Netflix has joined the Decentraland metaverse by launching a replica of a maze found in its recent film, “The Gray Man” starring Ryan Gosling. The aim is to complete the maze as quickly as possible using one’s knowledge of the film to win digital wearables featured in the movie.
The media giant’s announcement indicates a wider trend in which brands enter the metaverse hoping to find new avenues to engage with customers and create new revenue streams. Netflix will likely monitor the success of this initiative in hopes that it can generate high levels of consumer engagement with future movies.
Other household names have also begun to establish their metaverse presence. JPMorgan and Fidelity bought virtual property in Decentraland while HSBC chose The Sandbox. Fashion brands like Forever 21 and Dolce & Gabbana were part of Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week 2022. A Pride parade also took place in Decentraland, with Mastercard as its key sponsor.
However, a major drawback of early metaverse adoption is that spaces often feel empty and non-interactive as users come and go intermittently. While major companies may feel pressure to jump into the metaverse hype, doing so without sufficient consideration for a wider digital strategy only provides a level of buzz marketing that fades quickly.
It arguably makes sense for companies to promote events or competitions at scheduled times to get users into these spaces at the same time, thereby maximizing the metaverse’s interactive potential.
This isn’t Netflix’s first blockchain initiative. In June, it launched an NFT-based game to coincide with the launch of the fourth season of the Stranger Things series.
Netflix may be on to something important with The Gray Man and its interactive maze strewn with digital prizes along the way. Regardless of the marketing and financial success it may or may not bring, another major brand embracing the metaverse highlights its potential to become mainstream.