Brand Experience and Activation > Culture & Context

CITY HALL OF LOVE

MULLENLOWE SINGAPORE, Singapore / UNILEVER / 2023

Awards:

Shortlisted Spikes Asia
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Overview

Credits

Overview

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

While the world has made strides in embracing unconventional forms of love, many are still denied the one freedom they so desperately seek – the freedom to marry.

That's why we gave all lovers a chance to experience it in another – the Metaverse.

Closeup City Hall of Love in Decentraland celebrates all kinds of love by inviting couples to host virtual weddings where they can seal their union by smart contract and mint an NFT Certificate of Marriage that's validated by over 222,000 nodes worldwide, forever immortalising their love on the blockchain.

Background

• Situation

In many parts of the world, the freedom to love is not a right afforded to all. While societies are beginning to accept unconventional forms of love such as same-sex, interracial, intercaste, and interfaith relationships, words as simple as ‘I do’ are still silenced by politics, traditions and conventions.

Couples are denied the marriages they deserve by the very authorities and beliefs they may not subscribe to.

• Brief

Closeup has championed closeness for over 50 years and has always believed in the freedom to love. We were tasked to help couples of all kinds get closer, untethered from self-doubt, external prejudices, or rules.

• Objectives

Show support to disenfranchised couples by celebrating all forms of love, spark conversations on marriage equality, and inspire couples by providing them with a platform to get married – a privilege not given to all.

Describe the creative idea

If the world we live in has no space for simple ideals such as marriage, we invite lovers to one where we can do better – the Metaverse. To democratise love and give power back to lovers, we built the Closeup City Hall of Love in Decentraland. Where couples can host virtual weddings in the presence of loved ones, seal their love on the blockchain via smart contract, and mint an NFT Certificate of Marriage to forever immortalise their love. The NFT is recognised and validated by over 222,000 nodes on the blockchain – more witnesses than any single earthly authority.

Describe the strategy

Because love is a universal right – we made metaverse marriages easily accessible to everyone. We targeted trailblazers – pioneers and innovators who invested time and effort in new technologies. They tended to be highly social compared to peers and have a degree of influence in their social circles. Our strategy was to give trailblazers a sandbox to trial a new symbol of love.

We launched the campaign on social media through an open call, asking couples to share their stories with us for a chance to be the first to get hitched at the City Hall of Love. We interviewed selected couples whose love faces prejudice and restrictions in the real world and gave them the opportunity to get married in the metaverse.

The campaign was also shared among the crypto community, which intrigued many crypto natives and Metaverse enthusiasts who started vlogging and live streaming virtual weddings.

Describe the execution

To democratise love and marriage we built the Closeup City Hall of Love in Decentraland, one of the most popular metaverse platforms, where anyone from anywhere in the world could visit the site, interact with the marriage officiant, and get married to the one they love. Couples can then mint the NFT Certificate of Marriage on the spot and have it appear in front of them. The NFT is minted through an ERC-1155 smart contract that allows shared ownership. Unlike usual NFTs that can fetch exorbitant prices, we made the NFT Certificate of Marriage completely free and designed it to be untradable.

While the NFT Certificate of Marriage does not hold any legal power in any state, we are collaborating with other brands that share the same beliefs by having them recognise the NFTs and offer privileges to couples who own the NFT.

List the results

At its launch, the campaign garnered over 3 million impressions in just 3 days and a total of 140,000,000+ in PR reach. Closeup City Hall of Love also became one of the top trending locations featured on Decentraland's home page. The campaign was featured in 95 publications worldwide, attracting over 20,000 visitors from all over the world. Closeup City Hall of Love also welcomed married couples who used the opportunity to renew their vows as a show of support for disenfranchised couples. The campaign also sparked interest among the crypto community, as crypto content creators documented their experiences through vlogs and live streams.

Please tell us how the brand purpose inspired the work

Closeup has stood for closeness for over 50 years, continuously advocating for the freedom to love regardless of gender, faith, race or age. In recent years, the brand has launched numerous campaigns under the #FreeToLove theme, inspiring couples of all kinds to get closer, untethered from self-doubt and external prejudices.

The advent of the Metaverse gave us an opportunity to actualise Closeup's vision of a world where everyone is free to be with whoever they choose. Because while societies have embraced unconventional forms of love, many are still not afforded the one freedom they so desperately seek – the freedom to marry. In many parts of the world, such relationships still remain illegitimate in the eyes of the law.

The Closeup City Hall of Love allowed us to give all couples an equal opportunity to get married and own an actual certificate that recognises their love.

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