Agency rebrand points at post-advertising metaverse

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David Jones, CEO of The Brandtech Group, formerly known as You & Mr Jones,  believes we are heading into a ‘post-advertising world’. The recent rebranding of the marketing and technology group founded by Jones is designed to reinforce its ‘tech-forward’ approaches to marketing and position it for developments in the metaverse.

  • In a blog post published the day of the Brandtech name change, Jones said he believes the metaverse will be ‘the biggest and most exciting thing’ he has seen in his career so far. He drew parallels with the ‘arrival’ of the internet in the late nineties when he launched Australia’s first digital agency.
  • He acknowledges the record-breaking hype around NFTs and cryptocurrencies, but advises against confusing overhyped valuations with real growth in audience. He points to the dot-com boom and bust to illustrate:

You can see this same pattern playing out here. As a recent report on the metaverse said, “If 2022 is 1999, crypto is and the metaverse is the internet.

  • The Brandtech name reflects a belief in a post-advertising future where ads become less and less relevant for brands seeking to connect with people. Instead, technology will become integral to brand marketing and Jones points to the growth in streaming and social platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
  • Jones also highlights the mistakes made by adtech, describing the actions of the sector over the past five to 10 years as ‘hideous’. He says that, in the future, for consumers to share data, brands will need to add value to people’s lives.
  • For this to happen brands will need to focus on purpose and Jones believes the development of the metaverse will ‘turbocharge’ the shift from profit to purpose.

They increasingly won’t buy your products if you don’t have a purpose beyond profit and they won’t work for you either.

Changing ecosystem

Jones’ vision of the metaverse is different from that of Facebook and Microsoft; rather than allowing people to lose themselves in a virtual world, he sees it as a place where technology assists people in the real world.

  • He believes the metaverse will have the type of influence mobile phones have had. But focuses on the ecosystem built to support the hardware. The iPhone was not in itself a game changer – but the utility that came from the surrounding ecosystem, from booking flights, to social media and ecommerce.
  • Jones believes the metaverse will create that same type of ecosystem, believing the convergence of the real and virtual worlds will create the next $2 trillion or $3 trillion companies:

I predict that one of the world’s biggest luxury brands 10 years from now will only exist virtually. And will be obsessively focused on doing good in the world.

Not everyone agrees that the metaverse is the next big thing for marketing. Speaking to the Drum, Brady Donnelly, MD at agency Sela, says it feels like a ‘knee-jerk response’ Facebook’s October announcement.

More importantly, Donnelly says, it seems wrong to see the metaverse as distinct from all other developments in digital marketing.

It seems to wrongly suggest that the metaverse is a standalone milestone and not just one stop on the same continuum as all other significant digital marketing evolutions over the past thirty years.

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