Pizza Hut's NFT promotion delivers an $8,824 slice of pixelated pepperoni
Pizza Hut has sold what could be the first official NFT pizza slice; or NFP, Non-Fungible Pizza, as the company is calling it.
On Wednesday, Pizza Hut Canada “dropped” a pixelated pizza on Rarible, one of the marketplaces that has popped up to trade Non-Fungible Tokens. NFTs are surging in popularity among collectors and cryptocurrency enthusiasts, and some are calling it a bubble. NFT artwork has sold for $69 million; digital sports trading cards for more than $200,000; and a Taco Bell NFT promotion sold for close to $20,000 last week, and some collectors were asking for close to $200,000 for Taco Bell's art on the resale market. NFTs don't always sell for the asking prices, though. Brands are getting in on the frenzy, and even if the value doesn’t last for all these digital items, NFT technology has a future in media and commerce.
Pizza Hut used its NFT as a simple marketing opportunity to promote four new pizza recipes coming to Canadian restaurants next week. Pizza Hut Canada titled its NFT pizza art pieces “1 Byte Favourites,” and there are four representing each recipe: Pepperoni, Hawaiian, Canadian, and Margherita.
“Be the first to own a Non-Fungible Pizza, with 1 Byte Favourites from Pizza Hut,” the listing says on Rarible.com. “Yours for approximately the cost of a bite of Pizza. It could be the most satisfying purchase you will ever make.”
Pizza Hut listed the pizza art for sale at .0001 Ethereum, which is equivalent to 18 cents. Ethereum is the cryptocurrency that backs most NFTs. Pizza Hut’s pepperoni NFT sold this morning, according to the transaction ledger on Rarible.
The item was quickly put back on the market by the new owner for 5 Ethereum, or $8,824.07. One of the benefits of NFTs is that they are created in a process known as “minting” on the blockchain. Once created, they are a unique digital commodity that can’t be forged or altered, and the ownership can be tracked through the blockchain. The creator gets to keep a portion of any future sales. Pizza Hut will get 1% of all future trades of its “1 Byte” pizzas.
Last week, Taco Bell, which falls under the same Yum Brands corporate umbrella as Pizza Hut, put five NFTs up for sale on Rarible. The advertising agency Ogilvy helped orchestrate the Pizza Hut campaign.
And while Pizza Hut was creating NFPs, Charmin was putting its own spin on the market with a NFTP, or Non-Fungible Toilet Paper.
Charmin, which is owned by Procter & Gamble, listed five NFT art pieces on Rarible.com on Wednesday. “Each roll comes with a physical display, so you can hang your NFTP in your bathroom alongside your IRL rolls,” Charmin said in its listing. One way to show off NFTs is through digital screens.
The Charmin NFTs were seeing bids as high as .15 Ethereum, which is $264.72. “Sometimes a better bathroom experience goes beyond the seat, that’s why we’re rolling out the first-ever NFT art by a toilet paper brand,” Charmin tweeted on Wednesday.
So far, the Yum Brands have used the most basic tools to get in the NFT market by selling collectible art. However, brands and ad agencies are looking at the market as a new frontier for driving fan engagement, creating new rewards programs, and using NFT technology to control their intellectual property.
The music industry has seized on NFTs to sell audio and video files that have a new layer of security because of the minting process, and also drive collectible value. The NFTs can come embedded with exclusive content and promotional offers. They can also redeem physical versions of their digital counterpart.
The market is not all sunshine, however. There is a boom in cryptocurrency values—in Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital coins. The Bitcoin and Ethereum surge is partly helping fuel the speculation in NFTs that are traded in cryptocurrency.
Sometimes forgeries, reproductions of original NFTs pop up on marketplaces, if they’re not vigilant. Buyers have to be careful they are getting the real goods, and they can do that by checking the blockchain code for the provenance. Also, sellers could try to sell copyrighted material they don’t own on murky websites. Anyone can create a NFT with a digital file and money. The minting process can be costly, too.