’s TikTok bestsellers. Points accumulated during the game will convert to real-life brand product prizes.
“All of our branded POAP’s and wearables from our 2022 activations got snatched really quickly, so we ended up extending the activities and reproducing a bigger amount,” said Nora Zukauskaite, global brand director of Brand Agency London, parent company to Ciaté, Lottie London and Skin Proud brands. “Now, we’re trying to do different activations, and bring our audience to new spaces and get them familiarized. We’re also tapping into the audience that is already there — we’re working to understand their needs so that the experiences we deliver are not intrusive, but complementary to what they do.” The brand will be promoting its MBW activation on social media ahead of the event.
“At the moment, these activations are not direct revenue contributors, but they’re great contributors to engaging and telling the bigger story of your brand,” said Zakauskaite.
“MBW will be a live, public-facing pilot, from which we will be sharing all results,” said Bridey-Rae Lipscombe, the event’s co-organizer and CEO of the Cult London creative agency. “We wanted to have a true mix of mass and indy brands, in order to demonstrate the possibilities of the metaverse to all curious beauty marketers, no matter their budget or stage of growth.”