P&G Targets Metaverse in Search for Future Customers
(Bloomberg) -- Personal-care giant Procter & Gamble Co. is the latest big U.S. brand to expand its presence in the metaverse in a bid to attract new customers.
The maker of Tide detergent and Pampers diapers is offering attendees at CES a taste of its strategy, which includes a digital platform called BeautySPHERE that features virtual tours of the U.K.’s Kew Gardens. P&G aims to teach consumers about the plants used in some Herbal Essences products. In the real world, the company is pledging to plant a tree in the Mexican state of Veracruz, which is rich in biodiversity but experiencing rapid deforestation, for each participant that completes the journey.
P&G has also re-imagined a popular ad campaign from the late 1970s and early 1980s into a video game called “Attack of the Cavity Creeps” that seeks to teach children better oral care habits. These initiatives join the company’s previous metaverse efforts that include Gillette Venus avatar designs in Nintendo’s Animal Crossing video game and LifeLab, a platform for discovering the company’s products.
The payoff, according to Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard, is the opportunity to build awareness of P&G’s offerings with a new generation of consumers that use the platforms.
“More of our work is going to be having these virtual experiences that allow consumers to be able to engage with the brands,” Pritchard said in an interview.
Virtual universes blend technologies such as video-conferencing and live-streaming, and they’re changing how people gather, mingle and spend money. P&G’s forays are part of a greater migration by big companies into the space.
Joining the metaverse comes in addition to the traditional method of acquiring customers: advertising on TV, the web and streaming services. It also requires more commitment from participants, so P&G is working on how it can capture and hold consumers’ attention in the medium. P&G certainly isn’t abandoning its regular advertising -- but Pritchard said the company is intrigued by what it’s seeing so far.
“It’s still pretty early days, so we’ll know more next year than we know today,” Pritchard said. “But what you find is that when consumers do engage with these things, they actually engage for a surprisingly long time.”
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.