The Metaverse Campus

We set out to explore the convergence of Web3 trends and technologies and to understand their relevance to the financial industry. We launched a metaverse experience in Decentraland, which included engaging videos, an NFT gallery, and a gamified experience, resulting in increased brand exposure, engagement, and valuable insights into web3 marketing and technology capabilities.

Head of Innovation Labs


Fidelity International

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In the first quarter of 2023, our goal was to explore the relevance of Web3 trends and technologies in our industry. We wanted to delve into distributed ledger technology (DLT), tokenization, digital assets, decentralized finance, Play2Earn, and immersive experiences. Additionally, we aimed to understand the priorities and behaviors of our future client base. Our objective was to provide a new customer experience, expand our communication beyond web and physical touchpoints, and scale up an innovative marketing approach to reach a younger generation.

Specifically, we targeted the emerging wealth segment aged 25-34, in contrast to our average 43-year-old customer. Furthermore, we wanted to establish Fidelity as an early adopter and actively engaged in emerging trends and technologies by being one of the first asset managers to launch a Web3 presence.

Given these interests, we recognized the potential of the Metaverse as a fertile space for exploration. Although we understood that the current state of the Metaverse is still in its early stages, non-transactional, and not a place for seeking financial advice or education, we believed that navigating the challenges and unanswered questions surrounding our entry into the Metaverse would provide invaluable learnings to participate in these evolving trends.

"For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them."

– Aristotle

During our exploration, we discovered several key learnings:

  • We needed to develop new skillsets to create an engaging virtual space, such as gameplay design, 3D modeling, sound design, dialogue design, and software development.
  • We learned how to reach and engage with new audiences effectively.
  • We explored how to translate traditional brand assets and guidelines into immersive virtual experiences.
  • We discovered strategies for building and maintaining a robust virtual community, bridging Web2 and Web3 communities.
  • We educated our legal teams to understand and feel comfortable in this evolving space with its lack of regulation and jurisdictions.
  • We addressed the treatment of virtual assets and transactions from a tax and accounting perspective, including renting virtual land and minting NFTs.
  • We established the infrastructure for operating and deploying 3D assets on the chain.
  • And much more!
The Fidelity International Campus

To launch our metaverse experience, we chose Decentraland due to its popularity among the Web3 community. Prasad Chandrasheker, our head of emerging technology, formed a project team consisting of representatives from our Digital Marketing, Legal & Compliance, Corporate Communications, Digital Propositions, and Procurement teams to navigate the complexities involved.

At that time, few financial services enterprises had entered the metaverse, and those that had received negative press for their lack of awareness and missed opportunities. These teams simply repackaged static copy from their corporate websites into a 3D world gallery, which left crypto natives and metazens unimpressed.

We aimed to go beyond this low benchmark and create something truly unique.Working together, we conceptualized the Fidelity Campus, which comprised three separate buildings, each serving a different purpose with distinct interactions.

Collect all the coins and discover the campus

To guide visitors through the campus offerings we created a Mario-esque coin happy path that encouraged exploration.

Discover Fidelity

The first area, Discover Fidelity, featured engaging videos introducing our company, explaining asset management, and covering basic investment concepts. These videos were custom-made for the metaverse and featured real employees. As visitors progressed through the building, each floor they visited would light up.

Social Mobility Gallery

The Social Mobility Gallery showcased an associated gallery of NFT artwork created by students from School 21 in London. We partnered with them on their Real-World Learning Project, where the students invented a universe called Catopolis, where cats rule the world.

Catopolis NFTs

We minted 1,000 unique NFTs, which quickly 'sold out' before the official launch. This space demonstrated our commitment to social mobility and highlighted our collaboration with UK schools.

The Game of Life

The third area of the campus was an interactive experience called The Game of Life. This gamified experience aimed to associate the Fidelity brand with investing. Visitors would answer investment questions based on real-life moments, such as managing debt, dealing with windfalls, or saving for a goal.

Correct answers would earn visitors points, which they could redeem for 3D wearables for use in Decentraland. The team created 16 different wearables that had a distinctively non-corporate feel, aligning with the metaverse environment and culture.

Results & Key Learnings

Our Metaverse experiment lasted three months and revealed that gamified experiences and digital assets were the most effective means of engaging users.

We awarded 7,490 wearables and minted all of the NFTs. On average, visitors spent 20 minutes exploring the experience.

Furthermore, our campaign to drive brand awareness and traffic successfully reached a Web3 audience through a combination of existing marketing channels and new ones. The marketing and PR efforts resulted in significant brand exposure to the Web3 audience, generating over 3 million impressions on social media for a Web2 audience. The campaign received extensive coverage in web3, news, and finance outlets. Throughout this journey, we gained valuable insights into the web3 marketing landscape and learned how to measure impact and effectiveness beyond traditional digital metrics.

Additionally, we developed in-house tech capabilities to build and run web3 experiences. This involved understanding the technology architecture, NFT production, minting, publishing, and utilizing game mechanics to drive engagement. We also established a global operating process, involving legal, risk, and compliance teams, to ensure seamless operations on a global scale.

In the end, our exploration of the Metaverse provided valuable learnings, allowing us to engage new audiences, develop new skillsets, and establish Fidelity as an early adopter of emerging trends and technologies.

Our work would not be possible without the contributions of our team. We are a diverse group, spread across the globe.

Special thanks to the Prasad Chandrasheker, Ben Brophy, Sambhav Guar, Hiromi Yorikane, Maggie Chan, Matt Twigg, Emma Pecenicic and Jacquie Kwok