Scarcity is what separates NFTs from regular GIFs, JPEGs, PNGs, or any other file type. It’s hard for some to understand what makes it more valuable than the alternatives, though YouTuber Johnny Harris explains an NFT’s value elegantly when comparing it to a hoodie off of a store rack versus a hoodie that has built up sentimental value through years of use. The former is easily replaced, the latter is not. Enter Mattel, which is effectively using physical representations of its digital assets in its own NFT marketing campaign in a way that allows the value of an NFT to grow more effectively.
Hot Wheels’ NFT marketing campaigns adopted a similar pack-opening model as NBA’s Top Shot, but Mattel took things a little bit further. The two top rarities in the NFT packs, “Platinum” and “Treasure Hunter,” have limited-edition, die-cast physical Hot Wheels that are sent to collectors. Those physical items make digital NFTs feel tangible, representing some of their value thanks to their exclusivity. It builds a sentimental connection – like a well-worn hoodie – whenever the NFT owner interacts with it. In the long run, that strengthens the bond between the consumer, their NFTs, and Hot Wheels as a brand. The Hot Wheels NFT have been a financial success for Mattel, and it’s hard to imagine the physical aspect not being part of the reason why.
For many, the NFT elevator pitch is a tough sell. It takes a decent amount of time, research, and energy to really understand what an NFT is and what benefits they bring to the table. But there are some universal positives that any product can offer that make them more appealing, and access to a gated event is one of them. Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck took full advantage of that notion with VeeFriends, an NFT that grants holders tickets to an exclusive convention.
The tickets are also collectible NFTs featuring designs from special artists. On top of the event, Vaynerchuck has invested a lot of time into building a community around his NFTs and his online presence. Owning a VeeFriend Series 1 NFT – and therefore a ticket to VeeCon – is a status symbol for that community, making them all the more desirable. Vaynerchuck’s NFT marketing campaigns have effectively turned his internet esteem into a desirable product in the form of a digital asset. They make owners feel like they’re part of something greater, something worthy of an entire convention, and then give them special access to that event. It builds a tight-knit community, which in turn keeps buyers coming back as new NFTs are released.
Companies are still building a playbook of successful NFT marketing examples, but it’s that there’s no one size fits all solution. A successful marketing campaign identifies what’s unique in the product or experience, then uses those features to draw in an audience, appealing to existing behaviors to make a bigger impact. There are going to be growing pains, and not all NFT projects will survive. However, following these examples may help your own NFT marketing initiatives take flight as the market stabilizes.