Back in January, Doodles was developing its plan for SXSW. The founders wanted to activate the festival in a physical way that introduced the project to greater audiences. Recognizing that the Doodles’ color palette, full of pastel blues and pinks, was a pillar of their brand’s identity, they decided that a partnership with Behr Paint could bring those colors to life and create a memorable experience.
The result was a 20,000 square-foot installation that featured a virtual painting wall, limited-edition Behr paint cans with Doodles imagery and POAP (proof-of-attendance protocol) NFTs, which would serve as keepsakes for visitors that represented their participation at the event. With the project’s color-focused identity front and center, Behr was able to provide Doodles the resources it needed to make a grand entrance into the physical world.
As for WoW, the project hopes to make strides in consumer reach via its storytelling partnership with Hello Sunshine. The media company shares an emphasis on increasing female representation in the arts, and with influential stakeholders like Reese Witherspoon and Tom Staggs (formerly of Disney), Hello Sunshine could trampoline WoW toward mass visibility.
That the partnership focuses on video content is even more advantageous to WoW as it looks to grow its brand and the NFT space overall, said Adelina. Streaming is a booming industry and may offer the fastest way to present WoW’s IP in front of millions of eyeballs.
The deadline for the 2022 Small Agency Awards is Wednesday, April 27. Submit your entry at AdAge.com/SAA2022.
Engaging owners versus non-owners
An important consideration for these NFT collections is how they plan to scale beyond the owners of their tokens. After all, a typical collection only includes 10,000 NFTs, which is not a large enough audience upon which to build a brand.
“This is kind of analogous to traditional brands,” Punk4156 said. “If any NFT project is going to become famous on a scale of Hello Kitty or Disney or any pre-crypto brand that we know and love … it seems inevitable to me that [they] are going to have to incentivize or attract participation from non-owners.”
Nouns hopes to deliver this attraction via its open-source IP, through which anyone—whether they’re an owner or not—can create goods with the NFTs’ imagery and even sell it without having to get permission from the project. These efforts benefit the brand by maximizing its proliferation, which may, in turn, increase the value of the actual NFTs.
Engagement beyond mere ownership makes sense for a collection that is popular and thus prohibitively expensive; the winning bid for a Noun NFT, one of which is auctioned each day, tends to hover between 50 and 70 ETH (or $155,273 and $217,382, at the time of writing).
WoW’s first NFT collection is also in high demand, having quickly sold out in the project’s sale and moved to secondary marketplace OpenSea, where the floor price is currently 7.75 ETH ($24,067). But while its IP is not open source, WoW has shown that it wants to include non-owners via more traditional engagement efforts, such as offering toys through Jazwares and filmed content through Hello Sunshine.
Doodles, on the other hand, exclusively sees its NFTs as the products of its brand, and thus hopes to gain mainstream adoption by turning non-owners into owners to some degree. The project aims to do this by dropping subsequent Doodles NFT products that are more accessible and cost-friendly (the core collection has a floor price on OpenSea that is currently 15.9 ETH, or $49,377), said Keast.
One potential pitfall with this method is the dilution of the core NFTs’ value, which would alienate existing owners. The parallel would be if a traditional brand attempted to bring in new consumers at the expense of its already loyal base, such as through newly available discounts or products that supplant those previously manufactured.
“The logical next step for a lot of NFT projects is to add another 20,000 NFTs [to] an interactive project, and now you have 30,000 members. There's no kind of net positive to the brand, in that sense,” said Keast.
Conferring special rewards to existing owners is one way these collections are hoping to navigate this issue. Licensing opportunities, for example, may appease owners looking to capitalize on their early adoption. Owners of WoW NFTs maintain 100% of rights to the asset’s IP, meaning they can use it in whatever way they want; the same goes for Nouns since the project is open source.
Instead of conferring 100% rights to owners of Doodles NFTs, the founders are hoping to develop sales mechanisms for its community to capitalize on their specific NFTs. Each Doodle will essentially be its own brand, and be commercialized up to $100,000 in revenue.
“What we've seen in the market is when you give people too much control, they don't know what to do with it,” Keast said.