Metaverse Deep Dive: Johnny Ward, Damage

Damage’s expertise is helping brands navigate the new virtual frontier of gaming, esports & streaming.

Damage
Los Angeles , Vereinigte Staaten von Amerika
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With so many forms of digital media, and new ones always on the horizon, how do you determine which way of pushing content is the most viable?

Damage’s expertise is helping brands navigate the new virtual frontier of gaming, esports & streaming. As an active participant and stalwart of gaming, our team members are constantly monitoring and experimenting with new ways to connect and engage with audiences. The beauty is that for us, it’s not just work, it’s sincerely our passion. We believe the best work gets the audience involved. As active community members, our team is able to identify, design and produce brand identities, campaigns and moments that deliver against predetermined KPIs. And each proposal is structured specifically to fit both the opportunity and the client.

How does the boundless framework of the metaverse make it appealing for brands and marketers to get involved in this new form of media?

Right now, we don’t have a metaverse... yet. But all around us, there has been a sea change towards this new landscape for creators, gamers, streamers, fans, patrons, platforms, and especially brands. Our goal is to help our clients explore how their brand can contribute to and patronage this budding wired world. 
And by activating simultaneously via multiple vehicles across virtual, digital, and physical media, 
we can deliver higher reach, traffic and most importantly, sentiment.

What plans do your agency have to expand its reach into the metaverse?

For the last few years, Damage has been exploring some of the leading metaverse trends and business opportunities. We were born in Esports. We’ve found success through Live ecommerce, already a multi-billion dollar trend in Asia. We worked hand in hand with partners, talent and producers to bring Seto Kaiba to life on Twitch. We made Tiktoks with TPain. Our team is built to both understand and engage various communities across this new wired world. And as a gamer agency, our number one goal is always putting points on the board.

In what ways can the increase in virtual presence lead to more successful campaigns and what would a virtual space allow you to do that traditional media hasn’t? 

Activations in the metaverse aren’t hindered by physical production constraints, or location. It’s about deeper creativity and richer experiences for consumers by brands, for virtually anybody. Our work is specifically designed to offer a creative experience that gets the audience involved, amplifying reach, traffic, and conversion while maintaining higher positive sentiment. Already millions of music fans are able to attend live virtual gaming worlds and experience concerts with friends from the comfort of their own homes. Shared virtual experiences, live from anywhere to anywhere, really does sound like the future doesn’t it?

How do you anticipate the metaverse shaping new forms of storytelling in advertising?

Storytelling in the new wired world of the metaverse has the potential to weave together social media, live streaming, video games, music, and any IP on the planet. But the truth is, we will see some efforts not succeed. Every effort to expand into the metaverse needs to start with an objective. As logo-slaps become increasingly common, we need to look for the right way to connect with each audience seamlessly on their favorite platforms and devices, whether it’s a console, PC, VR headset, or a phone.  

Given the interactive nature of these virtual spaces, how do you see this affecting the way consumers engage with advertisements?

Consumers are changing from consumers to creators, using the tools given to them by brands and game developers to shape their own realities.  When done right, these virtual spaces offer higher engagement and conversion. The question now becomes less about the performance of single ad units - as we’ve been focused on for the last decade with targeted ads - the focus is now on the overall impact each piece of work contributes to. 
Updates on Twitter. Promos on Tiktok. Live Streams on Twitch. Giveaways on Reddit. 
Every channel becomes an avenue for a richer creative experience and ultimately brand sentiment.