Clarks' metaverse comeback: a wake-up call for marketers?

Published: May 04, 2023

min read

In the year 202l, the Google search for the term "metaverse" multiplied by many folds, and everyone was excited about the transition of everyday activities to the metaverse. It meant different things to different people. And with the entry of the products of generative AI technology by the end of 2022, the focus and the investment in the metaverse gradually blurred among business leaders.

But to capitalize on the trends in the digital arena, the retail footwear brand Clarks has entered the metaverse for the first time in 2022 itself.

In fact, Clarks has tapped into popular and current culture since the company's beginnings in 1825.

Recently, the company made an announcement that it is re-entering the metaverse for a virtual concert with Afrobeats artist Fireboy DML, supported by Nigerian singer Nissi and American singer Cape Verdean.

We are thrilled to be collaborating on this innovative, creative campaign and metaverse concert experience with one of the most electrifying Afrobeats artists, Fireboy DML. We are always looking for new ways to push the boundaries of social media, and this virtual concert is a great example.

Tara McRae

Chief marketing and digital officer, Clarks

Fireboy DML is a prominent Afrobeats artist of his generation. With the 2021 single, Peru, featuring Ed Sheeran and 21 Savage, his work broke into the mainstream.

Fireboy wore Clarks Originals Jacquard Collection Wallabees for the Clarks campaign shoot. The involved artists in the concert will go beyond the physical limitations of real-world shows, bringing to life an immersive performance in three digital worlds designed to showcase each artist's personality and interests within the metaverse.

The concert will be broadcast on Fireboy DML's YouTube channel on May 18 at 6:30 p.m. BST.

The iconic British shoe brand's second foray into the metaverse combines almost two centuries of its expert skill with ground-breaking innovation to establish an immersive entertainment hub.

What does Clarks’ re-entry into the metaverse mean for marketers?

Being able to do everything we do online today in an immersive virtual world definitely keeps audiences hooked and adds meaningful value layers for brands to engage with their customers in a novel way they've never experienced before.

The pathway to reach that point is still in its early stages, though. In the meantime, the craze around generative AI peaked, contributing to a blurring of brands' and audiences' focus on the metaverse.

However, consumer-focused fashion brands like Clarks are never stopping their hunt to identify the potential route to immerse their customers in a new kind of shopping experience.

We see the metaverse re-entry as a very significant move for Clarks. And, not just for them, but for any brand, keeping up with trends and experimenting with new ways to communicate with their audiences—like in the metaverse—is crucial in many ways.

  • As the metaverse will provide a unique way to foster customer interaction, it can be a game-changer for brands to reach a new demographic of audiences who look to buy products from an affordable brand like yours.
  • As the metaverse is still a new frontier, by establishing a presence in the space, brands can differentiate themselves from competitors and gain a global following as they are not bound by geographic limitations.
  • It also offers brands new revenue-generating opportunities as they will be able to sell their virtual products or tickets for exclusive virtual events, etc.
  • Brands can be exceptionally creative in building immersive environments or even making collaborations, just like how a fashion brand like Clarks chose music to connect with their customers. This way, they can easily draw the attention of younger audiences and amp up the excitement around their products.

Having said that,

  • Taking small steps in the metaverse is as important as testing often with innovative technologies.
  • Keeping an eye on what others in the market are trying out to bring out the best of the metaverse is crucial. For instance, recently, Roblox came up with the idea of combining generative AI technology with the metaverse to simplify and amplify content creation in the metaverse. It is indeed a game-changing move for brands to adopt to kick away the technical barriers to metaverse content creation.
  • Focusing on building a long-term strategy for the metaverse rather than a short-term gain from a single event is essential.

Overall, while big names in the industry like Disney dismantle their metaverse unit on one side, Clarks’ return to the metaverse shows marketers that generative AI hasn't completely annihilated the metaverse and it is still a way to explore, experiment to unlock new opportunities.


Pete Johnson

Pete is a MarTech expert guru with a knack for getting diverse MarTech solutions work for brands. He has a wealth of experience in working with a plethora of MarTech platforms that dive Personalized Omnichannel Experiences. When he's not at work, you can find him playing basketball or listening to jazz.


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