- The Chinese lager brewery, Snow has become the first beer brand to unveil a virtual New Year party in the Metaverse which was joined by the beloved idol Wang Yibo.
- The digital New Year celebration saw an enhanced adoption of gamification that enables the integration of the digital momentum with real-world trends popular amongst China’s Gen Z.
- The Metaverse festival also continued the synergy of the brand’s virtual human being LimX and Wang while retrieving the emerging sensation towards street dance.
The coexistence of virtuality and reality in the hypothetical internet iteration of Metaverse is not impossible. The seemingly contradictory statement was exemplified by the Chinese beer giant Snow, who became the first lager brand to stage a New Year party in the Metaverse and also engaged one of China’s beloved idols – Wang Yibo – a singer and actor who has over 40 million fans on his official Weibo account, one of China’s largest microblogging sites.
Inside the Metaverse New Year party
Entitled the “Night of Boom”, the beer maker’s centrepiece ‘Young Series Global Trekker SuperX’ was in feature, and the virtual New Year extravaganza was held on 31 December 2022 in the digital realm of SNOWVERSE, a mini program powered by China’s super messaging app WeChat. The digital space was reported to be able to afford an audience of over 10,000 with interactive games and “surprise performances” given by Wang, fuelling the online buzz.
Having kicked off in the middle of December, the campaign doubled down efforts in gamification. The SNOWVERSE consisted of six sections and introduced the idea of an Advent Calendar Blind Box with limited edition activities. A range of rewards to incentivise participation were also included in the “Mysterious Space” where users could win prizes such as a ticket to the Night of Boom Metaverse party, a Wang Yibo x Global Trekker SuperX photo signed by the celebrity and a water cup featuring the idol.
Also on display was an AR station, where users could engage in an immersive digital experience through augmented reality, and a collection pavilion presented Snow’s three iconic offerings – Global Trekker SuperX, Löwen White Beer and Marrs Green as digital collectibles which were also linked to benefits such as membership cards for music platform NetEase Cloud Music and video streaming platform Youku.
A cyber-physical continuum
The curation of “Crossover Events” is where the virtual world clashes with the real one. Capitalising on the continued outdoor fever and national sports sensation, the digital space incorporates glamping quizzes with seasons as the theme, and the Winter season one is currently open for entry. This was on top of services such as the latest updates on marathon events across the country where it also provided users who prebooked a certain competition with a customised beer tin service.
In addition, it collaborated with the video game brand Xbox, allowing loyal users to exchange Xbox’s merchandise with credits, badges, or vouchers earned through participating games in its Meta sphere. While other brand partners including e-commerce giant JD.com, food delivery brand Eleme and its peer Meituan joined forces to provide doorstep delivery services for game players.
Given that China is one of the world’s largest video game markets by revenue and the fact that Gen Z and Millennials are the backbone consumers of outdoor activities such as camping as well as showing a growing appetite for running, by doing so, Snow is able to bring out a synergy between its virtual curation and the enthusiasm for physical activities. Therefore, it enables the campaign to resonate with a wider young audience and more importantly, becomes appealing to the intended demographic.
Capturing the street dance fad with virtual human beings
The launch of SNOWVERSE is also a further step by Snow in building up its Web3 ecosystem, which is hot on the heels of the debut of the brand’s own digital human influencer LimX in October. Drawing inspiration from the 2D climber that is imprinted on the Young Series’ label, the “virtual challenger” was designed to deliver the “fearless, explorative and go-beyond” spirit to the Gen Z and Millennial cohorts.
After being born with talent in street dancing, skateboarding, and esports – activities that are gaining traction among China’s young generations, LimX is a “co-created product between the brewer and its young consumers” and is intended to be a member of the target demographic who can also converse with and understand the demands of his peers.
The timely launch coupled with LimX’s pre-set skills have paved the way for Snow to tap into the hit TV show Street Dance of China Season 5, where the digital human being met his human counterpart Wang Yibo, who was among the mentor line-up on the show craved by China’s post-95s and post-00s. By leveraging this rising subculture, it reinforced LimX’s intended persona, therefore, further enhancing the intimacy between the virtual personality and the young generations.
The synergy of the virtual and real celebrities continued during the Metaverse New Year party and the street dance phenomenon. While the grand finale was guided by the virtual ambassador LimX, audience members were invited to a competition where digital coins were rewarded to participants who correctly remembered dance moves presented by Wang Yibo on Street Dance of China during seasons 3 to 5.
Such an all-around endeavour has retrieved the offline sensation towards various emerging subcultures in China to make the virtual playing field more participatory and digitally engaging for its visitors, while also bringing benefits to consumers that can be used in the real world, therefore, truly linking the virtual world to real life.