Initially created as a way to manage assets on the Bitcoin blockchain, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have found their way into the mainstream world. Major brands are jumping on the digital collectibles bandwagon to seize the opportunities they offer – to bring more attention to their products, to find new ways of engaging with customers, and to stay relevant. And they have been really creative about it, partnering with artists, creating digital collections, providing exclusive perks, etc., which seems to have been working really well.
Coca-cola is enjoying being in the NFT game with multiple initiatives already in play.
In August 2021, the food and beverage company released an NFT collection to celebrate International Friendship day.
Introducing the first-ever Coca-Cola NFTs! To celebrate International Friendship Day, we’ll be donating all proceeds to our longtime friend and partner @SpecialOlympics. Check them out on @opensea. #NFTCommunity #OpenSeaNFThttps://t.co/SIJ0HnNfdu pic.twitter.com/Rusj2UJuE6
— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) July 28, 2021
The company promised that the collection would provide access to an “entire universe of Real Magic where people can come together through the power of web3 and Coca-Cola to get exclusive and early access to Coke Studio, Coca-Cola Creations,” adding this was “only the beginning.” and more.
In June, the company launched 136 NFTs to honor the Proud month created by an LGBTQIA+ advocate, South African fashion designer Rick Minsi, with a portion of proceeds donated to charity.
In what might have been the biggest step in the NFT space by a non-crypto brand so far, Nike acquired RTFKT Studios, a fashion NFT studio created by Benoit Pagatto, Chris Le, and Steven Vasilev in 2020.
“We’re acquiring a very talented team of creators with an authentic and connected brand. Our plan is to invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and grow their innovative and creative community and extend Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities,” the company’s President and CEO, John Donahoe, said at the time.
Through RTFKT, the sportswear giant has collaborated with CryptoPunks, Atari, FEWOCiOUS, and LarvaLabs, for digital and physical footwear, as well as launched their own collection of digital sneakers.
In August 2021, a payment giant Visa bought one of the most popular NFTs – CryptoPunk 7610 for $150,000 (paid for in Ethereum), depicting a “female” punk.
Cuy Sheffield, head of crypto at Visa, shared that the company acquired the NFT to better understand the technology and its infrastructure to help their clients participate in it.
“With our CryptoPunk purchase, we’re jumping in feet first,” he said. “This is just the beginning of our work in this space.”
This year, Visa launched an NFT creator program to help bring small businesses into the digital economy. The Visa Creator Program will focus on assisting creators like musicians, fashion designers, artists, and others, in building their businesses using NFTs.
“We’ve seen rapid growth in the NFT ecosystem over the past year. We think NFTs represent a new form of e-commerce,” Sheffield told TechCrunch.
TIME magazine seems to be at the front row of a digital collectibles race. And they aren’t afraid to go big.
It released TIMEPieces, a campaign that brought artists from around the world, that will serve as a web3 community, and has already released 20,000 NFTs.
The magazine’s President, Keith Grossman, said they were also looking into the possibility of turning all subscriptions to TIMEpieces into NFTs, which will provide exclusive subscription rights, invitations to specific events, and the ability to own their data.
The digital publication has also recently collaborated with the city of Miami, Mastercard, and Salesforce to launch 5,000 Ethereum NFTs to bring more attention to small businesses and creators.
The Coachella 2022 announcement came with a twist. With a nonfungible twist. The music festival partnered with a crypto exchange FTX.US to launch NFT collections, which included 10 lifetime festival passes, VIP on-site experiences, and digital and physical products.
“We think lifetime access to Coachella is a perfect use case for NFTs. These Coachella Keys are digital items that provide real value to their owners over the long term,” Coachellas’s Head of Innovation, Sam Schoonover, said.
The festival will also launch two limited-edition NFT collections – The Desert Reflections Collection, with photos from the festival, along with posters and photobooks, and The Sights and Sounds Collection, with 10 combinations of festival photos and “never before heard soundscapes from the Polo Fields.”