NFTs have ushered in a new mode of exchange. This new economy provides creators, artists, and even brands with the freedom and decentralisation to form an additional and exclusive relationship with their supporters and clients. A purchase of an NFT expands a community’s interaction with an individual or company, from clubs to donations to brand experiences.
Below are some good examples of how big brands are absorbing and integrating this technology into their marketing strategies.
Gucci took to the digital runway, auctioning off a newly minted NFT inspired by its Fall/Winter 2021 collection in an online Christie’s auction. Christie’s describes the NFT as a “dream-like landscape and effervescent energy.” It is based on Aria, a four-minute film produced to accompany a runway show and is formatted as a three-channel video playing on loop. The week-long auction ended with a final sale price of US$25,000, with the proceeds going to UNICEF USA.
The NFL (National Football League) announced that fans could receive complimentary virtual commemorative tickets as a limited-edition NFT. Fans who attended select games from Thanksgiving until the end of the 2021 season were eligible for an NFT ticket, which could then be traded or sold, thanks to a collaboration with Ticketmaster.
Ray-Ban The design sunglasses company aspires to be a significant player in the metaverse by 2022 and beyond. Not only is the brand working with Meta (formerly Facebook) on AR glasses, but it also entered the NFT space in October last year, auditioning off it’s first and only NFT featuring the brand’s iconic Aviator sunglasses. The NFT was created by German artist Oliver Latta, known for his provocative 3D motion designs. It was auctioned off on OpenSea, benefiting the Italian Art Trust.
McDonald’s delivered its first-ever NFT promotion to commemorate the return of the fast-food restaurant’s limited collection McRib to its menu. As a way to generate excitement about the product’s temporary return and limited availability, the world’s largest restaurant chain issued a limited number of NFTs (dubbed MCNFT) as part of a virtual collectible art collection featuring the McRib. The collection of ten individual McRib NFTs was only available to those who retweeted the brand’s invitation. More than 21,000 people did within a few hours, and nearly 93,000 had done by the beginning of 2022. That’s innovative marketing.
Coca-Cola released a series of four NFTs, animated, one-of-one digital artworks delivering multi-sensory experiences — unlocking surprise items upon purchase for the first owner — to commemorate International Friendship Day on July 30.
Surprises included a ‘Coca-Cola Bubble Jacket Wearable’ that can be worn in virtual reality platform Decentraland, as well as a ‘Coca-Cola Friendship Card’ inspired by the original 1940s artwork, among other things. The winning bidder also received a real-life, fully stocked Coca-Cola refrigerator, which was auctioned off over 72 hours as a single “loot box”. The entire net proceeds of the NFT auction (US$575,883) were donated to Special Olympics International.
Following this, Coca-Cola released a new set of four branded NFTs in December 2021, a collection of festive digital collectible snow globes featuring falling snow and the iconic Coke polar bears, as part of a blind box offering, which means you won’t know what collectible/rarity you’ve acquired until after your successful purchase.
Clinique debuted its first-ever set of limited-edition NFTs, MetaOptimist, making it the first Estée Lauder Companies brand. Rather than using the bidding system standard in NFTs, the global beauty brand held a competition to award three NFTs to members of its Smart Rewards program who shared stories of optimism and hope for the future on social media using the hashtags #MetaOptimist #Clinique #Contest. Winners also received complimentary products as a bonus.
Dolce & Gabbana
Boson Protocol made NFT history by acquiring The Glass Suit, designed by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. It was part of Dolce & Gabbana‘s Collezione Genesi, a nine-piece luxury drop curated exclusively by UNXD, an NFT marketplace. The items exist both digitally and physically.
Boson won the auction with a bid of 351 Ethereum (ETH), or $1 million. The Glass Suit, as an NFT, comes with a variety of digital and physical experiences, including its virtual recreation in an open metaverse, a custom fitting at the Dolce & Gabbana atelier in Milan, access to couture events in Italy, and two two-week exhibitions in the fashion brand’s stores.
Playboy has made a substantial investment in NFTs. The Playboy Rabbitars Collection, which pays homage to the company’s founding year, 1953, and iconic bunny imagery, is one of the more recent efforts.
Approximately 12,000 3D rabbit characters inspired by the brand’s iconography and heritage have been released in NFT form. Each has unique characteristics such as fur, facial features, ears, apparel, accessories, occupation-related traits, and ears. They are also the keys to a reimagined Playboy Club, including exclusive member events, merchandise, artwork, and artist collaborations.
The Rabbitars were created by Playboy’s Web3 Innovation team in collaboration with Possible Studios and Wenew, an art studio and blockchain technology company. The Rabbitars are ERC-721 tokens that live on the Ethereum Blockchain and are hosted on the InterPlanetary File System or the metaverse’s decentralized file storage system.
In honor of its founder’s 200th birthday, Louis Vuitton combined fashion and technology by introducing “Louis the Game,” an adventure-style game in which players must navigate through Vivienne’s dollhouse.
Aside from that, players traveled to various locations to collect 200 candles to commemorate the 200th anniversary of their birth. The adventure included 30 hidden NFTs, 10 of which were created with “Beeple,” a well-known NFT artist.
NFTs in this game can be collected but are not for sale to the general public.
Nike is now planning to launch a digital sneaker collection. It has already filed trademark applications for “Nike”,”Just Do It”,”Jordan”, and other properties to prevent counterfeits from entering the digital world.
“This acquisition accelerates Nike’s digital transformation and allows us to serve athletes and creators at the intersection of sport, creativity, gaming, and culture,” said Nike President and CEO John Donahoe in a statement.
One of Nike’s main competitors, Adidas, has also expressed an interest in the NFT market. Recently, it released into the Metaverse, a collection of 30,000 NFTs. Adidas and its partners kept approximately 380 of these NFTs for “future events”. At 0.2 ETH, Adidas earned more than $20 million from the sale of these NFTs.
For sale, the company collaborated with some of the most well-known names in NFTs, including Bored Ape Yacht Club, Punks Comics, and GMoney. At the moment, purchasing these NFTs does not grant access to physical merchandise in 2022. Still, Adidas intends to have exceptional physical merchandise — such as hoodies and tracksuits — in 2022 as well.
Burberry released an NFT game character called Sharky B for Mythical Games multiplayer online game Blankos Block Party. The limited-edition character emblazoned with Burberry’s TB monogram will be available for in-game purchase.
“Pushing boundaries through experimentation is at the heart of what we do at Burberry, and we are constantly looking for ways to connect with our communities in the spaces they love,” said Rob Manley, Burberry’s chief marketing officer.
Article and research | Marcus Ferreira