Major drops in Bitcoin’s value have put cryptocurrency at the forefront of the conversation across news outlets and the social stratosphere.
While Web3—the Internet of the future that runs on a blockchain-based digital ownership tech called nonfungible tokens (NFTs) and incorporates shared virtual spaces known as the metaverse—has seemingly met resistance from the general public, there is speculation across the board that 2022 may be the year that these once esoteric concepts are about to go mainstream.
Cryptocurrency is trending but hasn’t quite reached critical mass yet
A Pew Research Survey revealed that 16 percent of Americans have used cryptocurrency in some capacity, most buying it out of curiosity and a desire to keep up with the times rather than as a way to pay for goods and services.
Though the relative amount of Americans using crypto may appear low, this represents a surge from 2015, when only one percent reported involvement.
Major financial institutions have taken notice of this surge, with companies like Visa and MasterCard announcing partnerships with crypto firms that enable customers to spend, invest and earn rewards in digital currency. Tech giants also lead the conversation surrounding Web3 with companies like Meta and YouTube making public statements about NFTs and the metaverse, all serving to legitimize the crypto movement.
Ready or not, cryptocurrency is rapidly infiltrating mainstream culture. Staples Center in Los Angeles was recently renamed Crypto.com Arena in a $700 million deal and the Miami Heat now play in FTX Arena, named for another crypto exchange.
Huge deals like these represent a shift in cultural awareness and put crypto center stage in the world of professional sports and beyond.
What does the rise of cryptocurrency, NFTs, and the Metaverse mean for brands?
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has even stated the company is exploring NTFs as another source of revenue for creators on the platform. A few creators have led that charge by turning viral content into NFTs; the Charlie Bit Me NFT sold last year for $761,000 and the David After Dentist NFT sold for over $11,000 at auction.
Many major brands have already demonstrated an interest in this brave new world of Web3. McDonald’s has sold digital art pieces to promote the return of the McRib, Charmin has created toilet paper NFTs, and Adidas recently launched an interactive art project to be sold as an NFT, just to name a few.
Marketers across verticals are exploring the potential of blockchain, the shared ledger that plays a critical role in cryptocurrency systems, as a potential new facet through which brands can gain exposure and demonstrate innovation.
This year’s CES even showcased a portion of the event that was dedicated to cryptocurrency, NFTs, and the Metaverse for the first time, demonstrating how these concepts are being prioritized by marketers.
Brands that aren’t prepared for this shift may be left behind. The upcoming 2022 Super Bowl is shaping up to be the most Web3-centric tentpole event yet: both FTX and Crypto.com have stated they will have Super Bowl ads this year.
But brands don’t have to spend Super Bowl money to be a part of the conversation. Frank’s RedHot recently unveiled an edible NFT challenge ahead of Super Bowl LVI, a prime example of the type of innovative and creative marketing executions we can expect to see in the future.
How is your brand preparing for the future of Web3?
1. Has your brand taken a stance on Web3?
2. Does your brand take crypto, NFTs, and the metaverse into account when making content selections on digital buys?
3. Does your brand take crypto, NFTs, and the metaverse into account in the creative process?
Click this link to participate in a poll on these questions, and we’ll share the results with you via email.