Heineken refreshes parts other beers can’t reach with first metaverse brew
Heineken has become the latest brand to dip its toes in immersive waters, brewing its first beer for the 3D virtual world platform Decentraland.
The Dutch beer company is having fun with the concept, claiming in its press statement that Heineken Silver is brewed ‘with pixels not yeast’ – but the aim is squarely on customer engagement reaching out to a new generation of consumers on a new platform.
Heineken Silver, the brewer claims, is made from “binary coded hops” grown by “NPC (non-player character) farmers.”
It adds that the virtual brewing process is overseen by dedicated virtual brewing assistants – digitised stand-ins for its real-life star brewers.
The beer was launched at Heineken’s virtual brewery in Decentraland at a launch party where guests were able to learn about how the beer is made in seconds, while enjoying pixelated lobster and caviar and rubbing shoulders with Heineken ambassadors, including Thierry Henry.
Heineken’s global head of brand Bram Westenbrink conceded that the metaverse is not the best place to taste a new beer – something the Silver campaign wants to have fun with.
“We know that the metaverse brings people together in a light-hearted and immersive way that is exciting – but it’s just not the best place to taste a new beer,” he said.
“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,” he added.
Decentraland, the host of Heineken’s virtual beer campaign, was launched in 2017 but the growing popularity of NFTs has seen interest spike – with major brands such as Coca-Cola testing out metaverse concepts on the platform.
The platform comprises of a Minecraft-style 3D land that enables users to roam a vast map, exploring, interacting and transacting with each other. They can also create content which they can later monetise.
The platform runs on the Ethereum blockchain, whose coin, Ether, is the second most popular cryptocurrency on the market.
The virtual world uses this blockchain to store information and maintain ownership records – although Decentraland does offer its own tokens, MANA, which is currently driving NFT transactions on the platform.
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