As a marketeer it feels like there’s new buzzword, algorithm update, or platform launching every week. It’s virtually impossible to hop on every marketing bandwagon that promises to be the next big thing, but how do you differentiate what will be flash in a pan, or what is worth investing your time in?
Last year when the first NFT artwork sold at auction for a staggering $69 million our industry was all a flutter to see how brands could get involved and whether it should be an integral part of our marketing strategies. Testament to its staying power is the recent announcement Twitter and Instagram are now allowing their users to include NFTs as their profile pictures.
Let’s take a step backwards and firstly unpack what exactly an NFT is and then look at how it can be used. NFT stands for Non-fungible tokens and they are the newest tool for brands to develop content, communities, experiences and utilities Essentially an entire virtual economic ecosystem on the blockchain. We’re still in such an early phase that no one brand, or marketing team is doing it perfectly yet, but that’s not stopping the deluge of brands jumping in.
Some examples of early adopters have been the famous NBA team, the Chicago Bulls, who minted and sold assets featuring their championship rings for fans to collect and Budweiser’s first collection, which featured 1,936 minted unique digital cans that sold out in minutes.
In its digital asset debut Coca-Cola teamed up with 3D creators at Tafi to host an auction for special-edition virtual ‘loot boxes’ of NFTs. The partnership, in celebration of International Friendship Day, saw the global brand recreate one of its iconic vending machines.
To coincide with the Tokyo Olympics, Team GB embraced NFTs as a way for fans to get their hands on some collectibles and also support its athletes. The organisation aims to offer people an alternative way to connect with the team without actually being there with a portion of proceeds going directly to the British Olympic Association.
From this year’s awards submissions it’ll be interesting to see which agencies are getting it right and which ones have refined their NFT strategy as part of their digital strategies and perhaps in the future we will look to develop a Best Use of NFT as its own standalone awards category.
Any company with curious, passionate, loyal fans, consumers, or active community members can (and should) be thinking about how NFTs could work as brand-building, engagement-driving, even revenue-generating tools.