The ad campaign for the 2023 Kia Soul showcases three popular DASK NFT characters driving a 2023 Kia Soul. It features a QR code that enables viewers to claim one of 10,100 Kia-themed NFTs. These also include special edition DASK-Kia NFTs featuring the car and DASK characters.
Evidently, Kia is tapping into the growing public awareness of the metaverse and the trendiness of NFTs. Kia is not unfamiliar with NFTs. Its first NFT was launched with the Sweet platform as well, featuring the ‘Robo-dog’ from its Super Bowl ad. This positioning arguably creates a brand association with exciting new technology, setting up Kia to appeal to younger, more tech-savvy consumers.
As emphasized by Russell Wager, VP of Marketing, Kia America, “The Soul is as individualistic as the NFTs are, and as a brand, Kia is always innovating to stay on the cutting edge.”
However, this begs the question if the mere use of NFTs for marketing purposes is truly an innovative approach. It may be helpful for tapping into a younger consumer market but whether an NFT collaboration adds value to the brand arguably depends on how those NFTs are used.
Other car brands are also using NFTs as part of their marketing strategy. Lamborghini launched an NFT collection featuring images by Swiss artist Fabian Oefner and an earlier one linked to space exploration. Mercedes has partnered with Art2People to create NFTs based on its G-class series. These initiatives are aimed at fueling brand loyalty and their respective images as luxury vehicles.
Alfa Romeo has taken a different tack, announcing that its new SUV, the Alfa Romeo Tonale, will come with a digital certificate. The NFT will record vehicle data and is meant to serve as proof that the car has been maintained properly when the car is sold. This is meant to protect the car’s value.