After launching its virtual influencer, Kai, in May, Olaplex is bringing the character to the metaverse through Decentraland.
Originally unveiled in AI video format on the brand’s social channels, Kai now has a Decentraland avatar as part of Olaplex’s new metaverse-centered campaign. On Thursday, the brand launched a contest for users to design a new NFT hairpiece for Kai to wear in the virtual world, with a grand prize of $2,500 for both the winner and a charity of their choice. Olaplex is the latest in a range of beauty brands launching Decentraland campaigns.
“We chose Decentraland as our metaverse partner because they aligned with our core Olaplex values. It’s an open-source platform, fully distributed, easily accessible, built on Web 3.0 blockchain technology and focused on energy efficiency at scale,” said Olaplex CMO Charlotte Watson.
Known for its virtual land “real estate” for sale, the Decentraland virtual world remains niche with an estimated 300,000 monthly active users. Gamer reviews of the platform have compared it to that of popular virtual world games such as Fortnite, Roblox and Second Life, saying its performance and image quality are relatively lower than these larger game brands. Roblox, another platform with an open-source format, has also been attracting beauty brands and hosting their campaigns.
JuE Wong, CEO of Olaplex, said, “Our launch into the metaverse is to represent, connect and expand our community in places where consumers are already engaged. We believe everyone deserves to have stronger, healthier hair.”
Participants can submit entries via Olaplex’s website. Using the template provided on the site, they can submit a 2D or 3D drawing of their headpiece design. The designs of three finalists selected by a panel of judges will be converted into digital 3D renderings by a graphic designer and uploaded to Olaplex’s website for voting on the final winner. The winning headpiece will then be created in NFT format in Decentraland for the avatar to wear.
In the future, the brand plans to hold Decentraland events and give away NFT wearables, as well as undertake other metaverse initiatives such as fashion shows and brand collaborations. Kai’s rainbow hair, shirt, pants and shoes in Decentraland already exist in NFT format.
According to Watson, the brand’s goal with NFTs is “community engagement;” it is prioritizing NFTs that are “unique, limited, and non-transactional.” It does not have any plans to sell NFTs, she said.
Within the past year, beauty brands including Lottie London, Estée Lauder, and Valde Beauty have sponsored Decentraland campaigns and events. Estée Lauder, which participated in Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week in March, just participated in the platform’s Metaverse Art Week held from August 24-28.
Olaplex is interested in introducing its virtual influencer to multiple metaverse platforms in the future, said Watson. Overall, the brand’s “metaverse strategy will be a key lever in exploring new engagement methods for continuing to grow our community,” she said. “As new technology emerges, we will continue to stay at the forefront of metaverse experiences and advancements, especially as the professional and consumer user base grows and adopts new technologies and virtual landscapes.”