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    NBC Universal and Samsung are bringing 'The Tonight Show' to the metaverse

    Ever wanted to play giant beer pong in Fortnite? Soon you'll be able to. 

    NBC Universal (NBCU) and Samsung are launching a new marketing and fan engagement push, titled “Tonight at the Rock - Powered by Samsung Galaxy,”which will take place in a virtual rendering of Rockefeller Center. The virtual experience is being hosted in Fortnite, the hugely popular online multiplayer game that has come to serve as a major gateway for brands looking to connect with their audiences in the “metaverse.”

    Once inside the “co-branded virtual NYC” - as described in a statement from NBCU - visitors will be challenged to ascend from the ground floor all the way up to Studio 6B - the IRL version of which is the where "The Tonight Show" is filmed inside Rockefeller Center - collecting Samsung device-themed "power-ups" along the way. They can also play a number of “mini-games,” including giant beer pong, a game which will be familiar to many fans of the show.

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    “At Samsung, we’re always looking for opportunities to give users one-of-a-kind experiences with their Galaxy devices,” Janet Lee, senior-vice president of mobile experience at Samsung Electronics America, said in a statement. “‘Tonight at the Rock’ empowers fans with a unique social adventure right in the heart of 30 Rock, all enhanced through in-game Samsung power-ups made possible by the Galaxy ecosystem. We are so excited to offer late night fans the first-ever interactive 'Tonight Show' gaming experience, in a way that honors our longstanding creative partnership.” 

    “Tonight at the Rock — Powered by Samsung Galaxy” is an extension of a pre-existing partnership between Samsung and NBCU. In another collaborative effort in early 2019, "The Tonight Show" aired an episode that was filmed entirely on a Samsung Galaxy S10+ smartphone. 

    “We’ve been collaborating with Samsung on unique, engaging integrations for over the past few years to bring 'Tonight Show' audiences first-of-its-kind experiences they can’t connect with anywhere else,” Mark Marshall, President, NBCU’s President of Advertising and Partnerships, said in a statement. “Now, we are transforming with our partners as the industry dives further into tech-enabled activations such as metaverse platforms redefining interactive advertising within iconic pieces of IP like NBC’s Late Night slate.”  

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    Samsung has been recently making great efforts to distinguish itself as a pioneering brand in the metaverse. In June, it held an event in Roblox called Samsung Superstar Galaxy, which featured a virtual performance from Charli XCX. It also hosted a Valentine’s Day event in Decentraland earlier this year.

    “Tonight at the Rock — Powered by Samsung Galaxy” will go live tomorrow, September 20. Following the launch, Wednesday’s broadcast of "The Tonight Show" will also promote the new virtual experience with “a special in-show integration mirroring one of the games IRL.”

    For more, sign up for The Drum’s Inside the Metaverse weekly newsletter here

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