Coca-Cola sells its first nonfungible token

10 Aug 2021

Beverage giant Coca-Cola auctioned off its first-ever NFT or nonfungible token to commemorate International Friendship Day on July 30. Proceeds from the action, which totaled 217 ETH or $569.805, went to Special Olympics International.

The NFT that the beverage company auctioned off is a four-piece set that is housed inside a “Friendship Box”—itself an NFT. Inside the loot box, which is modeled after the brand’s retro vending machines are: a Coca-Cola bubble jacket wearable, a futuristic jacket that is illuminated with effervescent fizz and can be worn in the Decentraland 3D virtual reality platform; a sound visualizer that emanates the "pop" of a bottle opening, the sound of a beverage being poured over ice, and the coke fizz; a friendship card inspired by 1940s era trading cards; and one mystery item which was only revealed to the winning bidder.

Coca-Cola sells its first nonfungible token
Courtesy of Coca-Cola

With this NFT auction, Cocoa-Cola has become the latest food and beverage company to tap into the metaverse – the convergence of physical and digital worlds. The bundled loot box, which is a popular element in video games, was created in partnership with Tafi, a creator of custom 3D content for avatar and emoji systems with which the beverage giant has teamed before.

While NFTs are not news, they are items that have steadily grown in popularity, first with consumers interacting with each other digitally, and now with brands that are taking advantage of the blockchain technology behind these tokens to weave them into marketing initiatives in a way that makes them exclusive and imparts value for everyone from artists to cryptocurrency enthusiasts.

Although Coca-Cola is now the largest brand to tap into this trend for marketing purposes, it is far from the only one. Pringles, Taco Bell and Anheuser-Busch InBev have all dabbled in NFTs as a way to connect with consumers digitally through an avenue that carries a significant amount of cultural cachet.

However, using NFTs as part of a larger marketing strategy that connects with the right audience requires brands to attain a high bar. Coca-Cola aims to do this by not only tapping into its history of producing items that are collectible in their own right but by also creating tokens that can be used in the metaverse. The auction of Coca-Cola’s NFTs coincided with an event in Decentraland that celebrated this auction and allowed the winning bidder to put their NFT to use publicly with wide brand recognition rather than just storing it on a shelf for visitors to admire periodically.

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