These unique digital assets, stored on the blockchain, are catching on in the music
industry and being used by brands like Nike and Gucci.
Just when your gran finally got the hang of what a job in
social is all about, crypto has hit the marketing industry in
an increasingly mainstream way with NFTs.
“Non-fungible” essentially means unique - like the digital
version of an original piece of artwork. You couldn’t trade
said art for another painting and own the exact same
thing. NFTs can be any type of digital asset, including but
not limited to art, videos, music, gifs, games, 3D objects,
text and memes. They are stored on the blockchain; as the
blockchain is transparent, it’s easy for everyone to see
who owns which token. So - bragging rights amongst
fellow NFT enthusiasts.
There is a growing marketplace where people can buy
and sell NFTs. Selecting the right marketplace for the
right items is important. Some are exclusive and need
invitations to start selling, while others are receptive to
brand collaborations. Some of the most popular include
SuperRare, Nifty and OpenSea.
FASHION & GAMING: THE FUTURE
There is currently less activity in this space than you would perhaps expect.
Recent examples include football star Mesut Ozil’s branded digital clothing range for
fans to kit out their own avatars, in aid of charity. The gaming and fashion crossover is
an obvious sector of opportunity for NFTs;. with custom avatars increasingly popular
and brands like Nike and even Lidl releasing digital fashion products on gaming
platforms, it’s only a matter of time before unique digital fashion becomes as sought
after as IRL. Particularly as The University of the Creative Arts has just launched the
first MA in Digital Fashion.
OFF THE MARK
Sports brands have been some of the
fastest movers in the NFT space. For
example, the social savvy NBA sells short
video clips of players’ top shots - and
collectors have spent $330 million to date.
A 1-1-1 Formula 1 car was the most expensive
NFT sold in 2019 at $110,000, designed for
the officially licensed blockchain game
F1 Delta Time. Nike has moved early and
reached the passionate sneakerhead
community with digital “CryptoKicks”,
creating scarcity by tying production
to that of real sneakers. However, this
is as much about trying to combat
counterfeiting as it is about value.
MUSIC & ART: TODAY’S TACTIC
There’s been a recent rush on NFTs in music and art. Firstly, the digital artist
known as Beeple sold an NFT of his work for $69 million at Christie’s (his
most spenny effort before was a $100 print). Then Kings of Leon became the
first band to release an album as an NFT, with three different tokens ranging
from a special album package to live show perks like front-row seats for
life. Grimes recently sold $6 million worth of digital artworks - a series of 10
pieces - after putting them up for auction. Expect a lot more in this space.
NFTs are only gaining in popularity right now.
Figuring out the market fit for your brand or product is
key. Some brands’ assets naturally lend themselves to
this digital space, while others might have to take a more
innovative approach to getting involved.
Any approach needs to be thought through in regards to
the format of the asset (jpg or 3D object, for example) and
the NFT platform selected to host the drop.
The $69m Beeple drop has set an already hyped area
into overdrive, with global news covering the event,
driving NFTs straight into the mainstream. This will
undoubtedly usher a new generation of platforms to
enable NFTs to be viewed (think online NFT exhibition
spaces) or worn (on avatar platforms) where people’s
purchases can be shown off.
However, a word of warning: NFTs can have a heavy
carbon footprint. Brands looking to get involved need to
get clued up about how they can do so responsibly. It’s
also currently an experimental area where only the most
innovative brands are likely to get involved - but it’s one
that’s showing some interesting early results.
Ultimately, this technology enables something that
has been missing online. A verifiable method of digital
Sam Cox, Senior Creative Technologist &
Harvey Cossell, Group Head of Strategy
We’re a socially-led creative agency making ideas worth talking about for global brands.
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