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IMMAP’s Breakfast Round Table Discussion Decodes the Metaverse

Everything old is new again

By Mikhail Lecaros

IMMAP’s initial Breakfast Round Table (BRT) for 2022 got the ball rolling with a pair of firsts by introducing a new moderator in the form of Easy Franchise and EnterPH founder RJ Ledesma and not one, but two guests of honor!

Facebook Philippines Country Director John Rubio and Octopus & Whale founder Joey Tiempo combined their expertise to shed light on a topic which has been hot on the lips of many a marketer - namely, the metaverse. With tech companies touting the metaverse as the next great evolution of online interactions (despite the concept having been around for decades) the BRT participants were eager for Rubio and Tiempo to explain what the excitement was all about.

Memcomm Chair Janelle Barretto kicked things off, welcoming participants to the BRT, promising a morning of learnings, insights, and, of course, a sumptuous breakfast, courtesy of the good folks at Pancake House. Barretto handed the proceedings off to Ledesma, whose enthusiastic energy set the tone for the session as he introduced a Facebook video presentation on the metaverse. In the video, Mark Zuckerberg described the metaverse his company was developing as being an inclusive experience for everyone, encompassing, “the experiences [you’ll have], the creative economy we’ll all build, and the technology that needs to be invented, as well as how we’re all going to do this together.”

Following the video, the guests of honor took the floor to define their takes on the metaverse.

“The metaverse is anything and everything built on top of the technology that we have,” said Rubio, citing virtual and augmented realities as examples.

Rubio quoted Zuckerberg in describing the metaverse as the ‘embodied internet’, adding that it was, “built of communities, games, spaces, education, and so forth, going beyond the screens.”

Rubio went on to explain that, from a marketing standpoint, the metaverse was the natural evolution of campaigns like Creamsilk’s 2021 launch, which made use of AR to transport users from their real-world settings into a nature-based setting. According to Rubio, the full adoption of the metaverse was something that we would be seeing over the next 3-5 years.

But where marketers still had some ways to go, Tiempo noted that the metaverse has long been an integral part of the gaming experience, and that current developments aren’t so much creating the multiverse from scratch, as they are building for it, with concepts such as cryptocurrencies having already seen successful integration into online games like Axie Infinity.

“Filipinos being able to use their crypto wallets and being able to earn from a game as part of a decentralized internet is where the Philippines is at,” shared Tiempo. “We might not realize it as marketers, but the Gen Z and younger people are quite into it.”

The guests of honor fielded questions from the floor, as attendees from multiple industries, (including IMMAP’s founding father and Dito CME CRO, Donald Lim), sought clarity and insight into the increasing roles the technology would be playing in upcoming campaigns, experiences, and entertainment.

When asked what the next logical industry for the metaverse to expand into would be, Rubio shared that he believed we were already seeing some of it now, in remote events such as BRT, being applied to the field of education “I think the ability to decouple from your location is where value will explode.”

Tiempo concurred, adding that the gamification of the traditional classroom held endless possibilities, before going on to say that marketers needed to move past thinking in terms of campaigns. “The metaverse, to me, is fundamentally owning a piece of the internet. It's about owning land, a painting, etc - it's about ownership.”

As far as the future of the metaverse goes, Rubio says, “It's a very interesting time. When we look at this (metaverse) technology, it's like we're back in 1996 when the internet started… we're at that stage again, and there's an opportunity for everyone here to shape it.”

The IMMAP Breakfast Roundtable is an exclusive privilege open to members only. Click here for more information on IMMAP and how to be a member.

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