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Why NFTs Could Be the Next Benchmark for Advertising


As advances in technology continue to create new markets and new behaviours, it is time to consider how it could reshape our industry too, writes 160over90’s Leroyson Figueira

Why NFTs Could Be the Next Benchmark for Advertising

Nyan Cat was created by Christopher Torres, the NFT is now ‘owned’ by 0x7Eb28B2f14A59789ec4c782A5DD957F9C8F33f6b 

A lot of the recent NFT hype has mainly focussed on artistic products, such as the NyanCat.gif which sold for about £500,000 or the digital artwork by ‘Beeple’, which set a new £50 million record at Christies. But NFTs could be much more than playing the art market. It could the next benchmark for stellar advertising.

A sample of the collage: Everydays — The First 5000 Days. 
© Beeple / Christies

A Creative Revolution in Two Parts

The first opportunity comes from the underlying blockchain platform which could become a new channel for advertising. The blockchain as a new technology platform that is only visible to the human eye in a few emerging places. In fact, the only place you can see the official NFT NyanCat.gif is on its auction page at:

And as we all know, any new platform is a rich creative territory for smart minds who can move fast. In particular if you can find a way to subvert said platform. Therefore, the first opportunity is to create brand fame and relevance by being the first brands to create advertising solutions on the NFT blockchain and associated websites and apps. 

Intellectual Property

Secondly, and perhaps more interestingly, at the core of NFT is something we implicitly understand within the creative industry: Intellectual property and ownership. 

But how can IP possibly become a new benchmark for advertising?

For the first time ever, your audience could have the desire to own your advertising. Think about it: an ‘advert’ or content piece as an object to be desired by consumers. That is an incredible opportunity. And it is a new expectation that is already beginning to manifest itself.

Imagine this scenario: a fan of your product or brand can be the only person on the planet to own a branded content piece from the hottest brand collaborator. There’s gold in them hills. This creative scarcity could be a powerful advertising tool to create unique audience engagement. What would you give to own a slice of advertising history such as Guinness Surfer, Diet Coke Break or Think Small?

NFT as a Reward

NFT ‘advertising’, in the widest sense of the word advertising, could be the reward for the most passionate fans. And we can add fuel to this desire by creating advertising that is made for ownership. Made to be scarce.

The good news is that this approach is immediately implementable if you have a brand with sufficient brand love and fandom. Or perhaps creating this desire is how you build a new type of fandom.

Adding Desire to Your Creative Briefs

If the past two years has seen many creative briefs that request emotional connections and authenticity, then perhaps we are about to entire the age of desire. Desire is a powerful new word to add to your next creative brief. 

In fact, in helping to drive desire, NFT might just be the biggest catalyst for better creative work since the invention of awards shows.

The question we can start to ask ourselves is: is my advertising sufficiently crafted or culturally relevant enough that someone will desire to own it? That is an epic new standard to hold ourselves to. 

And instead of the client asking us: how many likes has the social film had so far?

They may ask: what’s currently the highest bid for the social film?

And thus a new advertising benchmark starts to take shape.

What’s Mine Is Yours

Or is it? If NFT is all about the ownership, who is the owner of the advert should it become an item that is traded and sold? Is it the client? Or is it you, the artists / creative agency? At this new dawn of intellectual property, it is time to start defining your share of ownership and protect your stake in future contractual negotiations.

And perhaps the new definition of a brave client will be those who are willing to explore what it means to sell a part of their brand history to a future unknown third party.

In Summary

NFT could prove to be hugely impactful on our creative work. It could create a renaissance in fan love for advertising, it could hold us to higher creative standards, it could drive huge incremental revenue. It could just make you famous in a way that the world has never seen before. 

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160over90, Fri, 26 Mar 2021 15:01:10 GMT