As the industry continues to see retailers testing new customer engagement tactics in the virtual world, this week Taco Bell has revealed the results of its metaverse wedding contest and men’s underwear brand Saxx is opening a virtual store.
Winning out over 300 couples who applied to win a Taco Bell metaverse wedding, Sheel Mohnot and Amruta Godbole will say 'I do' on February 24 with a wedding celebration in Decentraland.
Taco Bell kicked off the contest last August to award a Web 3.0 wedding within a replica of the retailer’s Las Vegas Wedding Chapel and Cantina in Decentraland.
"When we heard about the contest, we knew it was the perfect opportunity for us. Now that we're getting closer to the wedding day, we're excited to see the vision come to life," said bride-to-be Amruta Godbole. "We're really looking forward to sharing the experience with our friends and family from all over the globe - many of whom may not have been able to attend in-person. Some of them still don't totally understand the idea of a metaverse wedding, but once they knock back a couple of virtual bottles of Baja Blasts, I think they'll get in the spirit."
Sheel and Amruta worked closely with both Taco Bell and their partners to plan the event in Decentraland – a 3D browser-based platform allowing shared virtual exploration. The metaverse wedding is brought to life in collaboration with creative agencies Deutsch LA, The Electric Factory and livestream production company Mobeon.
Kal Penn, an American actor who shares the couple's Indian heritage, will facilitate the wedding. The groom's avatar will ride into the venue on an elephant in a customary baraat procession, paying homage to the duo's Indian roots. Additionally, after saying "I do," the couple will unveil a kissing emote in the metaverse, specifically designed for the occasion. Guests will also bear witness to the largest virtual Cinnabon Delights cake that the brand has ever created.
Additional customized wedding details include personalized wearables, or avatar outfits, for the couple and their invited guests. Adding to the list of cultural celebrations, the couple will be married under a mandap which forms the sacred space where the couple will say their vows. Under the mandap will be a custom agni, a sacred fire involved in some Indian wedding rituals, designed to look like a hot sauce packet set to flame.
After enjoying their first dance as a married couple, Amruta will throw a hot sauce bouquet which will turn into an interactive Bouquet Toss Game, with bragging rights as the reward. Both the public who attend the Decentraland wedding and those who visit the venue after the celebration can participate in the competition. Additional activities include showing off their moves on the Taco Bell dance floor alongside the Sauce Packet Dancers, snapping some pictures in a photo booth and hitting up the Mtn Dew Baja Blast Station. For those looking to enjoy Taco Bell IRL, guests at the public reception will be able to visit the reception's food table and scan a QR code that links to an offer and a menu curated by the couple featuring their favorite vegetarian dishes for consumers to purchase.
100 of the couple's invited guests will be able to enjoy the wedding ceremony first-hand through the eyes of their avatars. The public will be able to watch the live wedding on screens set up in secondary realms within Decentraland. After the private baraat procession, the ceremony space will open up in Decentraland's secondary realms where the public can explore the venue, socialize and watch a slideshow about the couple via their avatars. Following the private nuptials on the screens, the reception space will open up for a virtual celebration.
And for the 100 who don’t make it into the ceremony in avatar form, Twitch streamerJordan Payton will be livestreaming his POV of the event so viewers can follow along on their screens.
Saxx virtual store
Meanwhile, men’s apparel and underwear brand Saxx announced it’s opening an immersive virtual store that allows shoppers to browse 3D items in a 360-degree digital environment. Check out the virtual store here.
Saxx is partnering with the Emperia metaverse platform to operate the virtual store, which exclusively features underwear, tops and swimwear from its DropTemp collection.
Upon entering the virtual store, customers are transported to a metaverse environment where it’s snowing in the desert, designed to highlight the cooling qualities of the products’ fabric. A short pathway lined with shoppable product displays leads to an open-air digital showroom. More items sit around the showroom’s virtual swimming pool and shoppers can virtually “dive in” to the pool, which unlocks another retail area with swimwear items.
"We like to do things differently than other brands, and a virtual store gave us the opportunity to bring our DropTemp technology to life in an unexpected setting,” said Wendy Bennison, CEO, Saxx. “This is an exciting step for Saxx as we’ll be able to connect with our customers in a new way. Not only does this mark our first virtual store, but it’s also our first-ever standalone retail location where shoppers can walk around and interact with our products – albeit virtually.”