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Creative Agency MA + Group Launches NFT and Metaverse Division

It believes brands will need talent that can create 3D avatars and make NFTs as much as they currently need stylists and photographers to help them craft and communicate their images.
A path runs through a virtual forest and past a large stone head that gazes up toward the treetops.
The work of Hi From The Future, which designs virtual worlds and avatars and is now represented by MA + Group. (Hi From The Future)
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Just as brands depend on stylists, photographers and other creatives to help them craft and communicate their images, MA + Group thinks they will need talent that can create 3D avatars, build immersive digital stores, make NFT collections and more as fashion enters the worlds of web3 and the metaverse.

The agency representing creatives such as photographer Hugo Comte and digital artist Hey Reilly said today it is adding a new group of digital specialists to its roster. Among them are Superficial, an art and design studio that creates virtual worlds; DVTK, which builds interactive experiences; Samuel Walker, who designs 3D and digital fashion; and NFT artists such as Kevin McCoy, creator of the first NFT ever minted.

“There’s a huge opportunity for creativity in this world, not only at a technical software level but at a real creative level, particularly in our industry that as we know has specific tastes and aesthetic codes,” said Massimiliano Di Battista, the agency’s co-founder and chief executive. “In the same way a fashion photographer is so important to shoot a great campaign and great visuals that stand and market a brand, the same brand will need an incredible 3D designer.”

Jordan Robinson, who previously worked consulting tech startups, advising companies on blockchain and creating NFT art himself, is joining MA + Group as its strategy expert for the new division.

The metaverse doesn’t yet exist, at least not like the sprawling network of 3D virtual worlds traversable with a single identity that tech visionaries have imagined. Web3, an envisioned next phase of the internet with a decentralized architecture enabled by blockchain technology, is also still in its early stages.

Even so, fashion brands are trying to capitalise on the emerging opportunities as digital assets such as NFTs take off and more users find their way to online games that double as social spaces, including Fortnite, Roblox and blockchain-based worlds like The Sandbox. Morgan Stanley has estimated that, by 2030, the luxury market could generate as much as €50 billion ($57 billion) in additional revenue from sales of digital assets and using games as a marketing channel.

Agencies are banking on brands needing help to enter this world. Al Dente, a creative agency with a number of luxury clients, recently bought land in The Sandbox it hopes to develop into a venue for luxury brands to explore the potential for storytelling and e-commerce in the space.

“It’s simply just another distribution channel and another engagement channel,” Robinson said. “Having an advisor and having a strategic approach to this is prudent because actually, if you take a misstep, sometimes it can backfire and it can all look like a money-grabbing activity.”

Learn more:

How to Market an NFT

Brands will have to navigate how to reach a new kind of audience in order to make their digital assets stand out.

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