Hearst UK is leaping into the metaverse with an experience for Cosmopolitan on Roblox, Press Gazette reports in a July 21 article.
In addition, it is rebranding its events division Hearst Live as HearstX. And it is working on a “virtual influencer” for Elle UK, the report states.
HearstX will create experiences for the physical and the digital worlds, using such technology as VR and AR,while repurposing the business’ flagship brand events into bespoke, curated experiences, the company said in an announcement in May.
“HearstX will continue to deliver exciting real world events, whilst incorporating innovative new platforms that further the consumer experience,” said Mark McCafferty executive creative director for commercial division Hearst Solutions. “We are led by our readers and their appetite for new experiences, and HearstX gives us an exciting new dimension to our creative offering.”
According to Press Gazette, McCaffertyvsaid in a podcast that Heart UK determined that its readers are “engaging with these new technologies and these new online worlds, so it’s important that our brands have tenancies there as well so that we can engage our consumers”.
McCafferty also said that advertise want “true engagement, and everything that we are trying to develop as part of HearstX will answer that part of the brief,” Press Gazette continues.
Jane Wolfson, chief commercial officer at Hearst UK, said in May that these moves “will allow us to find new ways of engaging with our loyal audiences on platforms outside of traditional content formats.”
Hearst UK’s experimentation with AR, metaverses and CGI influencers is a “long-term preparation strategy for the next phase of the internet, the report adds.