Guess you're going home hungry.
A tech and science reporter at the US Sun — an arm of British tabloid the Sun — was invited to a beer tasting with gold and lobster on the menu. The only issue is that all the delectable edibles were served in the metaverse during a Heineken event to showcase the brand's first virtual beer.
The reporter published a lackluster report about the experience yesterday and even said they'd never want to visit the metaverse again.
"It wasn't so much the non-existent beer but the emotionless avatars of everyone in attendance that sucked the life out of the party," writer Charlotte Edwards said. "The monotonous dancers and an avatar of Thierry Henry kicking a beer can were more unsettling than entertaining."
A video posted to Heineken's YouTube channel showcased the beverage, aptly called virtual Heineken Silver. A short press conference featured Heineken leadership welcoming the admittedly sparse crowd as well as a DJ booth and backup dancers.
The effort, programming and coding that went into the event doesn't mean the beer company takes itself too seriously, however. Bram Westenbrink, global head of Heineken Brand, told the Sun the event was really an ironic joke.
"Our new virtual beer, Heineken Silver is an ironic joke. It is a self-aware idea that pokes fun at us and many other brands that are jumping into the metaverse with products that are best enjoyed in the real world," Westenbrink said. "Nothing beats the taste of a refreshing beer."
It's kind of nice to see a brand making fun of itself and of marketing stunts in general, but other brands certainly take the opportunity to advertise and sell in the metaverse more seriously. We might not be such a long way from neural networks that help marketers target ads using up entire electric grids.
Let's hope the impact of future metaverse marketing events are as starved of real meat as Heineken's was.
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