Should your brand jump on the NFT bandwagon?
Non-Fungible Tokens are all the rage, but is the hype justified, and do they offer any real value? Our answer: yes, but you need to choose the right type.
Right now, there’s nothing hotter than Non–Fungible Tokens (NFTs). Everywhere you look, there are examples of hip people using this fancy new Blockchain-based technology to make astounding amounts of money. From a digital collage by artist Beeple worth $69 million through to an autographed Tweet by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey (sold for $2.5million), the range of items being sold is staggering. Even a limited-edition meme gif of Nyan the Cat sold for top dollar as an NFT. If your first response to this was another, more famous abbreviation: WTF, and you do not understand either how it works, and frankly its appeal; don’t worry we’ve got you covered. Not only will we help you find the ‘fun’ in fungible, but more importantly we’ll share the digital token you should be using to unlock real marketing value.
NFTs are a type of cryptocurrency, but instead of holding your digital dosh in zeros and ones, it can hold any digital asset (music, tickets, articles, guns and uniforms in video games, digital fashion, even virtual cats called CryptoKitties), but the most common use right now is in artworks, such as for the artist Grimes. In fact, it’s being hailed as the digital future of fine art collecting. NFTs operate through blockchain tech (mostly through Ethereum, but the other blockchains have their own versions), and it means all transactions are transparent and reliable.
The term ‘non-fungible’ simply translates as unique, and that it can’t be replaced with something else. So, a one dollar note or a ticket to your next marketing event is fungible, as you can trade it with another, and you’ll have the same thing and value. But a once-off painting by an artist is non-fungible – there’s only one version, and the value is fluid, it can go up or down. It's a type of speculative investing, like buying stocks or art, but everything is digital, and is sold in online marketplaces like Rarible, OpenSea and Nifty Gateway.
The creators of NFTs can also choose to generate one NFT for their digital asset, or they can decide to do a limited number of them, like authorised artwork prints in real life. The records are shared across thousands of other computers making it safer from hackers. Physical items can be stolen, lost, or destroyed – digital collectibles can’t. Unless you forget your password to your digital wallet.
So, here's the golden question: how can your brand use nfts?
NFTs offer all the tech benefits of blockchain: scarcity, unique identities, and better security. There are benefits for NFTs in digital marketing: firstly, they can be used to create demand in activations and experiences. NFT items can be collected or traded for customer engagement or to reward them. It’s also a future-proof way of verifying authenticity. For example, Nike has just patented a method to verify limited-edition sneakers using a NFT system. We love the name: Cryptokicks.
NFTs also lets you offer special benefits (beyond bragging rights). As a brand, you could use this to reward High-value Customers or offer incentives for your customer engagement programs. The Kings Of Leon used NFTs in their latest album launch (the first band to do so) and offered three tiers of different benefits for the buyers.
Sounds great, right? But here’s the thing: we’ve got something even better.
Virtual Atoms are a form of NFT, but they can also be fungible; they’re our favourite type of creative technology. They’re crafted on a ground-breaking new platform that allows the distribution of infinite digital tokens virtually. These smart digital assets integrate Augmented Reality (AR), geolocation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain, 5G connectivity, and gamification into one unique little pixel product. They offer value in the real world, and as they too are NFTs, they can’t be replicated without the owner’s permission. They also enable brands to virtually engage millions of potential customers on a one-to-one basis, and without any direct human contact. The best part: Virtual Atoms are incredibly flexible, at a moment’s notice you can change the token to be anything you want it to be: your ATL campaign, a competition, a money-off coupon or free sample, a digital treasure hunt like Pokémon Go, and so the list goes on... We know, because we’re ahead of the game and have used them extensively already: they’ve helped us to keep our client’s businesses alive during the pandemic and enabled us to build a digital customer engagement platform and currency for one of our biggest corporate clients (currently shortlisted for several awards). We even used Virtual Atoms to craft an innovative at-home Augmented Reality (AR) experience for Benefit!
What are the biggest differences between Virtual Atom NFTs and, well, just NFTs?
Virtual Atoms can engage audiences anywhere, anytime, and without a physical footprint. And while they’re a type of NFT, they don’t have to live forever: they can be a short-term, ethereal asset which only exists for the duration of a campaign (days or weeks) and can easily be used in promotions, competitions or as redeemable tokens. Our Virtual Atoms are way more eco-friendly than NFTs as they don’t require as much energy and they also don’t face any copyright grey areas. In our opinion, our Virtual Atoms offer way more opportunities for creativity and functionality.
The bottom line: there are plenty of marketing and brand opportunities for both Virtual Atom NFTs, NFTs and fungible tokens, it just depends how you use them. The good news? You don’t need to face this cryptic new world alone; we can help you use this NFT trend to earn real-world marketing value. Attend one of our free masterclasses to learn more or hit us up here to start talking all things fun-gible.
With nearly 30 years of marketing experience, both client and agency side, I’ve acquired a rare perspective on brands and business: I believe you have to challenge things creatively if you want to grow sales. Consumer technology is reshaping our world, and it’s only the great brands that stay on the crest.