Ax faucet taps the infamous Fortnite Streamer for designing an in-game ‘Mistaverse’

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Diving Brief:

  • Ax has teamed up with one of Fortnite’s top content creators to design a custom island in an online shooter, according to information shared with Marketing Dive. Atlas Creative Studios has been involved in the effort, which begins today (June 15).
  • The concept was inspired by social conversations about how an item in the game, a healing spray called Med Mist, is similar to Ax body spray. Following this advance, beauty brand Unilever teamed up with Streamer Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf to build “Mistaverse,” a virtual plot of land.
  • On the Mistaverse Island, visitors can participate in Fortnite activities such as playing Capture the Flag, collecting Med Mist cans with different rewards, and discovering a variety of Easter eggs. The activation shows Ax’s reliance on the gaming expert – and the large audience – of an experienced builder to give his strategy more credibility.

Diving overview:

The ax is having a little fun with the mad metaverse on his allotted Fortnite island. The brand may have felt the game was right for its audience with social listening insights that revealed current conversations equaling a fan-favorite with their own products. Games – and Fortnite, in particular – Also dominates the teenage male crowd that retailer Unilever offers.

The Mistaverse is not developed or endorsed by Fortnite developer Epic Games, which is a change of pace from how some brands approach the multiplayer title. Instead, Ax teamed up with a well-known operator and esports professional to design the space, explaining how marketers are increasingly relying on creators to power experiences that read. Bugha won the inaugural Fortnite World Cup in 2019, won a $3 million prize, and currently has over 25 million followers on social media.

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Ax has sprinkled a variety of activities and secrets around the Mistaverse to try to make the island more attractive and possibly encourage repeat visits. Easter eggs include a Jolly Roger character who appears to refer to the anime and manga series One Piece; A rocket poster that reads “To the moooon” indicates A common phrase in the cryptocurrency community; And the tired-looking can of deodorant has the “Mold Spice” brand on it, a clear blow on its main competitor, Old Spice.

The Fortnite effort is part of Unilever’s evolving strategy around gaming. The packaged goods giant operates the Uplay unit that has ramped up operations since the pandemic began, and is a catalyst for rapid game adoption. Uplay is trying to connect gaming concepts like microtransactions and digital avatars — both popular in Fortnite — with initiatives around e-commerce, another channel that has exploded during the health crisis.

“We see games as the center of society, culture and commerce,” said William Dinger, Unilever’s global director of sponsorship, at the Advertising Bureau’s Interactive Games event in April.

Marketers are also increasingly seeing games as an essential part of the Metaverse, although Ax is unwilling to outright bill the Mistaverse as such. While the well-realized metaverse is still a long way off, online platforms like Fortnite and Roblox continue to attract the most attention from brands. Timberland last week revealed a custom Fortnite island with a virtual iteration of the realistic design lab and a number of biomes that users can explore while wearing the demo Metaboots. The outerwear brand worked with Epic Games during the push.

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Tess Larson

<p class="sign">"Tv geek. Certified beer fanatic. Extreme zombie fan. Web aficionado. Food nerd. Coffee junkie."</p>

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