Top brands using NFTs as marketing strategy

By Abimbola Mohammed

In the digital age, all things are connected, which explains why users, businesses and brands have all created digital profiles of themselves and are constantly found online. In today’s world, individuals, brands and businesses jostle to be visible on every platform online and offline. The use of Non Fungible Tokens (NFTs) in marketing strategies has tremendously helped companies and brands to stand out from their competitors and gain client’s attention.

NFTs as a new way of promoting and selling brands, is the combination of traditional marketing with block chain technology, making it a more secure and transparent way to promote businesses.

Here are a number of global brands that have dipped their toes in the NFTs world.

The iconic sneaker and sports apparel giant, Nike has started to use NFTs as a way to certify the veracity of a pair of sneakers. Purchasing a pair of the brand’s shoes will now upload a digital version of the product into your virtual locker’ under an initiative they have named Cryptokick. Given the subculture that exists around collecting, trading and reselling sneakers, incorporating a digital seal of authenticity to the physical counterpart of the token takes this to the next level.

Authentic Brand Group (ABG) brand development, marketing, and Entertainment Company, whose portfolio includes Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and Muhammad Ali, partnered with NFT platforms Binance and NFkings to create a collection of Marilvn Monroe NFTs. The first collection will be in collaboration with tokidoki, a Japanese-style lifestyle brand, which reimagines Monroe in the brand’s style. The collection of 25.000 NFT’s launched in December 2021 on Binance. Buyers can purchase up to 100 boxes and each cost $20.

The sportswear company Adidas entered the Metaverse with NFTs as part of a four-way partnership, which includes NFT leader Bored Ape, Yacht Club, NFT influencer and collector Gmoney, and Pixel Vault, an intellectual property group focused on crypto assets. The collection dropped Dec. 17 will cost about$800.

Taco bells, Yum Brands, the parent company of some of the world’s most known fast food franchises such as Pizza Hut, KFC and Taco Bell, has also implemented a strategy surrounding NF T. In February 2021 Taco Bell created and put on sale a series of NFT gifts on the specialized digital marketplace. Rarible, with all of them selling out in under 30 minutes. The campaign not only proves that NFTs work well for pieces costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, but that it is also good for $1 gag purchases to help raise funds for a scholarship program Taco Bell is associated with. The resale value of some of these piece reached $3.000.

The Coca-Cola Company launched an NFT auction in July 30th 2021 for International Friendship Day, making available its first collection of digital collectables that “re-imagine some of Coca-Cola’s iconic assets for the Metaverse, with each NFT inspired by shared moments of friendship.” The auction included one-of-a-kind items such as a futuristic redesign of the iconic Coca-Cola delivery jacket, which is digitally wearable on Central Land, a ‘decentralized 3D virtual reality platform. The proceeds of this campaign all went to Special Olympics International, the world’s largest organization for disabled athletes.

Luxury automobile company Lamborghini launched its space-themed NFT collection in January 2022. The special story behind the NFT launch dates back to 2019 when Lamborghini had sent a piece of carbon fibre composite for research purposes to the International Space Station (ISS), as a part of a joint research project.

So, the ‘physical space keys’ are made from this material itself, which had actually been to space. Simply put, the keys are shaped and made from samples of carbon fibre that Lamborghini had sent to the ISS, with each space key having a digital twin piece of art as an NFT that will be accessible through scanning a QR code on the back of the physical asset.

Luxury French fashion Louis Vuitton, house joined the NFTs, The Game which draws the spotlight to its rich heritage through NFTs and in-game innovations. The video game even sports a dedicated character by the name of Vivienne who has been created to resemble Louis Vuitton. While playing the game, you can delve into the legacy of the fashion house and collect monogram candles in the process that are needed to access other levels. You can also customize your character with different Louis Vuitton monogram prints and colourways, and even get to learn about LV’s history throughout the game, by collecting postcards and other memorabilia.

In December 2021, Pepsi had announced the brand’s first-ever foray into the evolving world of NFT with the ‘Pepsi Mic Drop’ genesis NFT collection. Pepsi announced that it aims to create 1,893 (to mark the year Pepsi was born) unique generative-style NFTs. Pepsi’s press release stated that “The exclusive generative traits of the Pepsi Mic Drop genesis NFT collection, is generated randomly by an algorithm so each NFT is totally unique and different.”

McDonalds joined the NFTs for the 40th anniversary of its McRib, McDonald’s released a limited edition of 10 McRib NFTs in the US. Designed to commemorate the return of the fast-food restaurant’s limited collection McRib to its menu in November 2021, McDonald’s delivered its first-ever NFT promotion.

McDonald’s issued a limited number of NFTs (dubbed MCNFT) as part of a virtual collectable art collection featuring the McRib as a way of creating excitement about the product’s temporary return as well as limited availability. The collection of 10 individual McRib NFTs was only available to those who retweeted the brand’s invitation, which more than 21,000 people did within just a few hours and nearly 93,000 had done by the start of 2022.

Burger King in September 2021, the fast-food restaurant chain announced the launch of an NFT campaign called the “Keep It Real Meals” initiative. The campaign was in collaboration with the NFT marketplace Sweet. The NFT initiative showcases QR codes tethered to close to 6 million meal boxes. Scanning the QR codes will unlock a digital collectable and Burger King’s announcement says “collecting them can lead to unlocking bonus NFTs.”

Some other brands that have joined NFTs include Ray-Band, Volkswagen, Gucci, Ferrari, Samsung etc. Although brands are using them to buy into the current hype, the question of longevity to the strategy is yet to be determined.


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