NFTs are a fact that can no longer be ignored!
Even if some people are still struggling to grasp the concept, the fact is that this technology is rapidly advancing.
In 2021, NFT sales surpassed $24.9 billion, up from $94.9 million the year before.
They’ve been huge in the art world, gaming, and creating online groups, like the celebrity-favorite Bored Ape Yacht Club.
And going along with this new hype, some brands are now using it to implement incredibly imaginative tactics, yielding results that are just as spectacular.
Coca-Cola, L’Oreal, Nike, McDonald’s, and Lamborghini are just a few of the numerous brands and companies that have used NFTs strategically to improve campaign results and deliver a unique experience for their customers.
But, before investing in a new type of technology, it’s important to educate ourselves about it.
That’s why, in this article, we’ll dig deeper into these examples and show you how brands have been using NFTs, what results they’ve seen, and what insights you can take away for your own brand—whether you use or don’t use this new technology.
NFTs are digital assets that live on a blockchain ledger and have unique signatures.
Digital art, music, and video were among the earliest NFTs, but they can also represent real-world objects like physical artwork and real estate.
Transforming these real-world assets into tokens makes them more economical to buy, sell, and trade while also minimizing the risk of fraud.
The NFT field blossomed in 2021, with most of the buzz focused on digital art and collectibles, but we’re now seeing a slew of new applications, many of which are useful to brand marketing.
Now let’s look into some of the brands that have jumped into the NFT world.
Coca-Cola created a set of four NFTs. These tokens are animated, one-of-a-kind digital artworks that give multi-sensory experiences and unlock surprise goodies for the first owner, to commemorate International Friendship Day on July 30, 2021.
The surprises included a ‘Coca-Cola Bubble Jacket Wearable’ that can be worn on the virtual reality platform Decentraland, as well as a ‘Coca-Cola Friendship Card’ inspired by the original 1940s artwork.
The victorious bidder also received a real-life, fully stocked Coca-Cola refrigerator, which was auctioned over 72 hours as a single ‘treasure box.’
The NFT auction raised a total of $575,883 for Special Olympics International.
Following this, Coca-Cola also 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.
This means you won’t know what collectible/rarity you got until after you’ve made a successful purchase.
To increase client loyalty and adoption, this famous cosmetics business recently launched NFTs tailored to their most popular goods.
Clinique gave these tokens to members of their Smart Rewards loyalty program instead of selling them.
Members used the hashtag #MetaOptimist to share stories about who offers joy to their lives every day, or how they bring optimism to those around them, and three winners were picked to get free products for ten years, as well as one of the NFTs.
The NFL announced in November 2021 that fans would be able to receive free virtual commemorative tickets as a limited-edition NFT.
Fans who attended select games from Thanksgiving to the end of the 2021 season were eligible for an NFT ticket, which could then be swapped or sold, thanks to a partnership with Ticketmaster.
The famous Italian fashion house has opened its own space in the Metaverse, also known as Gucci Town.
Gucci Town on Roblox is a place to learn more about the House and its past alongside Alessandro Michele’s kaleidoscope vision.
As well as to express one’s own personality and connect with like-minded individuals from all over the world, similar to Vault.
Mini-games, art displays, and shopping for digital Gucci products to adorn Roblox avatars are all available in the virtual piazza.
The sunglass brand teamed with digital artist Oliver Latta to transport their iconic aviators to the metaverse, demonstrating their support for art and artists.
They sold a single NFT as a charity auction for the Italian Art Trust, demonstrating that volume isn’t required to make a splash with NFTs.
To commemorate the brand’s 200 years in luxury shopping, it released Louis: The Game, a smartphone game that cleverly explores the world of NFTs.
30 NFTs developed by artist Beeple are embedded in the game, which players can find and “own” within the game, however, they cannot be bought or sold on the open market.
The sneaker company was one of the first to embrace NFTs, and now they’re all in on the metaverse.
They’ve done NFT collaborations with artists and the Bored Ape Yacht Club, launched NIKELAND, a Roblox-based immersive 3D world, and filed virtual goods trademarks.
They even teamed up with the University of Oregon to release limited-edition Air Max 1 sneakers as both NFTs and physical footwear, following the trend of mixing metaverse with real-world benefits.
Nike also purchased RTFKT, a prominent maker of virtual footwear, collectibles, and experiences, in December 2021.
In 2022, Nike is sure to release more fascinating and unique NFT concepts.
The beauty giant L’Oreal, teamed up with United Talent Agency to launch the NFT line, which is focused on women’s empowerment.
The move is part of a marketing effort for their new ‘Reds of Worth’ lipstick range.
Five diverse works inspired by the color red, each produced by a female artist, are included in the NFT collection.
The proceeds from the sales will benefit the artists who created the sculptures, with 50% of the secondary market transaction value going to the Women of Worth foundation.
You may have heard that artist Shl0ms blew up a Lamborghini and turned it into NFT art earlier this year, but Lamborghini has now begun producing its own NFTs.
Lamborghini released a set of five obscenely beautiful photos of a Lamborghini Ultimate ascending into space above the Earth in January.
The photos, created by Swiss artist Fabian Oefner, feature 1,500 real automotive pieces trailing behind the vehicle, each of which was photographed by the artist and meticulously placed into fictional compositions.
The curvature of the Earth is clearly obvious in the images, which are a composite of photos taken using a camera attached to a weather balloon.
The five photos took more than two months to make in total.
McDonald’s launched its first-ever NFT promotion in November to honor the return of the fast-food restaurant’s limited-edition McRib to its menu.
As part of a virtual collectible art collection showcasing the McRib, they released a limited number of NFTs (called MCNFT) to generate excitement about the product’s brief reappearance and limited availability.
Only those who retweeted the brand’s invitation received the collection of ten separate McRib NFTs, which more than 21,000 individuals did in only a few hours and approximately 93,000 had done by the start of 2022.
That is excellent marketing!
Brands have been gaining branding successes with their customers, giving special experiences to customers, building a feeling of community, and making younger audiences more easily tuned into new technology, in addition to financial rewards.
Breaking down barriers between the physical and digital worlds has allowed businesses to access areas they couldn’t have imagined before, such as gaming and entertainment, and even get the awareness of social impact initiatives.
Start with your branding and digital marketing plan if you want to start investing in NFTs for your company.
Define your expectations for this new strategy.
Do you want to broaden your audience’s reach? Strengthen the sense of belonging in your community? How can you get your supporters to care about your brand? Do you want to contribute to social causes?
Always keep in mind that strategy comes before tactics. Another key issue to consider is whether or not your target audience is interested in this new trend.
Only then will you be able to delight your audience while also increasing brand awareness.
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