More consumer goods companies are experimenting with NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and the metaverse, with both Coca-Cola and Campbell Soup Company among those recently dipping toes into the virtual waters.
But despite the influx of attention, some brands may want to tap the brakes before jumping into the trend.
Coca-Cola’s first NFTs — unique digital assets stored on a blockchain — are being auctioned in a four-day auction on the OpenSea digital marketplace. The auction began July 30, with proceeds benefiting Olympics International.
Campbell Soup Company, meanwhile, has not only redesigning its iconic soup label, but it commemorated the change with its first NFT digital art pieces.
Both join such other consumer goods companies as AB InBev, Procter & Gamble and e.l.f. Cosmetics in experimenting with the metaverse — very loosely defined as virtual experiences and environments. While some brands are going digital-only in their debuts, others are accompanying the launches with physical replications of the assets.
Josh Schwarber, Coca-Cola global digital design senior director, said the borderless and “geo-less” metaverse creates opportunities for the company to connect with consumers in new ways.
“We didn’t want to do this just to make an NFT. We wanted to inject the core principles of Coca-Cola and celebrate both our heritage and ties to friendship, while also doing something that hasn’t been done before,” he said. “It was important to stay true to the brand by bringing people together through unique, surprise-and-delight moments of connection that feel right for Coke.”
[See also: Coca-Cola Expanding Wabi Digital Ecosystem]
Indeed, consumer attention is the chief reason brands are hopping onto the NFT bandwagon, Mike Proulx, Forrester Research VP, research director of the CMO practice, told CGT, but the fast followers should proceed with caution.
“While first movers like Taco Bell can be applauded for being ‘innovative’ by ‘testing and learning,’ as more and more brands show up late to the party, consumers will find their attention-grabbing stunts as having jumped the shark — no longer being something that’s cool,” he said. (Taco Bell sold a series of taco-themed NFTs in March.)