Singapore – The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) has announced the launch of its immersive experience ‘Singapore Wonderland’ on the popular sandbox game Roblox. Said experience is part of STB’s efforts to reach new audiences in innovative ways, and allows users to experience Singapore as they accomplish various tasks in a virtual world.

The tourism board has teamed up with Publicis’ gaming specialist Publicis Play and Roblox developer Wonder Works Studio to develop the immersive experience over five months. 

Singapore Wanderland puts a playful spin on real-life attractions in three mini-games, where players earn magic orchids to transform a garden with STB’s destination mascot Merli. Gardens by the Bay, Mandai Wildlife Reserve and Marina Bay Sands are featured in the mini-games, alongside iconic attractions such as the Merlion Park, Singapore Flyer, Adventure Cove Waterpark and The Fullerton Hotel Singapore.

Moreover, the experience is based on popular entertainment formats on Roblox, and aims to drive affinity for Singapore by featuring elements inspired by the country’s destination icons. 

For example, users can express themselves through fun personalisation options. They can amass virtual collectibles to customise their avatars, such as a Supertree hat, a Singapore Flyer Backpack and a Lotus race car.

Kenneth Lim, assistant chief executive for marketing group at Singapore Tourism Board, said, “STB is constantly exploring creative ways and fresh channels to engage new audiences and connect with potential travellers. Singapore Wanderland demonstrates how we push the boundaries of innovation while inspiring travel to Singapore. We welcome visitors to explore Singapore virtually, and for tourism partners to collaborate with us in the virtual world to create impact in the real world.”

Tokyo, Japan – Creative agency TBWA\Hakuhodo has launched an internal game called ‘The Escape’ which takes the agency’s team building into the metaverse, where it combines the idea of an evacuation challenge game and disaster preparedness drills all within the virtual space.

The game begins with an earthquake at the office, and multiple players work together to evacuate the office while rescuing injured colleagues and handling a fire accident. Players can be immersed in a realistic 3D office space wearing VR headsets, crouching down to secure their own safety and performing firefighting activities to accomplish the required missions one after another.

“The Escape” was launched this month to coincide with the start of the 2023 fiscal year in Japan. Since the program can be conducted with a maximum of 8 people, it is expected that participating in the same content and communicating with each other will contribute to team building and raise awareness of disaster prevention in the office.

Kaname Aratame, creative director for Disruption Lab at TBWA\Hakuhodo, said that they focused on providing a realistic sense of crisis, which is impossible in conventional evacuation drills, such as the inconvenience caused by poor visibility and office furniture becoming obstacles in the event of a disaster.

“Building the office, destroying it, and then escaping from it – it is the experience that you can get only on Metaverse. It is not an exciting experience but by reproducing a full-scale realistic office with accurately putting disaster prevention goods as its physical location, players can naturally acquire disaster prevention training, which is often passed off as someone else’s problem,” Aratame said.

Singapore Changi Airport Group has made its debut to the metaverse by showcasing ‘ChangiVerse’, a metaverse experience created to help audiences connect with Singapore Changi Airport and explore its notable sights through the digital space.

Created with global professional services Accenture, ChangiVerse is the first virtual experience created by an airport that has debuted in Roblox, a global shared experience platform with millions of daily users.

Changi Airport’s debut in the metaverse is also an effort to reach a wider group of digital users and fans who are interested to explore more travel destinations differently.

Moreover, the said platform digitally represents Changi’s physical airport where visitors can access fun activities, social experiences, and interactable spaces such as bustling café or festive glamping tent and minigames whilst earning unique collectibles to give their digital avatar some extra flair.

Hung Jean, group senior vice president of Changi Airport Group’s enterprise digital ecosystem & business division, said that the creation of ChangiVerse aims to strengthen the idea that the airport is more than just a transport node, but it’s also a fun and magical destination to create memories.

“ChangiVerse is also about engaging our customers and serving them better through innovation and experimentation, in line with our belief of customers being at the heart of everything we do,” Jean added.

Wee Wei Ng, Southeast Asia market unit lead for Accenture, added, “We are privileged to collaborate with CAG to drive digital-physical convergence through ChangiVerse. By combining digital and physical worlds, ChangiVerse can simulate the airport environment, creating immersive experiences that elevate human interactivity to new dimensions, enhance customer experiences, and drive innovation.”

In 2022, Changi Airport Group has dealt with Accenture to extend its partnership for the enhancement of travellers’ experience when visiting Changi Airport in Singapore.

Bangkok, Thailand Thai media corporation T&B Media Global, in partnership with digital product company Two Bulls/DEPT®, has launched Translucia website, a metaverse project that combines interconnected multiverses to provide a space for users, creators, and businesses in accessing its products and services.

The platform is also built to promote prosperity and equity of access to all digital citizens, regardless of background whilst aiming to make Web3 and metaverse available to the public in an accessible and engaging way. 

The launching also marks the first milestone of the partnership between T&B Media and Two Bulls/DEPT® which was kickstarted last year. 

Jason O’Donnell, managing director at Two Bulls/DEPT® said that they are thrilled to be a part of the collaboration and development of Translucia Metaverse, whilst adding that it has the ability to change the way people engage.

James Kane, founder & CEO at Two Bulls/DEPT® added, “We’re proud to have found a partner in T&B Global that shares both our values and beliefs that with technology, we can create a better tomorrow. There’s immense opportunity to lead in the metaverse space right now, and we’re glad to see that Translucia is taking charge without losing sight of their values and the greater good for society.”

Other international partners for this project include Dogstudio/DEPT® for video creation, Accenture Singapore for copy and translations, Blackflame China for concept art, Sunovatech India for 3D assets, and Pellartech for Blockchain.

Tokyo, Japan Japan’s leading telecommunications firm KDDI, in partnership with marketing communications agency Geometry Ogilvy Japan, creates a virtually produced film to showcase aU (Alpha–U), its new web3 metaverse platform brand.

In partnership with its parent company WPP, the agency crafts a 30-second clip which showcases four artistic illustrations made by GenZ artist Mayu Yukishita which were used as building blocks connected using AI midjourney and stable diffusion to generate interpolated animation of the platform brand.

The clip was also associated with visual effects to assemble the scenes, mixed with music and narration using japanese language.

Yasushi Arikawa, executive creative director of Geometry Ogilvy Japan, said that this AI-generated creative expression was inevitable for KDDI’s new brand αU that offers services that focus on Web3 and the metaverse.

“This film, in which AI and a virtual singer tell a story about the concept of “Already, one world” that blends the real and virtual worlds, takes us beyond the “uncanny valley” to an emotionally charged story,” Arikawa added.

Geometry Ogilvy supports all the creative direction for the new Alpha U collaboration, including all branding, communication design, events, and press conferences.

The launching was also done in partnership with Sydney-based production house Alt.vfx, and their subsidiary global creative studio T&DA, along with design agency New Holland Creative and THINKR.

Singapore – With more consumers embracing the culture of the metaverse, latest consumer research by Yahoo reveals the expectations of consumers towards the phenomenon – from the aspects of virtual social communities, avatars, immersive entertainment, and creative freedom.

The survey covered 15,000 respondents from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, which are mostly Millennials and Gen Z that make up the ‘metaverse generation’.

The study found that Gen Z and Millennial demographic want distinctly different things from the metaverse whilst aiming to enhance and upgrade experiences. In addition, both generation sees different realities or digital avatars, which gives a cue for marketers that free creation is essential. 

Furthermore, the study found out that the said cohort of consumers focus on the appeal of digital assets, embracing virtual collectables such as artworks, profile pictures, gaming goods, limited-edition cards, videos, and music pieces. With these, the metaverse generation is also more receptive to brands that aren’t afraid to jump into the metaverse for their marketing or advertising campaigns and, therefore, pay more attention to a brand’s events and products.

Moreover, security is also a concern of these consumers where they try to find for a safer and more accessible space to protect their privacy and personal information in the metaverse.

Zoe Cocker, director of innovation and creative studio at Yahoo, says that despite the hype towards Metaverse, there is less knowledge about the expectations of consumers.

“This hyperlocal level of detail and insights goes beyond wider trends you are seeing in the press, making them actionable for brands wanting to build in this space and create real value for divergent audiences,” she added.

Singapore – Tencent’s cloud business Tencent Cloud has announced its commitment to support the development of the Web3 ecosystem, which aims to significantly contribute to the evolving growth of the global Web3 community.

They also unveiled the development roadmap of a full suite of blockchain API services and its brand new Tencent Cloud Metaverse-in-a-Box offerings, providing a strong technological foundation for Web3 builders while reinforcing its commitment to be the digital enabler for the Web3 industry. 

Tencent Cloud will also offer the Web3 builders cloud solution credits, marketing workshops, and publicity opportunities leveraging Tencent and Tencent Cloud’s ecosystem and resources through the Tencent Cloud Web3 Ecosystem Alliance. Selected Web3 builders will also be given priority on product integration and co-creation with Tencent and its partners. 

Poshu Yeung, senior vice president at Tencent Cloud International, said, “At Tencent Cloud, we see a future with Web3, a new iteration of the internet that ushers in the concept of ‘Immersive Convergence’ where the physical and digital economies meet and integrate.” 

He added, “With more businesses now keen to explore and adapt to an efficient, transparent digital future, we are ready to leverage our many years of technical experience in the fields of games, audio, and video to provide strong technical support for Web3, and work with industry partners to create a more immersive experience and nurture a better Web3 ecosystem.” 

Tencent Cloud also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ankr, a Web3 infrastructure provider to jointly develop a full suite of blockchain API services which provides a high-performing globally distributed and decentralised network of Remote Procedure Call (RPC) nodes, enabling builders to power their Web3 projects.

Meanwhile, Tommy Li, vice president at Tencent Cloud, shared, “Built on our leading technologies and enormous industry experience, we are proud to introduce Metaverse-in-a-Box with the goal to accelerate public sectors and enterprise clients’ journey to the metaverse.”

Hong Kong Aimed at transforming and modernising people’s access to art and the way they experience various forms of art and culture, financial services HSBC has launched its year-long ‘Open to Art’ initiative in Hong Kong.

The initiative will be done via turning Hong Kong into an ‘open canvas’, plus the launch of HSBC’s Metaverse Gallery, which is targeted at giving local emerging artists more exposure.

Kicking off the campaign, HSBC has transformed a 3D digital billboard in Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Pier into an immersive art experience. The art piece was done in collaboration with MSL Hong Kong and new media creator Henry Chu.

Meanwhile, the Metaverse Gallery is a new platform where local artists can showcase their work and transform traditional art into immersive digital experiences. Local artists showcasing their work include Flyingpig, Wong Ping, and Yeung Hok Tak.

“Stemming from our HSBC brand promise of ‘Open up a world of opportunity’, this will also serve as a long-term platform where HSBC aims to open up the community to more things, like Open to Sports, Open to Tech, and beyond,” said Brian Hui, head of customer propositions and marketing at HSBC.

Alexis Chiu, group managing director at MSL Hong Kong, also explained that the initiative was done to show the company’s support for the city’s local art scene and to make contemporary visual culture more accessible.

“This installation is part of the bigger picture of transforming the city into a canvas for people to access and appreciate art in a new way,” he added.

HSBC has also previously launched its duo real-world and metaverse music show experience titled ‘DuoVerse’, which featured two Hong Kong artists Tyson Yoshi and Serrini.

Singapore – Global clothing company H&M has announced the launch of its new immersive gaming experience called ‘Loooptopia’ on the popular online game platform Roblox. This follows the brand’s venture into the metaverse in November last year.

Made in partnership with metaverse studio Dubit, Loooptopia lets players experiment with materials and patterns in a playful way, creating the next virtual garment and wardrobe for their avatar.

In addition, it is an immersive 3D experience filled with social interaction, engaging environments, mini-games, styling sessions, alternate worlds, events and more. It allows users to experiment with their digital identity and learn about fashion and circularity in a fun, creative, and playful environment on the Roblox platform that’s connecting millions of people through immersive shared experiences, all while encouraging creativity and self-expression. 

At the heart of this interactive world is a vibrant city square which sets the stage for visitors to embark on play sessions in visually stunning alternate worlds like Rainbooow Fields, Neon Studiooo and Fabric Fooorest. In these environments, users can gather a variety of fashion ingredients by engaging in mini-games, styling sessions, live events and more. 

Users can style their avatar with newly created clothes, and compliment these with accessories, dance moves, music tracks and special effects to create an amazing performance on the runway. They can also catch up with friends to trade clothes, take selfies or just admire each other’s latest creations. When it’s time to change up a style, they can recycle old clothes to earn super-rare elements and become the star of the runway show.

Max Heirbaut, global head of brand experience for metaverse at H&M, said, “At H&M we want to encourage the emerging generation of digital natives to express themselves through fashion both off and on screen. H&M Loooptopia Experience on Roblox is an exciting new world that unleashes creativity and lets players create and evolve their virtual wardrobe on Roblox, so they can feel the most like themselves through their avatar.”

Meanwhile, Andrew Douthwaite, chief commercial officer at Dubit, commented, “We loved collaborating with H&M to build the H&M Loooptopia Experience on Roblox- the place on Roblox where anybody can be a fashion designer. H&M wanted to offer an experience that promotes fun and sustainability, in keeping with their brand DNA of style, creativity and culture. It’s been amazing to see the concept evolve from the initial design and workshop through to this iconic launch.”

Amsterdam, Netherlands – Global digital agency DEPT has launched its 300-person team WEB3/DEPT to support the fastest-growing segment of its business.

The team will be helping the agency’s clients experiment with blockchain technology, build immersive experiences in the metaverse, and deliver multi-layer strategies for launching NFTs.

The team will also introduce a new Web3 Labs platform to help both clients and employees better understand web3 fundamentals, including the difference between crypto coins and crypto tech, why decentralised tech is here to stay, and primers on wallets, NFTs, DAOs, marketplaces, and stablecoins, amongst others.

According to Isabel Perry, vice president at WEB3/DEPT, the launch will redefine how companies interact with their customers through Web3 and the metaverse. 

“But it’s hard for CMOs and CIOs to figure out where to start. Over the last two years, we’ve helped so many brands to redefine the way they interact with their customers that we feel it’s time to combine all this expertise and knowledge under the WEB3/DEPT banner,” she added.

Dimi Albers, CEO at DEPT, also said, “We want to lead the charge and help our clients navigate these transformational technologies for the next decade.”

He also said that what sets the team apart from others is the combination of its strong intellectual property, track record of delivering more than 60 web3 projects, R&D plans across EMEA, the US and Asia Pacific, and its diverse mix of engineers, creatives and strategies who get the web3 vision. 

The new team follows the launch of DEPT’s ‘Creative Automation Practice’, which was targeted at helping brands supercharge their creative output through technology.