What’s happening with NFTs? We look at who’s buying them, new brand activations and what they spell for the future of retail.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have captured imaginations and taken the art world by storm over the past few months—and the interest and attention they’re garnering is only growing. Harris Polls calculated that 40% of US millennials are both familiar with NFTs and likely to buy one. What’s more, 38% of US consumers say NFTs are worth investing in even if they eventually lose popularity, and 27% are already investing in NFTs, Harris Polls found.
According to the Morning Consult, 1 in 4 collectors of physical items say they also engage with NFTs. John Crain, founder and CEO of NFT site SuperRare, told Business Insider that many are motivated to buy NFTs “because it provides a unique connection to the creator that does not exist with any other art form.” As engagement continues to grow and evolve, brands are changing the way they advertise and sell their products in order to keep pace with the digital commodity.
The growing interest is driving brand innovation in the space—opening the door to new forms of advertisement, ownership and retail.
Sponsoring NFT experiences is a new form of digital promotion for brands, giving traditional advertisements new life in virtual marketplaces.
Stella Artois is teaming up with ZED RUN to create horse-racing avatars and a digital experience for fans to engage with. As the first beer brand to auction NFT racing horses, the company views the move as a step between digital advertising and entertainment experiences. Budweiser Brewing Group’s Global Head of Tech & Innovation Lindsey McInerney spoke with Forbes about the partnership, a collaboration with AB InBev announced in June, saying that “As the digital world increasingly enriches our lives, it makes sense that we want to meet consumers where they are and be a part of their virtual world too.”
The rise of auction retail
NFTs are giving rise to a new auction-based retail model. Jacob & Co auctioned off the first luxury watch NFT in April with ArtGrails, a new luxury NFT auction house. The prize was a one-of-a-kind non-fungible token: a 3D animation of Jacob & Co.’s Epic SF24 model.
Retailers not traditionally part of the auction scene are taking advantage of the NFT auction space as well. In May, General Mills auctioned off 10 original digital artworks in the form of NFTs, which the brand playfully referred to as “new frosting tokens.” The highest bidders will be the first to taste the return of the popular Chocolate Dunkaroos before they return to stores.
Selling a moment in time
USA Today is taking their NFTs to the moon and back, and will auction off the first newspaper delivered to space. In honor of the 50th anniversary of Alan Shepard’s trip to the moon, a collection of photographs, front pages, and interactive illustrations will be auctioned off in June to benefit the Air Force Space & Missile Museum Foundation and the Gannett Foundation.
CNN recently announced their Vault by CNN—Moments That Changed Us, a set of the broadcast company’s ‘Moments’ from television archives, packaged and sold as NFTs for CNN consumers. Starting in late June, the launch will include six weekly moments of historical value, CNN exclusives, and Presidential elections available for sale.
As engagement with and interest in NFTs grow, they offer new opportunities for brands and advertisers to expand their consumer base and reinvigorate their offering in this digital realm of possibility.
Main image of Stella Artois and ZED RUN collaboration, courtesy of Facebook.