Last year, Absolut Vodka entered the metaverse, expanding its presence at Coachella into the digital realm. This year, despite questions about whether the metaverse is a passing fad or here to stay, the brand decided to double down on its investment in the space.
PRNEWS caught up with Matt Foley, VP of Marketing for Absolut, to talk about the brand’s experience in the space and its plans for the future.
PRNEWS: Many brands are shying away from the metaverse. What are Absolut’s overall plans in this space?
Matt Foley: We know there are mixed feelings on the metaverse among marketers, depending on the intended output, but we see value in the space as another way to bring people together for an inclusive experience.
While it’s still relatively new to the general public and we’re experimenting like everyone else, we’ve found positive reactions from our consumers in Absolut.Land, experiencing the exciting tech features and creative builds that make it true to the brand.
Since we invested in our parcel of land, you can anticipate Absolut to continue mixing people together around different cultural moments.
PRNEWS: What are Absolut’s objectives for being a first mover in the space?
Foley: When we first entered the metaverse in 2022, it was on the heels of the pandemic and ahead of the first Coachella after a two-year hiatus. The metaverse was new and it offered the opportunity to extend the festival experience. Our objective was rooted in curiosity of the Web3 world and the allure that we could extend our message in a unique way.
PRNEWS: How does the brand’s foray into the metaverse fit into the brand’s overall marketing strategy?
Foley: Absolut is a brand that believes in enabling people to freely mix together. Our goal was to find the right balance between delivering a tech-forward experience and ensuring human connection still had a role...Coachella is a tentpole moment for the brand and activating in the metaverse allows us to maximize the investment and delivers unique ways to bring to life our brand ethos of ‘Born to Mix.’
PRNEWS: What have you found works well in this space? And what doesn’t work?
Foley: A key driver for our success was acknowledging that this was a world we didn’t know intimately. We enlisted support from the Web3 community to create Absolut.Land so we could do it right and authentically. The coders, developers, influencers and programmers we partnered with helped us ensure we were including engagement elements that consumers would enjoy.
We strived to make the build accessible to new metaverse users while still offering unique aspects for return users. We saw that gamification elements within the space, such as the collectible game in 2022, were big needle movers for success and engagement.
We found that we had a lot of the right ingredients in 2022, so we kept some elements that performed well and mixed in fresh engagement moments to add new excitement for consumers. For example, the Anti-Gravity Dance Floor had more than 66,000 visits during the activation in 2022 and the vending machines, which had nearly 4,000 clicks, both of those touch points returned for 2023. This year, the Wild Berri Dance Battle was another aspect that was gamified and was a strong engagement driver.
PRNEWS: How does Absolut measure success in the metaverse?
Foley: Metrics are naturally part of any measurement process. We track things like overall visitors, visits to key areas like the dance floor, clicks for the vending machine and even sales. In 2022, more than 400 e-commerce orders were placed from Absolut.Land.
But we don’t limit ourselves to just the numbers. We also take into account anecdotal feedback from consumers that engage, and we look at overall reach. In 2022, we had visitors from 112 countries, all 50 states and 534 U.S. cities. We think it’s very powerful to be the conduit that brings together people from all over the world to have a shared experience, which would not be possible without the metaverse.