If the metaverse will have streets and real estate, one assumes that it will also need food. The combination of virtual reality, augmented reality and video that many are calling the next iteration of the internet will also have, at least if fast food companies have their way, virtual burgers.
Of course, we are still very far from a future in which virtual food can nourish a human body. Even the concept of a virtual world in which users move through avatars is a largely abstract concept — it can either fizzle out like Google Glass or get as big as the internet did in the 1990s.
What’s A Virtual Wendy’s Burger?
That, however, doesn’t mean that fast food companies are not trying to get an early shot at metaverse marketing. In partnership with Meta (FB) – Get Meta Platforms Inc. Class A Report‘s Horizon World app, Wendy’s (WEN) – Get Wendy’s Company Report launched a 3-D world called the Wendyverse.
From April 2 onwards, those who have a Quest 2 virtual reality headset will be able to pass through a small town in which everything looks like a Wendy’s — the Wendyverse Town Square Central features a virtual restaurant while the Buck BiscuitDome is a space to play online basketball with a Baconator sandwich instead of a basketball.
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This is, of course, little other than a marketing push as these virtual worlds are a bombardment of Wendy’s product placement. That said, the enticement of cheap food (Wendy’s is giving visitors coupons for a $1 Sausage or Bacon, Egg & Cheese Biscuit) and exploring a new online world are likely to have the desired effect and make more people interact with Wendy’s.
Who Else Has Tried It?
“We’re excited to take this to the next level by launching the Wendyverse in Meta’s Horizon Worlds and bringing a totally new dimension of access to our fans,” Carl Loredo, chief marketing officer for The Wendy’s Company, said in a statement. “Truly a first of its kind, the Wendyverse bridges the best of today with tomorrow to show up for our fans across every world – with a Frosty and fries in hand.”
This type of move is likely to be replicated by most fast food companies over the coming months. While companies like Adidas (ADDDF) and Chipotle (CMG) – Get Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. Report have already started marketing in the metaverse, McDonald’s (MCD) – Get McDonald’s Corporation Report recently applied for ten metaverse-related patents that would allow it to sell food, promote NFTs and otherwise market the chain in this space.