We wrote about NFTs earlier this year when Beeple made his landmark sale. They surged to new highs with nearly $2.5 billion in the first 6 months of 2021, according to Dapp Radar, compared to $13.7 million in the first half of 2020. However, as some NFT aficionados have learned, their portfolios have dropped drastically in value, some as much as -80%.
Despite this, the NFT market is still chugging ahead with a number of brands clamoring to get into the market. This demand has prompted a chain reaction in the advertising ecosystem from agencies, platforms, and other service providers.
Marketing agencies have created NFT divisions to keep up with demand. For example, VaynerNFT—a new agency created within VaynerMedia—launched with Anheuser-Busch InBev as the beer giant’s NFT agency of record. While Gary Vaynerchuck (aka GaryVee), VaynerMedia’s CEO and founder, believes most branded NFTs will be “a disaster” because most people are more likely to buy from a celebrity than a company, there is an approach for the right brands with the right “cultural cachet” that could make for a great success.
Coca-Cola became the leading drink by issuing real world limited edition collectibles featuring Norman Rockwell ($400) to the present day polar bear appearing on all kinds of items from metal signage to a German Trink cooler ($500) and a Crystal 125th anniversary bottle ($275). Now, Coke is moving into the virtual world by minting NFTs to benefit the Special Olympics. Coke’s first “loot box” looks like a classic 1956 vending machine and contains four NFTs that are now separated on the secondary market:
- A vintage cooler
- A metallic red bubble jacket that illuminates with fizz inspired by the company’s old delivery uniforms that could be worn in Decentraland 3D
- A sound visualizer of what is heard while drinking a Coke like a bottle opening and the drink pouring over ice
- A Friendship card based off of a 1948 Coca-cola trading card artwork
Included to the winning bidder is a real life fully stocked Coca-cola refrigerator. After 72 hours from July 30 to August 2 of fervent bidding on OpenSea the final bid was $575,883.61, one of the top 5 NFTs ever sold on OpenSea.
Other brands jumping onto the NFT bandwagon:
- Campbell’s collaboration with artist Sophia Chang and shopping app NTWRK;
- Taco Bell was one of the first with its series of digital taco NFTs,
- CNBC has NFTs of some market moving segments,
- Dolce and Gabbana has high fashion NFTs
- Pringles has CryptoCrisp
- Dunkaroos has 10 New Frosting Tokens
- Even Charmin has toilet paper related NFTPs (Get it?)
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has opened a new online market for NFTs as a new section on Alibaba Auction. The service, called “Blockchain Digital Copyright and Asset Trade”, allows creators and other artists to sell NFTs. The platform already has a variety of products listed from a Star Wars illustration to a painting of Chengdu’s West Pearl Tower.
Even Ant Group, Alibaba’s financial services arm, is involved, having sold out of 8,000 NFTs based on art from the Dunhuang Caves in June as well 1,600 digital trophies to users who won its football quiz in July.
The South China Morning Post, part of Alibaba’s empire, also unveiled its own NFT project last month, offering historical items from its archives similar to CNBC’s NFT offering. Last month, Tencent launched an NFT trading platform called Huanhe, where it will sell 300 NFTs for audio clips from the talk show Shisanyao.
Stateside, Fanatics, which recently wrestled trading card production away from Topps for baseball, football, and basketball, already launched its own NFT company, Candy Digital, earlier this year.
The brand world is going crazy for NFTs but with so many choices what do consumers do? In the crypto world, Elon Musk can tweet out his picks to move markets, but who do we turn to for NFT advice?
None other than VaynerNFT’s own GaryVee who’s tweet about EtherRock as one of the NFT projects released two years ago that could have long term appreciation caused the digital asset to skyrocket: within seconds of the tweet, EtherRock jumped from 1.2 ETH to 32 ETH to 80 ETH close to 250K. Not bad for some royalty free clip art. Then again, Dogecoin has appreciated by over 2000%. Not bad for a Shiba Inu inspired coin. Let’s see if GaryVee can be the Elon Musk of the NFT world. What are your thoughts on this? Let us know!