NFTs will be the new ad inventory of the internet.
That's a hypothesis we’ve had at Node for a while. But how will it play out? Is the timing right? What's the most relevant business/protocol?
We’ve realized that marketing in the metaverse is all about brands building web3 communities.
While exploring this hypothesis, we’ve been waiting to see two important milestones:
1. Centralized ‘collaboration’ between brands and web3 communities
Just like the early days of the internet, it started with brands looking for visibility in the online world. This is when the internet started to see specific collaborations between online ‘new’ brands and offline traditional brands.
At this stage, a brand is just looking to be ‘in the game’, and still has no idea how to achieve this – or to figure out what represents real value and how to measure that value.
Once we can provide what we think of as the web3 value, and resolve how to connect values from the ‘old’ world and the ‘new’ web3 world, it begins to get interesting.
At this point, we wanted to see centralized crypto companies helping to connect brands with NFT holders and issuers. And we did.
Fashion icons Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana and leading sport brands like Nike and Adidas have already dipped their toes into the NFT world. Adidas recently revealed a new NFT project with Bored Ape Yacht Club stating: “Today we leap Into The Metaverse with @BoredApeYC, @gmoneyNFT & @punkscomic.”
It’s no coincidence that early brand adoption comes from fashion and wearables giants. Branding, at its core, is attaching a positive feeling to a symbol. For that reason, brands are paying celebrities hefty sums to advertise their products. They want their potential customers to link and associate the brand’s logo with the love they have for their admired “superstar”.
People attach their identity and express themselves using their favorite brands. It makes them feel special and unique but at the same time a sense of belonging and being a part of a community. Moreover - they are willing to pay extra so others can see them walking in the street wearing Prada. With Embed - this model can be flipped on its head - and one could earn for walking in the Metaverse wearing their favorite brand. In this scenario, all parties win.
Web1 brought the traditional one-size-fits-all marketing model to its digital form (with the added “bonus” of pop-ups everywhere).
Web2 brought much more targeted, personalized and relevant ads that followed you around wherever you "surfed".
Web3 and Embed take this personalization to a new level, where you are the advertiser. One use-case is bringing the ads to your favorite game, where you anyway spend long hours. What's more - it gives you the ability to share your appreciation of your favorite brand, and earn while doing it. Play, earn, and enjoy.
2. Brands tapping into and building their own web3 communities.
We started seeing brands looking to build their own web3 communities, but still testing the waters on what they should do, how they should measure success and what success means in web3.
At the end of 2021, three things happened:
- We started to design and consider the way that a decentralized protocol, which connects brands and NFT holders, would work.
- We realized that the interesting, long-term supply side is represented by the multiple, distributed holders of NFTs - not the single issuer category.
- We met two amazing founders who were looking to build something around the same idea.
This is why we decided to incubate our first protocol – Embed.xyz – that today also announced its seed round, led by Node, Aleph.vc and North Island Ventures, with participation from our friends at DCG, Distributed Global, MorningStar ventures and more.
Embed will be the decentralized community-curated, go-to matching engine between NFT holders and brands. It will be the place where NFT holders compound value for their NFTs, and brands tap into communities that are aligned with their brand identities.
We’ll soon have a protocol for creating long-lasting web3 brand communities by embedding brand assets within existing web3 communities.
This is a whole new market concept, with enormous potential, and we couldn't be more confident in the team building Embed.xyz.
Want to share thoughts?