Starcom launches podcast series exploring the metaverse for brands

starcom metaverse series

Publicis Media’s human experience agency Starcom has launched a new report titled Future Tensions in the Metaverse with five podcast episodes exploring what the Metaverse is, how it might impact brands and why it is of interest to the media industry.

Starcom Metaverse report

The report aims to provide clarity about the Metaverse, understand the tensions that will exist for consumers in these new spaces, as well as what roles and responsibilities will be needed by our industry and by advertisers as the metaverse evolves into our everyday lives.

Using forum discussions, desk research via reports and research from institutions, analysis platforms for social media and published content, and interviews with various industry experts, Starcom’s research has pointed to four important tensions in how metaverse virtual realities could change the human experience:

  1. Social vs Solo: how the metaverse smashes 1st and 3rd spaces together
  2. Truth vs Design: how the metaverse can tell you anything you want to hear
  3. Access vs Ownership: how in metaverse spaces, actions as well as objects can be owned
  4. Protection vs Freedom: how the metaverse is organic but needs regulation.

As a way of bringing this report to life, Starcom has launched five 30-minute podcast episodes to delve into each of these themes in more detail. 

The first episode sees Starcom Insights Director Heather Dansie and Publicis Media’s Insights Director, Scott Thompson, discuss first and foremost what the metaverse is and why it’s of interest to the media industry.

The second episode has Heather interview Jay Owens, researcher and writer in tech and design, and Sophie Barr, Business Director at Starcom who outline the social vs solo implications of the metaverse and how it will impact the way people connect and interact with each other.

The third episode sees Alison Goldsworthy, Founder and CEO of The Depolarization Project and Alex Le, EVP of Strategy & Special Projects at Reddit discussing truth vs design, and how curated and designed metaverse spaces might impact core human values such as truth, value, belonging and status.

The fourth episode on access vs ownership, hears from Lindsay Rowntree, Head of Operations at ExchangeWire and Roxana Larizadeh, Commerce Lead at Starcom discussing what opportunities and dilemmas arise when people start to engage, research and shop in metaverse spaces, and how brands can navigate this.

The final episode sees Heather interview Jasdeep Mondae, Director of Demand Generation, Performics @ Starcom and James Chandler, Chief Marketing Officer at the IAB, about ethics in the metaverse and what new considerations and responsibilities will emerge for advertisers and media distributors there.

Heather Dansie, Insight Director at Starcom, said: “At Starcom, our approach to studying the future is to look at culture through the lens of tensions. 

“We are not just looking at what is going to be different, novel and exciting, but equally any new tensions set to arise from macro, societal changes. 

“Only by identifying new conflicting needs can we start to anticipate new behaviours and define new solutions. 

“Where do people simultaneously want oppositional things? We may want indulgence but also frugality. We may value our independence, but we need company. How can brands and media then resolve these conflicting needs?

“Our bespoke research in 2017 found a disconnect between executive and consumer expectations. So our aim is to identify the tensions in what people want, then uncover the marketing dilemmas advertisers are faced with. 

“This will help us find the most innovative, relevant and meaningful solutions.”

Nadine Young, CEO at Starcom, said: Our online habits from the pandemic will have changed us and society forever. 

“Brands understand that the way we consume, interact and what we value will never be the same again. 

“The term ‘metaverse’ is currently the shiny new word that seems to encapsulate current excitement of the new stage of the online experience. 

“So, in recognition of these changing behaviours, we set out to understand what new tensions may arise from these innovations and prepare for this new space. 

“We aim to show how brands will need to adapt the way they communicate to connect in the right ways, particularly through media execution and advertising.”