How Yahoo is bringing web3 to life with its Future Shock campaign


• “It’s about the right cultural moment with the right campaign and the right voices behind it”

The metaverse, crypto, and web3, are all hot topics at current, but few actually understand what this all means for brands and marketers. In a move to demystify a topic that can be hard to wrap your head around, Yahoo has worked to bring web3 to the masses via a large-scale integrated campaign for Sydney-based art curators, Future Art.

Called Future Shock, the series includes crypto artists, original Non-Fungible-Token (NFT) artworks, and projections in Sydney’s Vivid festival. 

Mediaweek spoke to Zoe Cocker, head of innovation at Yahoo Creative Studios about bringing Future Shock together and what the world of web3 has to offer.

The main collaboration partner for the campaign is Future Art, with Cocker saying that the partnership arose through connections in the space.

“They’re such amazing, cool guys. We met them through mutual contacts in the web3 space – as you can imagine, it’s a very small community of people who are learning on the go. 

“They are these incredible art curators that we met nearly nine months ago now, and we’ve been learning from them and collaborating on quite a few client pitches with them as the experts in the crypto art space. Off the back of that, we developed this amazing relationship and saw the deep partnerships that they have with all of their artists, and how much they know about the space.”

When it came to bringing a campaign of this size together, Cocker says that there were a lot of moving parts that had to work together. However, it was teamwork that got the campaign across the line.

“We’re really lucky that we are a big organisation in the web2 space. There were so many different levers that we were able to pull. As soon as we went to senior leadership and said ‘we want to do this big web3 project, and we want to involve the whole business’, that’s where it really started to sing for us.

I feel really lucky that I have a killer team in Yahoo Creative Studios. We came up with the concept, but we really called on all the different disciplines across the business – from PR, to the ad platform, to our editorial team, as well as obviously partnerships like Future Art, the artists, and the tech vendors that we ended up onboarding like Samsung and HTC. So it really was a team effort.”

One of the main components of the Future Shock series is interactivity – people are invited to get up close and personal with the art and the brands behind them, in a move that Cocker says really showcases the strength of the web3 proposition. 

“Sometimes it can feel a bit obscure and confusing for people, but the opportunity for web3 to bridge the gap between real-life experiences and digital experiences to create this interactive, immersive experience is such a great one.

“The whole point of this campaign was to show clients how easy it is to interact with this new type of consumer that is up and coming, that’s on the edge of culture, who has all this amazing expressionism, and they want to have more tactile experiences with brands. Putting things like augmented reality into their hands allows them to play with the brand and to play with the art. To see it in their environment, and how frictionless it can be, for me that was really exciting.”

In a campaign with so many components, Cocker says that there were a few things she was particularly excited about.

“The collaboration to me was amazing, the fact that we could collaborate across our whole business – consumer and B2B – was such a tick box thing for me. Then working with the artists themselves and being able to hear their perspective of working with Yahoo as a company, and how we were able to translate their art into 3D gave me tingles. I absolutely loved it. 

“But I really liked seeing our artwork on digital out of home screens on the Vivid Light Walk, which was there because our ad tech team put it there through utilising our platform – it was a real aha moment to me. We came up with this amazing project, worked with these amazing artists, created this amazing AR, and then we saw it all come together on the Light Walk.”

Ultimately, Cocker says that the she hopes the Yahoo team has helped demystify the world of web3 and encouraged other brands to take the plunge.

“I hope that by us doing what we’ve done, it does show brands and marketers that it can be done in a really exciting way. It doesn’t have to be hard, it doesn’t have to be long-winded, and it doesn’t mean you have to learn an entirely new discipline – all the same marketing disciplines still apply. We came up with a great idea that unlocked the idea of technology shifting at a rapid pace, and we built a consumer campaign around it that still leveraged all of the touch points of marketing. The only web3 component really was the NFTs and that 3d component that we added to it. 

“I’m hoping that by us being like a first mover in the space we show that it doesn’t have to be hard, it doesn’t have to take six to eight months, and it doesn’t have to be overly expensive. It’s just about the right cultural moment with the right campaign and the right voices behind it.”

See More: Why an ad-supported Netflix tier would be “Nirvana for advertisers”

Top Image: Zoe Cocker

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