Hublot is proud to announce the advent of the “Hublot Loves Football Metaverse Stadium.” Let’s be clear: the HLFMS not a “real” stadium named after the company-killing app by the artist formerly known as Facebook. It’s a virtual stadium in the VR world designed, programmed and maintained by a company named Spatial.
You may have read that META’s metaverse is a desolate place (My Sad, Lonely, Expensive Adventures in Zuckerberg’s V.R.). Spatial doesn’t reveal user numbers, but claims – without supporting evidence – that visitors to their digital domain spend a combined 4m minutes per week (66k hours) on the app.
During my visits to Alien Club, CoProd’s Poetry Gala, Joe’s World and other palatial Spatial rooms I kept hearing The Who’s Teenage Wasteland playing in my head.
On the positive side, you don’t need a $1500 headset to visit Spatial’s Sims on steroids. It’s right there on your phone, tablet or desktop. On the negative side, none of the handful of avatars standing around waiting for human communication – or something interesting to do – wore a watch.
How in the [VR] world does Hublot think that planting a flag in this digital backwater sells expensive watches? How are they’re going to fill a virtual stadium with . . . wait for it . . . 90 thousand seats?
Obviously, they’re not. Not really. Not with real people. I mean, real people manipulating a digital avatar. Not that they can. Not there. Not yet. The Hublot Loves Football Metaverse Stadium isn’t online.
Hublot’s press release pimp-links to a virtual art gallery. The presser promises the HLFMS will be open for the start of the football World Cup, kicking off November 20. Meanwhile, why?
“Continuing our legacy as the trusted timekeeper of world football, this initiative allows us to place a timestamp in metaverse history when the intersection of luxury, fashion, sport and virtual worlds is beginning to take off.”usawatchpro.com
If the metaverse was an airplane, you’d find it lingering on the drawing board, never mind taxiing down the runway. I reckon Mr. Guadalupe sees the Hublot Loves Football Metaverse Stadium as another way to position Hublot – a company that sells mechanical watches – as a bleeding edge innovator. Talk about post-modern irony.
As for what’s planned inside the Hublot Loves Football Metaverse Stadium, the PR peeps are keeping their metaphorical cards close to their symbolic chest.
All we know is that it will be “a hybrid sport, art, and digital events space . … inspired by the intricate design of the case body and digital face of Hublot’s recently launched Big Bang e watch.”
That’s not what I’d call auspicious. Hublot launched ye olde Big Bang e in 2020. The product page for their upmarket smartwatch has disappeared down the memory hole. The fact that the new FIFA World Cup QATAR 2022 Big Bang e smartwatch’s webpage makes no mention of available apps is equally ominous.
Paying crypto.com arena designer MEIS architects to create the Hublot Loves Football Metaverse VR Stadium must have cost a pretty penny. But I’d bet dollars to NFT’s that Spatial real estate is as cheap as chips.
Anyway, carving out a space within Spatial’s metaverse is a decent PR move (as this article’s existence demonstrates). I’m sure Guadalupe’s LMVH bosses are down with the CEO’s unorthodox marketing. Even in the world of tiny gears and springs, perception is reality, right?