Brand communication consultancy Harbour has today announced the appointment of Adipat Virdi to lead a new metaverse offering, Harbour Immersive.
The new business unit aims to put the “why?” of the metaverse before the “what”, helping brands to understand the role that immersive can play in their broader communications plan, in order to develop an effective strategic approach. Harbour Immersive can also oversee the creation and production of immersive experiences through its unique Collective model.
Virdi, who takes on the newly created role of Partner, Harbour Immersive, has more than 20 years’ experience of applying innovation thinking and knowledge to embed immersive strategy at the core of global organisations including Facebook (now Meta), Charlotte Tilbury, the BBC, Virgin Atlantic and HSBC. As Global Creative Product Lead for Immersive at Facebook, he led the Emerging Platforms team’s exploration of VR, XR and immersive experiences.
In his new position, Virdi will work closely with Harbour’s Creative Partner, Mick Mahoney. Harbour’s Client Partner, M-L Robinson, who takes on the additional role of Immersive Client Partner, will be responsible for client leadership in the new business unit.
The pairing of Virdi, a leader in immersive strategy, and Mahoney, the former Chief Creative Officer of Ogilvy and one of the UK’s most experienced and successful creative brand builders, will enable Harbour Immersive to apply industry-leading brand thinking to the opportunities presented by the metaverse.
Mick Mahoney, Creative Partner, Harbour, said: “There’s a lot of noise out there about the metaverse. But what’s real and what’s hype? That’s where Harbour Immersive comes in. With Adi’s unparalleled experience in immersive strategy, and my background in building some of the world’s most successful brands, we can help clients navigate this new world with certainty, putting the “why?” before the “what?” to develop an immersive strategy that makes sense from a business, brand and communications perspective.”
Adipat Virdi, new Partner, Harbour Immersive, added: “The metaverse is not about the tech, the platforms or even about what realities your avatar will exist in. Under the hood, it is simply about enhanced audience engagement. Harbour gets that! They really understand that the emotional connective tissue is where immersive can help deliver these new opportunities for brands. It’s a unique partnership and I’m so excited to be working with them.”
M-L Robinson, Client Partner, Harbour and Harbour Immersive, concluded: “It’s all about asking the right questions. Why will this help my brand? How is it usable and what makes it commercially viable?
“Many of the clients we’re working with start out as sceptics, but they quickly come to realise that this is happening, and ignoring it is not the answer. If I was still client side, I’d be looking for partners who can empower me with knowledge on the metaverse and help me understand its commercial value for my brand. I’d want to be going to my board with a point of view, not waiting to be asked. And that’s exactly what we can help with.”