An online rave in the metaverse set up by the European Union was described as a “dud” after only six people turned up.
The European Commission’s foreign aid department spent €387,000 (£334,000) on developing and promoting the online space which aimed to inform young people about their famously poorly understood Global Gateway investment plan [via Devex].
The campaign was launched with a promotional video in October. “Our shared digital space is the perfect place to get to know and reflect on global issues to make a difference for our shared future,” read the accompanying caption.
Discover the new #GlobalGateway digital platform – https://t.co/DHAdsfwbA1
Our shared digital space is the perfect place to get to know new people and reflect on global issues to make a difference for our shared future. #WhoWeAre pic.twitter.com/IAA01vIYbo
— EU International Partnerships 🇪🇺 (@EU_Partnerships) October 13, 2022
A commercial spokesperson told Devex that the event was targeted towards 18-35 year olds “who identify as neutral about the EU and are not particularly engaged in political issues.” The campaign aimed to “intrigue that audience, primarily on TikTok and Instagram, and to encourage them to engage with the broader substance of the campaign, which will increase awareness of what the EU does on the world stage among an audience that is not typically exposed to such information.”
Users could explore the metaverse as a digital avatar “resembling a multicolored paperclip”, where they could navigate around a tropical island where stories about EU development cooperation are playing on video screens in various locations. There was also a 24-hour beach party playing dance music that computer generated figures dance to.
Devex‘s Vince Chadwick was one of the six people who turned up. “After initial bemused chats with the roughly five other humans who showed up, I am alone,” he said on Twitter.
I’m here at the “gala” concert in the EU foreign aid dept’s €387k metaverse (designed to attract non politically engaged 18-35 year olds — see story below). After initial bemused chats with the roughly five other humans who showed up, I am alone. https://t.co/ChIHeXasQP pic.twitter.com/kZWIVlKmhL
— Vince Chadwick (@vchadw) November 29, 2022
In other metaverse-related news, Meta will be hosting a Notorious B.I.G. virtual reality concert later this week, which will feature a realistic avatar of the late rapper.