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Code3 had a terrific time attending the 2022 ANA Digital & Social Media Conference in Carlsbad, California, and hearing from industry leaders in person (including our client Candice Beck at Chipotle!) on the future of marketing and identifying ways Code3 can help brands win across the digital ecosystem. This year’s conference focused on leveraging gaming across brands to resonate with younger audiences and navigating the metaverse and Web 3.0 for a deeper, more immersive consumer experience. 


Here are themes and key insights from the event.

The Metaverse

What It Is: 

An integrated and immersive virtual world offering participants new, decentralized forms of self-expression and creativity, shopping & owning, and co-creating and interacting. It’s inclusive of Social, Experiential, and Commerce components.


  • Rules of engagement from Web 2 do not apply - dominance hierarchy is reset
  • Consider the audience you’re engaging with and be intentional - for the first time, a diverse body of Black/Latino consumers is built-in from the start. The metaverse can be a multicultural, democratized space of self-expression where minority groups have the power to shape the culture/tone
  • At its core, the metaverse is a space for entertainment and embodiment, and brands need to see it as an experimental playground where creativity and playfulness matter
  • Brands need to build “a whole new vibe” in the metaverse - rules of brand identity on social media don’t apply in the metaverse, think of it like day and night personalities, with the metaverse being significantly more fun, lifelike, and bold
  • Event marketers are necessary brain trusts in programming the virtual space, to ladder back toward tangible value and real memory-making moments that connect the physical world to the virtual

The Gaming Industry

What It Is: 

A $336 billion dollar industry that is inclusive of all forms of video games (PC, console, mobile, eSports) which is becoming a dominant new marketplace and arguably the biggest art form of our time.


  • It may be a digital world but the experience is very real to consumers - we need to appeal to an individual’s desire for fantasy, community, winning, collaboration
  • The gaming community is unforgiving and knows the IP inside and out - authenticity MATTERS
  • 45% of players are female yet only 22% are engaged in communities - let’s help brands reach women 
  • Gen Z is dominating this space because it’s interactive and social - TV is losing the younger demographic to gaming, and they often never come back
  • Every single brand needs to have a gaming strategy + POV (even if that POV is “We aren’t engaging”)

Wrap Up

As bold digital explorations innovate the consumer landscape, we’ll need to stay nimble, imaginative, and open-minded about the possibilities this future can bring to brands. New best practices and rules of engagement will emerge, new audiences can be reached, and through staying close to the changes and anticipating new ones, C3 can help shape fresh, dynamic strategies for its brands to win and lead the way, out in the world and deep in the metaverse.


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