SINGAPORE — Agency network Dentsu International today announced it has collaborated with technology company Microsoft to build a unique collaboration space in the metaverse, designed to excite and inspire brands to innovate and experiment with Web3 technologies. Using their combined expertise, the businesses have partnered to showcase a range of real-world use-cases that have been reimagined in a virtual setting to drive greater engagement, productivity, and accessibility for business.
With many brands and businesses still assessing how to take advantage of the huge opportunities presented by Web3, dentsu and Microsoft have come together to showcase what can be achieved in critical business areas such as customer service, retail, and learning and development.
The initiative is underpinned by dentsu’s recently announced Web3 Center of Excellence, falling within the Creative pillar. This is where clients and dentsu teams have the chance to innovate, test ideas, experiment with hypotheses, and learn how evolving technologies and platforms could be used within integrated campaigns or future business models.
The new dimension, created by a move into the virtual world, brings a wealth of exciting and engaging opportunities to transform important touch points with customers and employees. The newly built dentsu and Microsoft spaces are located on the dentsu campus, in “Moon Valley,” a digital twin of the moon created by HeadOffice.Space, the metaverse for productivity. The space was designed specifically to be more accessible by more people and through any web-enabled device, as well as VR and mobile.
Developing a space in the metaverse required the application of some unique technologies, brought together for the very first time by the teams at dentsu and Microsoft:
- Dentsu Metaversity for Microsoft Power Skills – Powerup Power Skills with new starter inductions, employee training, enabling teams anywhere to upskill and gain new competencies through the full suite of Microsoft 365 products, Text to speech and forthcoming Microsoft Designer capabilities.
- Microsoft Retail Education – a space for retailers and brands to learn more about Microsoft Dynamics 365 and dentsu’s ShopNXT™ retail innovations.
- Lounge – A virtual “room” where brands can connect through their professional LinkedIn identities to recruit, network, and engage with prospective buyers and customers.
- Ecosia Forest – Provides overall education on Ecosia – the search engine that plants trees where they are needed most, with over 160 million trees planted to date, powered by Microsoft.
- AI-Powered Virtual Human – our full experience will be guided by “Neva,” an AI-powered virtual human created in collaboration with HeadOffice.space. Neva combines the power of Unreal Engine’s MetaHuman creator framework and Microsoft AI-powered Text to speech, a capability within Azure Cognitive Services, part of the Azure AI platform, that converts text to lifelike speech across 400 neural voices across 140 languages and variants.
- Additional spaces on the dentsu campus include the ShopNXT Showroom, Merkle Virtual Retail Lab and Intelligence Center.
- The co-space is built on Unreal Engine 5, the world’s most open and advanced real-time 3D creation tool and features full-body 3D avatars with Ready Player Me Integration.
Dentsu VP for Solutions and Innovation Val Vacante said, “We’ve seen a lot of activity around the metaverse, with some businesses jumping in simply to grab headlines rather than figure out how Web3 can really change perspective on existing business challenges. At dentsu we’d say it’s “near but not here” and that is exactly why we wanted to work with Microsoft to show the world how today’s business problems can be solved in the metaverse tomorrow. Whether it is overcoming the skills-gap by making accessible and engaging training programs, or building multi-channel customer loyalty solutions using NFTs, or mapping innovation explorations through our NXT Intelligence platform, the opportunities are truly endless!”
Dentsu Group VP for Growth & Enablement Paul Veltman furthered, “Microsoft and dentsu have been partners for many years, working hard to push the boundaries of where technology, creativity and productivity meet brands and the customers we serve. When we come together though, we always want to do so with a clear focus – whatever we create must help our clients solve problems and stand-out, but it also has to drive tangible and sustainable growth. By developing this incredible new virtual space, we’re inviting clients, their people, and partners to discover, experiment and co-create. From connected e-commerce opportunities to engaging talent solutions and integrated CRM capabilities, we have an exciting new space to partner with you on you journey in the Metaverse.”
Microsoft Managing Director for Media & Entertainment Simon Crownshaw also added, “The media and advertising industry continues to be transformed by digital technology, which now includes the metaverse. These transformations will continue to require that brands adapt their business models and strategies in real time to take advantage of new creative opportunities. As our collaboration with dentsu evolves, we’re continuing to elevate creativity with the power of the Microsoft Cloud, enabling the future of content creation and collaboration from anywhere in the world.”
dentsu and Microsoft will be revealing further details of the new virtual space over the coming months, culminating in a full demonstration at CES 2023. For a personal, virtual tour, please contact dentsu communications.