Family-owned rum brand Bacardí has announced the launch of a limited edition rum titled Reserva Ocho Sherry Cask Finish to celebrate National Rum Day. To promote the launch, Bacardí will auction a non-fungible token (NFT) developed in partnership with photographer Cam Kirk based on rum’s aging process.
The NFT is a video with 3D effects that jumps to different scenarios, aiming to portray a digital and futuristic concept. Standing back, in some ways, NFT owners are buying rights to an advert.
Bacardí launched a platform to support the auction of the digital asset, which will run for the next two weeks. The proceeds from the sale will go towards an initiative that helps Black-owned establishments to get liquor licenses.
Despite being based on the Ethereum blockchain, the process of bidding and owning the NFT is meant not to require any crypto experience. Bidders can place their offer in U.S. currency and Bacardí’s team will help the winner convert the money to cryptocurrency. In addition, the digital asset will be purchased via a private sale.
Bacardí’s core market is adults from 18 to 34, followed by 35 to 44 years old. The launch of the NFT is likely being used as a tool to connect with the younger and digitally native customer base.
Using NFTs as a marketing tool is becoming a common practice among consumer goods brands. Budweiser partnered with VaynerX’s VaynerNFT to launch digital assets on the platform, Coca-Cola auctioned NFTs through a virtual reality game, and fashion brands such as Dolce & Gabbana are also entering the space.
There has been a lot of buzz around NFTs in the past couple of months, and launching digital assets showcases that the brands are keeping up with trends and moving towards a digitized world. Besides promoting products targeted to a younger audience, these initiatives contribute to the positioning of a product because it gives an outlet for content creators to define its branding.
Although there is a whole event behind the process, the experience of seeing the NFT is similar to viewing a commercial. There’s some parallel with SuperBowl ads which are part of the experience itself rather than just a distraction from the core event.
“As the recipient will experience, the NFT ultimately unlocks the unique journey that BACARDĺ’s Cask Finish Series is meant to encapsulate: each one starts with BACARDĺ Reserva Ocho but is finished with a bold adventure that defines who we become,” said Bacardí’s NFT artist Cam Kirk.
Meanwhile, another marketing angle to explore with NFTs is positioning them in video games and other entertainment content. Fashion brands such as Burberry are launching in-game clothing as NFTs. Louis Vuitton launched its own game with NFTs, and NASCAR has product placement on the NFT based digital horse racing platform ZED Run.