Horizon Media Lands In Web3's Biggest Sandbox

It has been a little more than a year since Horizon Media jumped two digital feet first into Web3 media and marketing, launching specialist agency Chapter & Verse, and this morning it was named the full-serve agency-of-record for pioneering developer Blockchains.

Describing the win as a "passion project," Chapter & Verse Co-Founder -- and Horizon Media Chief Digital Officer -- Donnie Williams characterized Blockchains' product as "an emergent technology," but one that ultimately could change the way consumers and brand experience media in a "profound way."

"One of our top strategic priorities is to pioneer across the Web3 category and transform the industry and culture, and we are committed to bringing innovation and technology-inspired ideas that we can scale across brands,” Williams adds.



While Web3 still is a largely aspirational media concept that has been overshadowed by the surge of speculative blockchain-enabled markets like cryptocurrency and NFT trading, Blockchains has been approaching it more as a "sandbox" (see explainer video below) that will enable new ways for consumers and brands to control their digital presences.

Indeed, founded in 2018, Blockchains is akin to a granddaddy in the consumer application of blockchain technology, and its description of its products and services to date -- digital identity, digital assets and a Web3 ID SDK -- are still described in more visionary terms than concrete ones. But as Williams says, "it will be a journey to a more fulsome digital experience."

The privately funded company operates its headquarters in Nevada with development labs in Germany, employing more than 100 globally. Blockchains is preparing to go to market with its holistic suite of Web3 solutions in 2024.

Chapter & Verse will lead integrated services for marketing strategy, creative, media, content, and experiences for both Blockchains' consumer and B2B marketing.

Why The Next Transformational Medium Is Right In Front Of Your Nose (Actually It May Be Resting On It)

It's been nearly a month since Meta unveiled the next generation of immersive digital media interfaces -- Ray-Ban's new Quest-powered smart glasses -- and I finally got a chance to ask the brand's direct of global media a question that's been on my mind ever since?

Will Ray-Ban become not just a media-buyer, but a media supplier as well?

“That’s a great question," Caroline Proto, director of global media at Ray-Ban parent company, eyeglasses marketing giant Luxottica said when I asked her during MediaPost's TV & Video Insider Summit in Nashville this week.

Proto demurred, noting that she's not supposed to say anything about that at this time, but she did add, "It yields itself to quite a big of opportunity."

But watch the demo video in the link below, and read through Meta's description of exactly what the new Ray-Bans can do, and you tell me what the potential of the new mixed reality interface is for becoming one of -- if not the most important new portal -- to the metaverse, or whatever you want to call the way people will be experiencing and interacting with brands vis a vis artificial reality.

And all of just $299 a pair. Plus unlike Google's ill-fated glassholes, these shades look cool.

While Proto wouldn't elaborate on Ray-Ban's plans for global mixed media domination, she was very enthusiastic about how Luxottica has been using artificial reality to transform retail eyeglasses marketing, especially the ability of its AR apps to let prospective consumers "try them on" and encourage them to come to one of Luxottica's brick-and-mortar locations to actually try them on and walk off with them.

"Obviously, wearables is really exciting for us," she said, noting that the new Meta-powered Ray-Bans are actually the second iteration of the product and that the power of the AI and the immersive experience capabilities are a giant leap forward.

"From a media perspective, I can speak to the fact that AR has always been big for us, in terms of our media activation for advertising," she told me, adding, "Our artificial reality partnerships for sunglasses specifically, actually are our most efficient of any medium, [in terms of being a] store traffic driver."

Speaking of potentially transformational new digital media interfaces being presented at MediaPost's summit this week, I couldn't resist asking the same question to Mitsubishi Vice President of Marketing Kimberly Ito following her conversation with MediaPost's Tanya Gazdik on Monday.

"Is there anything you're working on now to make your vehicles a new retail media experience?," I asked.

I was inspired by the close-up shots of the telematics dashboard and digital media interface in the new Mitsubishi Outlander spots she screened for us, which I've always thought are a latent ad-supported media interface just waiting to happen. Especially as we move increasingly toward self-driving cars. I mean, talk about a captive media audience?

But Ito also demurred, noting, "We get those questions quite a bit," adding, "Today there's nothing that I'll be sharing about our product plan."

However, she threw me a bone, if not a potential scoop, adding, "But hopefully, around [the National Automotive Dealers Association conference] -- come January/February -- we'll have some exciting news to share."

Hey, if Amazon and Walmart have emerged as the fastest-growing digital retail media advertising suppliers, why not Outlanders and Ray-Bans? I mean, I can think of a number of brands that would like to get in front of those new screens.

Lastly, a big thank you to all of you who gave me feedback on my "M3DIA" newsletter logo mock-up, even if most of you just shot me down.

It's good to have sobering feedback, and I did get a kick about using "large language models" to come up with it.

Truth is, that was my own human intelligence. Which explains why I'm an editor and a news reporter, but not a graphic designer.

So that's a no on the logotype.

Plus what would happen if we needed to updated it to a 4.0 version?

M4DIA would stretch the boundaries of typoglycemia.

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