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Top 10 NFT marketing initiatives by leading brands in 2021

Top 10 NFT marketing initiatives by leading brands in 2021
Written by publishing team

When it comes to brand marketing, nothing has created as much excitement as NFTs (non-fungible tokens) over the past year.

Since the uproar created by the auction of Christie’s first digital-only NFT (a JPG file by Beeple aka Mike Winkelmann that sold for $69.3 million), brands have been experimenting digitally in the metaverse to see how they can be part of the NFT pie .

NFTs are designed as digital assets that cannot be duplicated, like having original artwork online, NFTs are created using blockchain technology which means they have unique identifying tokens.

And it is increasingly being used by brands – classic and sophisticated – as part of their marketing mix, with food (Taco Bell, McDonald’s, Campbell’s) and fashion brands (Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Nike and Gucci) leading the way.

Some brands make NFT collectibles or limited editions as a way to unlock new revenue streams, build brand loyalty or raise money for a good cause, while others use it as a way to enhance their image, tell a story or reach new audiences, still others for Live event tickets.

And while they certainly gained traction last year, they are expected to become mainstream in 2022 and a major player in the trillion-dollar marketing industry in 2022 and are increasingly used by marketers to create unique brand experiences, increase brand awareness and encourage interaction.

From toy company Mattel (the Hot Wheels brand) to beauty giant Estée Lauder (the Clinique brand) and film production company Warner Bros. (The Matrix Film), Brands use NFTs in innovative ways to market new launches, promote milestones or anniversaries, and promote social media following, supporting a campaign, or demonstrating support for a charitable organization or movement.

We highlight the top 10 brand uses of NFTs in marketing in 2021.

1. Asics

One of the first sportswear brands to jump on the NFT bandwagon, in July, Asics’ Sunrise Red collection includes limited-edition digital sneakers (each one of the collection’s nine designs) designed in collaboration with various digital artists. Described by the sports brand as “a celebration of sport and a first step in building a future where digital goods inspire physical activity,” proceeds from 189 digital assets (20 of each silhouette) were reinvested by artists across the digital goods from the Asics Artist-in-Residence Program. A limited edition metallic gold color was also released.

2. Clinic

In October, Clinique unveiled its first limited edition NFTs titled MetaOptimist, making it the first Estée Lauder corporate brand to launch NFTs. Instead of using the bidding system, most common in NFTs, the global beauty brand conducted a contest to award three NFTs to members of the Smart Rewards Program who share stories of optimism and hope for the future on social media using the hashtags #MetaOptimist #Clinique #competition. The winners also get free free products.

3. Taco Bell

In March, the fast food brand Taco Bell sold 25 NFT GIFs on the NFT Rarible Marketplace as a way to raise brand awareness while supporting a good cause. The NFTs chain celebrated the popular taco dish and brought together the digital and physical worlds with original “Transformative Taco” buyers who received a $500 e-gift card to spend as they pleased. While each GIF started at a bid price of $1, all 25 NFTs sold out within 30 minutes and each went in thousands of dollars with one gong up to $3,646. Proceeds were used to support a Live Mas grant that supports youth education.

4. Mattel Hot Wheels

In the run-up to Christmas 2021, toy industry leader Mattel has introduced its highly collectible Hot Wheels brand NFTs, releasing 40 different designs of NFT Hot Wheels to consumers in November starting at $15 each. The products included packages of four or 10 NFTs featuring the brand’s iconic vehicle-moving design. There were four levels of rarity, with over 5,000 NFTs redeemable for a physical copy of exclusive Hot Wheels, with each collector having a 5% chance of landing a special vIRL token and owning a limited edition real vehicle. .

5. Coca-Cola

To celebrate International Friendship Day on July 30, Coca-Cola has released a series of four unique NFTs, animated, digital artworks that offer multisensory experiences – unlocking surprise items when purchased for the first owner. Designed to stimulate anticipation and add entertainment value, the surprises included the “Coca-Cola Bubble Jacket” that can be worn on the Decentraland virtual reality platform, and the “Coca-Cola Friendship Card” inspired by original artwork of the 1940s, among others. Other things. Auctioned for over 72 hours as a single “loot box,” the winning bidder also received a real-life, fully stocked Coca-Cola refrigerator. All proceeds from the NFT auction ($575,883) went to Special Olympics International. Then Coca-Cola released a new set of four branded NFTs in December 2021, a collection of festive, collectible digital snow globes featuring snowflakes and the iconic Coca-Cola polar bear, as part of their blind box show, which means you never know what Are collectibles/rarities that you have earned even after a successful purchase.

6. McDonald’s

Designed to celebrate the return of the McRib limited group of fast food restaurants to its menu in November, McDonald’s introduced its first-ever NFT promotion. The world’s largest restaurant chain has released a limited number of NFTs (dubbed MCNFTs) as part of a collectible virtual art set featuring McRib as a way to get excited about temporary product returns and limited availability. The pool of 10 from McRib NFT was only available to those who retweeted the brand’s invite, which more than 21,000 people did within a few hours, and nearly 93,000 people had done so by the start of 2022. Now, that’s good marketing.

7. Ray ban

The sunglasses designer brand has its sights set on being a big player in the Metaverse in 2022 and beyond. Not only is the brand collaborating with Meta (formerly Facebook) on augmented reality glasses, but in October of last year, it entered the field of NFT, testing out the NFT for the first time, and the only one to feature the popular Aviator sunglasses. Created by German artist Oliver Latta, famous for his 3D animated designs, NFT has been auctioned at OpenSea with proceeds going to the Italian Art Trust.

8. Original Penguin

In order to reach its young audience, American heritage and sportswear brand Original Penguin partnered with influential TikTok artists to create and present the first-ever NFT auction, which took place in November. Marking the first time a fashion brand has commissioned TikTok videos to be the origin of an actual NFT, eight NFTs powered by augmented reality, three created by the brand and five TikTok influencers have been auctioned with interested buyers able to view NFTs in augmented reality (for example example, walk along a beach lined with virtual penguins) before committing. All proceeds went to Free Arts NYC, a nonprofit organization that helps young people through art and mentorship programs.

9. NFL

In November, the NFL announced that fans can get free virtual souvenir tickets as a limited edition NFT. Created in association with Ticketmaster, those fans who attended select games from Thanksgiving through the end of the 2021 season were eligible for an NFT ticket, which can then be traded in or sold.

10. Gucci

Italian fashion label Gucci took to the digital runway in June to auction a newly minted NFT inspired Fall/Winter 2021 collection at an online auction hosted by Christie’s. Described by Christie’s as a mixture of “dream-like landscapes and sparkling energy,” NFT derives from Aria, a four-minute film made to accompany a runway show and formatted as a three-channel video played in a loop. The week-long auction ended with a final selling price of $25,000, the proceeds of which were donated to UNICEF USA to support the non-profit COVAX initiative.


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