80% of people feel more included in the metaverse than in real life

Metaverse discussions about creating virtual worlds consume the plans of many fashion, automotive and retail brands. However, the human side of consumer activities in the metaverse have not been a significant part of the dialogue. A global study by Momentum Worldwide, metaverse partners to the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As), found that 80% of people feel more included in the metaverse than in real life. Consumers are now looking to the metaverse to fill three core aspects of life—inspiration, individuality and inclusion. 

80% of people feel more included in the metaverse than in real life

More than $120 billion* has been invested in building out metaverse technology and infrastructure in 2022 to take advantage of the nearly three-quarters of consumers worldwide (71%) who promise to focus more on their mental wellbeing and are flocking to the metaverse to seek inspiration, be themselves, and connect with others more positively and inclusively. Exponential growth and adoption of marketing technologies led to the metaverse, but the impact these technologies have on people must be a key consideration for a brand's metaverse strategy. 

Consumers have joined virtual platforms to have fun, be challenged, find inspiration and connect with others. Global research has shown that: 

· 80% of consumers find the metaverse to be a much more inclusive place 
· 63% had no idea they had been in the metaverse all this time
· 85% like that they can change their appearance as they desire
· 79% say their friends within the space accept them for who they are rather than what they look like 

Jason Alan Snyder, global chief technology officer, Momentum Worldwide, comments, "The metaverse is a combinatorial innovation of complex technologies. Until recently, the combined technologies that form metaverse experiences were costly to deploy and consume and, therefore, not practical. The practice of combining these technologies has matured, deployment costs are reduced and metaverse experiences are broadly available, so consumer adoption is saturating. Brands are adopting the metaverse at scale too. Now we are learning how people behave and feel in the metaverse as we remove the barriers to entry. One particularly interesting area is the relationship between identity and personality."

"Metaverse identity is an extension of our many identities in the real world. We are accustomed to constructing pseudo-identities for ourselves at work, in our personal lives with friends and family, and on social media. Brands are learning that identity and personality are two different things and not always interlinked. Understanding what consumers want from the metaverse, their behaviours and motivations to fulfil happiness, find escapism and seek inclusion are vital for guiding how brands and businesses should behave. It's imperative that brands understand when they can or should violate expectations about identity and personality. The new opportunity is to help brands navigate the friction between identity and personality in the metaverse."

Helen Mumford Sole, well-known happiness coach and thought leader in digital transformation, says, "Whilst we are not even close to fully understanding the impact of the metaverse, this research is important because it shows the positive potential of the technology. When many people are struggling with their happiness, it seems that they are finding new ways of experiencing belonging and community in the metaverse. In the analogue world, these are significant contributors to happiness."

Chick Foxgrover, 4A's, EVP, creative technology & innovation, says, "At the 4A's, we've been following the industry's interest and excitement in the metaverse—this dramatic extension of human experience and interaction. We're thrilled to support Momentum's ground-breaking research into people's attitudes and expectations of the metaverse. Now we have a deeper sense of how and when people will embrace these rapidly changing new worlds. This work will become essential data for every brand and creative business hoping to design, build and participate meaningfully in the metaverse."

Elena Klau, global chief strategy & analytics officer at Momentum Worldwide, adds, "The metaverse has been a word that has been catapulted into focus, but it means different things to different people. Only by understanding what people want from the space and how they are using it can we really know how best to create meaningful, long-term experiences that meet people's desires for inspiration, individuality and inclusion. The potential is vast."

The global research was conducted using quantitative and qualitative methods of 4,500 participants from seven countries: Canada, Japan, MENA, Mexico, Spain, the UK and the US. 

* https://www.mckinsey.com/about-us/new-at-mckinsey-blog/meet-the-metaverse-creating-real-value-in-a-virtual-world

SOURCE Momentum Worldwide
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