Creative Culture 3.0
It’s ironic that the “young heads” are the ones who are seeing real profit in the world of WEB3 and all things metaverse. “20 year old raises $10 million for NFT project” is a headline that no longer drops jaws. Most of us in the creative industry even know one or two people who serendipitously added a couple zeroes to their bank account just because they got in on something early.
On the flipside, those who are leading the largest WEB2 companies are still drawn to the household names and drawings of monkeys that boomed before the bubble burst when dabbling in 3.0. How is it that this generation of C-suite executives that grew up with cartoons, saw the internet explode into countless manifestations, and continue to watch technology advance at an unprecedented rate just don't get it?
This critically-shamed, cultural catastrophe- leagues worse in quality than any Gorillaz video or Cartoon Network program from the '90s -is a great jumping off point for seeking and sharing clarity.
The root of the flaw is parallel to the legend of the whack WEB3 party. When money or status is the focus of any initiative, it seems to result in a predominantly white male demographic pacing lifelessly around a something gated space.
Alternatively, when quality of curation is the focus- a bouncer-gated door, the perfect dinner reservation for 8, or a house party filled with familiar faces- the resulting experience and attitude changes accordingly. Comfortability exists in lieu of elitism when each attendee knows their, and one another's, intention in being there. WEB3 events are a relatively new phenomenon and we should know it impossible to separate the effects of pandemic from any recent cultural trend- the quality of NFT included. But still, the intention is lacking.
MATTE’s experiential expert, Kate Roberts, comments eloquently:
"The pandemic shifted accessibility to exclusive events and offerings, where the brands had to go to the consumer, and that consumer expectation has transcended the pandemic. Brands need to consider a 360 degree access strategy to their consumers. It’s not just about creating a highly engaging, tactile, interactive event, we must also make it accessible to those sitting at home in local and international markets. This is where we leverage digital integration best..."
"Hand in hand with geographical inclusivity, is how we creatively and effectively engage consumers and attendees both before and long after the event has wrapped. How do we leverage that one event to provide perpetual value to consumers and brands?
An example of this is instead of purchasing a ticket to an event, guests could purchase an NFT which gains them entry, but also has value that far exceeds that singular event. We might launch a new store, and integrate AR so that anyone at any time can activate an experience in and around that store. It’s not just about one event anymore, we’re creating an experiential ecosystem.”
- Kate Roberts
Of course, there are countless cases in which exclusivity is unequivocally the main appeal of a product or experiential offering. Practicality and longevity are a rational focus when driving value but, in most every case, a cool factor must be considered when plotting ROI. A singular focus on converting consumers and driving profit is almost certainly social suicide.
When Balenciaga releases a $1,790 Trash Bag, they are playing chess not checkers.
But events, as Kate mentions, are tangible; a marketing opportunity locked in space and time. And more and more, people seem to be looking to squeeze conversions or cash out of each of their activation. The IRL and URL blend, livestreams aside, is a great energy to achieve this. But still, exclusivity serves a purpose- if you are curating a crowd based on their intention in being there rather than a one-off investment that is.
With Berlin’s nightlife back open and bustling, we see this embodied- the lines at Berghain are longer than ever. This begs the question, is it what lies behind the door that drives people to wait hours or is it the opportunity to be hand selected for something seemingly special that creates the allure. In truth, it’s a preservation of culture- protecting decades of dances from anyone who might water down the industrial wonderland’s recurring guests.
Back to the Em and Snoop reference- this video is the content equivalent of a downright awful WEB3 party. The producers had a unique opportunity to create something of beauty or innovative value that would progress culture and instead they paid homage to a money-obsessed, failing market that apes inhabit. Where is the intention, passion, and purpose? Where is the art?
Two MATTE ORIGINATORS come to mind for improving upon future output big spenders, WINK WINK.
The money should power the product, service, or community- not define it. This is where the world of WEB3, NFTs, and the Metaverse keeps tripping over itself. Until the movement finds a stride built on good intention, only the young heads willing to innovate behind the scenes and create with purpose will succeed in this bear market– alongside the wary investors who know what to look for.
If you are an “old head” looking to drive innovation and sustain cultural longevity, listen to the youth and invest in the future. Adobe buying Figma for $20 Billion dollars? That’s a massive mountain for them to climb, but it makes sense. An investment in the future or dollars dropped to mend inherent flaws in mass-adopted brands and services are smart spends. Young entrepreneurs love Figma- the user journey puts the customer first so the acquisition added a brilliant layer of customer feedback and support to Adobe’s services whose interface often falls short.
Paying Eminem and Snoop presumably millions of dollars to “activate in the metaverse” through the guise of a poorly produced music video when the duo was last influential in the late 90s? Well, not so smart.
WEB3 didn’t pause when the bubble crashed. There will be bigger NFTs than Bored Apes in the years to come. It’s not the WEB3 scene that is tasteless, it’s those controlling the biggest operations experimenting in the space that lack taste. Consumers who don’t see WEB3’s value and continue to delay “mass adoption” aren’t in the wrong as in most cases, the creative isn’t all that cool to begin with.
MATTE Originator is hopeful: “My perception of the current state of digital art and the meta-verse is that we’re really at the start of a new chapter. I think eventually NFTs will simply be called art, and that the meta-verse will eventually stop being a buzzword.” The Gucci Vault is an example of a catalyst starting to make this sentiment a reality.
We propose three focus points for those interested in being a sound consumer of Creative Culture 3.0:
If you find yourself one of these unicorn projects, you'll witness an unparalleled B2C relationship. WEB3 has allowed for more impressive and impactful advancements in CRM, loyalty rewards, and engagement analysis. MATTE’s chief creative officer reminds us that in the context of art and business, “Surprise and delight makes the conversation two way.”
These points are sticky notes on our dashboard as we drive MATTE’s WEB3 initiatives forward.
Having jumped onboard
with JRNY CLUB...
...experimented with experiential Web3 integration [BLACK + NFT NYC]...
..and dabbled in almost every facet of entertainment Q1 through Q4...
...we are eager to reveal all that we've been building behind the scenes.
MORE TO COME SOON...
REPORT BY KIAN MCHUGH