Advantages of Being a NFT First-Mover: A Budweiser Case Study
By Lisa Rosenberg, Partner + President, Consumer Brands at Allison+Partners
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Marketing Frontiers is a new series from Stagwell exploring the methods, mediums, and messes modern marketers will grapple with over the next decade as they chart transformation in the discipline. This February, Stagwell is exploring NFTs.
Virtual worlds are on the rise – and the time people spend in them is only going to increase. With popular artists such as Justin Bieber, Travis Scott and Ariana Grande having already performed in the metaverse, brands know that the future is virtual and that the possibilities of marketing in the metaverse are seemingly endless. In the last few months, we’ve seen an explosion of brands using NFTs to connect with and engage their consumers.
As AOR for Budweiser, Allison+Partners supported the brand’s entry into the metaverse with the launch of the Budverse Heritage Collection on Cyber Monday 2021. The brand’s first-ever NFTs are a curated set of unique digital cans representing 1936, the year the first Budweiser can was created. This launch marked the brand’s first foray into the world of unique digital assets on the blockchain and represented Anheuser-Busch InBev’s first owned NFT marketplace, Budwesier.com/NFT. Each Heritage Collection token is a one-of-a-kind digital asset generated using designs from throughout Budweiser’s history and was available to consumers of legal drinking age via two different token types at launch – Core Heritage Cans and Gold Heritage Cans. The Gold Heritage Cans are rarer, with only 36 in existence and included access to and/or exclusives for future Budweiser in-person events and early access to future brand NFT launches. There were 1900 Core Heritage cans released.
The launch was incredibly successful, with the collection selling out within an hour, a fact the team quickly added to media follow ups, with efforts resulting in 243 million impressions, including coverage in Entrepreneur, Decrypt, and multiple stories in AdAge.
For an iconic brand like Budweiser, there are numerous benefits to being seen as an early adopter in this space. The brand has been a major influencer and contributor in sports and entertainment and NFTs represent the future of where consumers are going to socialize and be entertained. In addition, NFT marketplaces enable Budweiser to provide consumers with a richer and deeper brand experience, leveraging technology for increased engagement.
Late last month, the A+P team supported the brand’s release of its second NFT collection, The Budweiser Royalty Collection, which also quickly sold out. The brand partnered with 22 of the world’s top emerging music artists to drop their first-ever NFTs and provide them with a global platform they might not have access to otherwise. The drop also allowed fans the opportunity to support artists directly and potentially unlock exclusive experiences with them. Through the Budweiser Royalty Collection, Budweiser continues to give local artists a global platform and support their journey towards becoming the next Kings and Queens of the music industry. Coverage resulted in 144 million impressions and included stories in Benzinga, Medium, INSIDER and many more.
Earned coverage of Budweiser’s entry into NFTs successfully positioned the brand as an innovative leader in the space and demonstrated how AB InBev is leveraging technology to engage brand fans in an entirely new way. Both the Budverse Heritage Collection and the Budweiser Royalty Collection offered consumers the ability to collect and own a digital piece of the Budweiser brand, as well as gain exclusive access to brand experiences.
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