- Niantic, the augmented reality (AR) company that created Pokemon Go, launched its first brand campaign that builds on its vision for the metaverse, per an announcement shared with Marketing Dive. The campaign, titled "Meet You Out There," was created with Gravity Road and went live on Nov. 17.
- Insisting that the metaverse belongs in the real world as opposed to a virtual one, Niantic released a two-minute film encouraging people to go outdoors and use the brand's AR tech to enhance their experiences. The campaign features a slate of additional activations, including an AR embodiment of its airship logo, an art giveaway and digital out-of-home (DOOH) placements in New York City's Times Square.
- As interest in the metaverse heats up, Niantic is promoting a vision for the space that could appeal to consumers who remain skeptical of the approach taken by big tech companies.
Niantic's first brand campaign announces an outlook on the metaverse that intentionally differs from that of Meta (formerly Facebook) and other big entrants into the space. In a blog post from August, CEO John Hankes took aim at what he views as a dystopian vision from these companies, in which people will use the metaverse to escape from reality. "Meet You Out There" seeks to show consumers that Niantic's technology can enhance reality, bridging AR capabilities and platforms with real-world experiences.
The two-minute film headlines this vision, showing people putting down their video game controllers, going outside and connecting with each other and the world through the help of Niantic's technology. The spot originally premiered in Ingress, one of Niantic's mobile AR games, as an obtainable media object, and includes Easter eggs to encourage engagement.
An AR version of Niantic's logo — the eponymous Gold Rush-era whaleship tethered below a hot air balloon — serves as a beacon for players in the spot, seemingly heralding the dawn of the metaverse. The "ARship Niantic" references a 1930s belief that airships would dock at towers, which Niantic is suggesting is now a reality through AR technology, per the announcement.
The AR airship was "docked" at the San Francisco Ferry Building and premiered at a special event for Niantic employees, able to be seen through a special app built with the company's Lightship platform. Niantic earlier this month released a Lightship AR developer kit (ARDK), allowing developers to create AR experiences with the company's technology.
Other campaign elements support Niantic's push, like DOOH placements in Times Square that will reveal the "ARship Niantic" to the public. Art by muralist Lakwena is featured in the film and will be available as exclusive prizes to fans. Finally, Niantic held a company-wide day off on the launch date, which was National Hiking Day (Nov. 17), in order to encourage employees to get outside, connect and explore — further driving home its message that the metaverse belongs in the real world.