Samsung, NBCUniversal bring Rockefeller Center to the metaverse

2022/09/21 Innoverview Read

Dive Brief:

  • NBCUniversal, in partnership with Samsung, today (Sept. 20) launched “Tonight at the Rock - Powered by Samsung Galaxy,” per details shared with Marketing Dive. The playable experience recreates a fantastical version of Rockefeller Center and the set of “The Tonight Show” in Fortnite.

  • The experience lets players explore a co-branded virtual New York City and make their way to Studio 6B by using in-game power-ups inspired by Samsung devices. Mini-games are inspired by “The Tonight Show.”

  • The collaborative Fortnite experience is being billed as an experiment in the metaverse, a growing area of interest for marketers. To extend the reach of the effort, an in-show integration mirroring one of the game experiences will be featured on “The Tonight Show” on Sept. 21.

Dive Insight:

The “Tonight at the Rock - Powered by Samsung Galaxy” experience in Fortnite demonstrates how brands and publishers are coming together to launch activations in the metaverse, the nascent concept around immersive worlds that utilize augmented and virtual reality. The experience demonstrates how NBCUniversal can use one of its largest platforms to showcase a brand outside of traditional advertising or product placement.

“At NBCUniversal, innovation happens at the intersection of creativity and technology. We’re focused on creating unique opportunities for our partners across NBCU’s vast portfolio of iconic IP that tap into the latest consumer and cultural trends,” said Sari Feinberg, senior vice president for marketing, creative partnerships, advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal, in a statement.

This experience recreates iconic locations with NBCUniversal connections like New York’s Rockefeller Center, the 30 Rock building and Studio 6B, the home of “The Tonight Show.” For its part, Samsung is represented in the immersive experience through power-ups inspired by its mobile, watch and tablet devices that allow players different views and speeds.

Available in single- and multi-player modes, the experience includes games inspired by “The Tonight Show” including Giant Pong, Race Up the Rock, Cabbie Crash Course and Escape Studio 6B. One game will be showcased on the Wednesday night broadcast, potentially exposing the experience to a larger group of consumers — many of whom are unfamiliar with how the metaverse works, despite increased marketer attention.

“Tonight at the Rock” was created independently in partnership with IPG global experiential agency Momentum Worldwide and is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite. Increasingly, that has been the case with branded Fortnite experiences — as with those by Honda and Axe — although Epic has partnered with WPP to help deliver digital experiences for brands in the metaverse. 

(Copyright: MarketingDive Samsung, NBCUniversal bring Rockefeller Center to the metaverse | Marketing Dive)