Passing fad? Not so with NFTs, as brands wade into Web3

12 April 2022

SOCIETY CEO Dena Vassallo looks at the hidden power of NFTs for brands and marketers. 

Out of all things going mainstream in 2022, NFTs are at the top of the list, with more NFTs being minted just today than collectively between 2017-2019. For brands wading into the Web3 world it can be daunting - especially with the space changing by the week.

But don’t make the mistake of assuming that NFTs are a passing fad born out of lockdown boredom. They are bringing attention to the potential of Web3, and exciting marketers globally. The blockchain technology has presented a promising vehicle by which brands could bypass the platform-centric marketing world of Web2 and reclaim ownership of their digital consumer relationships.

NFTs can be used to create media moments that have a huge digital impact, and a number of iconic brands have proven the value of doing just that. 

In March last year, Pizza Hut launched a “non-fungible pizza (NFP)”, a collection of limited-edition Pizza Hut (digital) pizzas that collectors could purchase with cryptocurrency. These “1 Byte Favourites” were dropped via an exclusive pizza “slice” each day - and just one of them raised $9k. Taco Bell soon followed suit with a series of images and GIFs based on their iconic Tex-Mex menu items. The tokens sold out in 30 minutes, with proceeds going towards the Taco Bell Foundation’s youth scholarships.

Most brands who have harnessed the popularity of NFTs have followed the same philosophy as Taco Bell, directing any revenue from the campaign to charitable causes. This element of social impact, or giving back, is essential for any brand, not only from a CSR perspective but for utility value.   

Consumers are becoming more socially and environmentally conscious by the day, and the active amongst the community have concerns with the environmental impact of NFTs and cryptocurrencies. However, NFTs offer a valuable opportunity to raise awareness and funds for important causes, and this is where brands can make a real social impact in a unique and hyper-personalised way.

Charities themselves have also jumped into NFT projects to increase awareness and drive donations. Last year UNICEF released a collection of over 1000 visually striking NFTs, designed in collaboration with a data visualisation scientist to represent schools in disadvantaged areas still lacking an internet connection. Each token contains data on more than 280k schools, containing a map showing the areas where schools are still “unconnected”. Collectors are able to view the progress of connecting these schools in real-time, bringing a unique and captivating point of view (and awareness) to UNICEF’s work. 

When SOCIETY embarked on our one-of-a-kind NFT ‘Whitlock’s Tales of Delicious Demise’, with F. Whitlock & Sons and artist Struthless, it was imperative to all involved that proceeds went towards a cause that was making a positive impact on the world. The partnership with Good Empire ensured that while our campaign introduced Aussies and Kiwis to the weird and wonderful world of Whitlock’s, proceeds were supporting the Hunger Project Australia, and driving positive impact towards alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The use of NFTs and crypto currency in marketing shows no signs of slowing down, which is no surprise as it presents limitless opportunities to engage consumers with a brand’s story, messaging, and values in an exclusive, personalised, and value-driven way. 

What are NFTs?
NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) are unique, irreplaceable units of data stored on a blockchain that can be associated with a range of digital files such as photos, videos, and audio. Each token is uniquely identifiable, opening up a world of opportunity for creative brands to harness NFTs to draw attention to their messaging, community presence, and brand identity.



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