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UNIT9 Group Launches Metaverse Advisory Department M.A.D


Department aims to bring end-to-end expertise to burgeoning Metaverse market

UNIT9 Group Launches Metaverse Advisory Department M.A.D

The UNIT9 group is using its unique position of having 25 years of expertise in creating boundary-pushing interactive digital experiences to launch a specialist division dedicated to all things Metaverse.

Called M.A.D (standing for Metaverse Advisory Dept.), the new collective will bring a much-needed end-to-end service and maker’s perspective to the burgeoning Metaverse market to ensure early ideation and strategy can be joined up seamlessly with creative execution. Launch clients include Havas Media Group, Opera, and COPA90.

To help clients develop robust and long-term Metaverse strategies, M.A.D will lean deep into the global UNIT9 Group’s wealth of multidisciplinary experience, which has already been capitalised on to create many Metaverse-style projects, including a virtual concert for battle royale game Garena Free Fire, a STEM-themed Minecraft experience for The Ad Council, an immersive virtual world featuring a motion-captured digital avatar of DJ Diplo for Intel, and a hybrid Metaverse experience in collaboration with one of Europe’s top-tier football leagues and a world-renowned theme park.

Although the industry has paid much attention to the technologies that underpins this revolution - blockchain, crypto, NFTs, gaming platforms like Roblox and Fortnite, and hardware advances in AR and VR - there is a void when it comes to understanding how best utilise these underlying technologies to create a brilliant brand experience. So UNIT9 will draw on its industry-leading multi-decade expertise across gamification, world building, avatars, 3D, virtual and hybrid experiences to design jaw-dropping, high-craft Metaverse programmes for its clients globally. 

As UNIT9’s EMEA MD, Rosh Singh, explains: “With such intense hype around the Metaverse, there is – understandably – much scepticism. But we’re undergoing the next evolution of the internet. Web 3.0 – or the Metaverse – is so much more than gaming and NFTs. It’s a radical change in the way humans and information interact, signalling an era akin to the earliest days of the smartphone.

“Such a seismic shift will inevitably have a major impact on brands and marketing. But clients are struggling to find legitimate guidance on how to prepare for this shift. Fortunately, UNIT9 has been working in this space long before most ad landers even became aware of it. So, in response to client demand, we decided to formalise this expertise to help brands and agencies understand the Metaverse as an end-to-end proposition, from experience design and early ideation through to delivery of mind-blowing creative that genuinely works. We’re excited to already be working with a number of forward-thinking clients who are preparing and defining  their role in this space”

M.A.D will be led by Garry Williams (a fount of all immersive knowledge who came to UNIT9 from REWIND and Jaunt XR), and executive strategy director, Annie Bedard (champion of technology-driven, human-centric experience design, formerly of Jam3, Critical Mass and Blast Radius). Williams and Bedard’s mission is to help develop clients’ Metaverse aspirations at an early stage to ensure they align within internal objectives, alongside executional ambitions and limitations. M.A.D. will be headquartered in London, but will operate across all UNIT9 locations: Canada, China, Europe, MENA, SEA, UK and USA.

Head of M.A.D, Garry Williams, adds: “Having worked at the intersection of creativity and technology since 1997, UNIT9 has been ahead of the curve in terms of defining the building blocks of activating within the Metaverse. This much-needed maker’s perspective means that we are ideally placed to guide clients through the whole process of ensuring their business is fully Metaverse ready, from education and experience design through to ideation and execution.”

As one of M.A.D’s inaugural global clients, Havas Media Group’s global director, Media Creativity, Jez Jowett, says: “We’re passionate about the possibilities for the Metaverse to be a new frontier for brand experiences. By bringing in the right specialist partner with their technical and production expertise, we’re able to provide clients with a meaningful solution to activating in and from the Metaverse thanks to UNIT9 and M.A.D.”

Jan Standal, VP product marketing and communications at Opera adds: “Just like UNIT9 has been shaping digital online experiences, Opera has been at the forefront of shaping the future of the web for more than 25 years. We have chosen UNIT9 to work on an upcoming project together and are excited to be able to access the M.A.D’s deep skills.”

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UNIT9 London, Wed, 19 Jan 2022 09:54:36 GMT