Havas Group is staking its claim in the metaverse with a plot of virtual land in The Sandbox video game where it plans to inaugurate its first virtual Village. Using programming, exclusive content, connected animation and gamification, the Group will organise conferences, events, concerts, client presentations, product launches and more.

The new virtual Village will also include a recruitment service. Over the medium-term, the Group said this virtual and immersive dimension will significantly enrich the employee experience, including the onboarding process. The agency network is physically present in more than 100 countries with 68 Villages. 

This plot of virtual land follows the launch of Metaverse by Havas, a new consulting, creative and media offer launched last year, dedicated to brands that, in the metaverse, see opportunities to reinvent branding, storytelling, experience, audience targeting and revenue generation. The new Havas Village is scheduled to open to public access in The Sandbox at the end of April 2022.

Yannick Bolloré, chairman and CEO of Havas Group, said the metaverse provides a wealth of new media and new opportunities for the communications sector and for brands. Whether the aim is to create original and meaningful experiences, reach out to new target audiences, or simply reinforce an existing bond, he added that the possibilities are practically endless.

"Our new Havas Village will be a ‘meta-flagship’ for the Group, drawing all our engaged communities together in an enriched extension of our bricks-and-mortar Villages," he said.

Meanwhile, Havas Group's global chief HR officer, Céline Merle-Beral, said the Group is now banking on the metaverse because it is convinced of its potential in terms of accessing creative and innovative profiles, with highly sought-after skills ranging from tech to data. "In doing so, the Group is enhancing its employer brand, offering an enriched candidate experience, and breaking new ground in our campus management strategy. The metaverse is a fantastic opportunity for us to attract tomorrow’s top talent," she said.

Gartner recently predicted that by 2026, 25% of people will spend at least one hour a day in the metaverse for work, shopping, education, social and/or entertainment. Because no single vendor will own the metaverse, Gartner expects it to have a virtual economy enabled by digital currencies and NFTs.

The research firm defines a metaverse as a collective virtual shared space, created by the convergence of virtually enhanced physical and digital reality. It is persistent, providing enhanced immersive experiences, as well as device-independent and accessible through any type of device, from tablets to head-mounted displays.

Separately, Warner Music also tied up with The Sandbox for its first music-themed world, WMG LAND, in the gaming metaverse. WMG's chief digital officer and EVP of business development, Oana Ruxandra, said that as a first-mover, Warner Music has secured the equivalent of beachfront property in the metaverse.

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