If you saw Facebook's infamous rebrand to Meta recently, you'll probably know the talk of a digital universe has been pretty weird since the change. But things just got a whole lot weirder with this new Meta ad.
Titled 'The Tiger and The Buffalo', the advert revolves around French artist Henri Rousseau's painting, Fight between a Tiger and a Buffalo (1908), and has just been released on social media platforms. The animation was created by Meta's own in-house team CreativeX and Droga5, and aesthetically, it is very quirky and fun. However, we can't also help but get a bit of a sinister feel from the slightly jittery, speaking animals and surrealist imagery. Still completely stumped by this new world? Our nifty guide to the metaverse will help.
The ad starts with four people gathering around a painting that gradually comes to life. Accompanied by upbeat music, the viewer explores a surreal jungle-topia as animated animals bop and dance, and greenery starts to take over the gallery. But as the whole thing comes to an end, an ominous message from Meta appears on the screen that reads "This is going to be fun," (yikes!).
While we can appreciate the stylistic design of the animation, we can't help shake the feeling that the script is just a little creepy. It all kicks off with the tiger saying "This is the dimension of the imagination", which is a direct quote from Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone. This nod to the classic sci-fi horror drama is, frankly, terrifying, as the Twilight Zone represents, "a mental state between reality and fantasy" according to Your Dictionary (opens in new tab). Meta is starting to feel a lot like a dystopian nightmare (and we've all seen Black Mirror, we know how this goes).
While Meta has disabled the comments on its YouTube video (probably to block out all the Meta slander), that didn't stop social media users from flooding the comments of its Instagram post (opens in new tab). It seems to be getting mixed reactions at the moment, with one user commenting on the video, "The twerking flamingo is the highlight of this whole video," and another simply responding, "Not buying it". Many people commented that they can't wait for Meta to arrive, and even we can't deny that this ad does make the metaverse look lively, to say the least.
We're still waiting for Meta to announce the arrival of its metaverse, but taking the ads and the recent rebrand into consideration, it could be soon. If you're wanting to read more about the metaverse, check out our piece on humans in the metaverse and how to create them. Or if you're hoping to upgrade your gear before the launch of Meta's universe, check out our roundup of the cheapest laptops on sale.