Coca‑Cola’s foray into the fast-growing metaverse was a big hit with fans and the crypto community, with the brand’s first-ever NFT (Non-Fungible Token) collectibles garnering a winning bid of $575,883.61 in an online auction.
NFTs are one-of-a-kind digital assets that can be bought and sold like any other piece of personal property but have no tangible form. Like cryptocurrencies, NFTs are created on a digital ledger commonly known as a blockchain. Collectors and crypto investors purchase NFTs—which are created as tokens, a type of certificate of ownership—via online marketplaces like OpenSea.
Auctioned over 72 hours as a single “loot box” via the OpenSea marketplace, the four multi-sensory, friendship-inspired NFTs put a virtual-world spin on iconic Coca‑Cola merchandise. The Friendship Box reimagines a vintage Coca‑Cola cooler with dynamic motion and illumination featuring three other NFTs inside: a custom-designed Coca‑Cola Bubble Jacket to be worn in the Decentraland 3D virtual reality platform; a Sound Visualizer illustrating the recognizable sonics of enjoying a Coca‑Cola; and a Coca‑Cola Friendship Card with refreshed artwork from 1948. The winning bidder also will receive an in-real-life, fully stocked Coca‑Cola refrigerator.
“Fans of the Coca‑Cola brand expect the same iconic and optimistic experiences they’re used to in real life in the digital world,” said Oana Vlad, global senior brand director, Coca‑Cola Trademark. “Magic happens when communities and partners can make the brand their own. We loved how Decentraland embraced the brand and created unique experiences. And we loved seeing NFT and metaverse artists take the iconicity of the brand and put a fresh, modern twist on it.”
A cross-functional team of Coca‑Cola brand, design and licensing leads from the United States, Germany and Japan, and external agency partners including Virtue and Tafi, brought the project to life—from ideation and strategy, to development and execution—in less than two months.
Prior to the auction launch, Coca‑Cola hosted a “can-top” party in Decentraland on International Friendship Day (July 30) featuring music, giveaways and a first look at the Friendship Box. Additionally, representatives from Coca‑Cola, Tafi, OpenSea and Decentraland Foundation hosted a live AMA (Ask Me Anything) chat on Decentraland’s Discord Channel to discuss the Coca‑Cola Friendship Box NFT collaboration and what it means for the metaverse.
“These activations added credibility and authenticity to the experience,” Vlad added. “They helped create a strong buzz both in the crypto community and with business, lifestyle and tech media, and also helped bring new, young audiences to our Coke Trademark social media channels.”
All Coca‑Cola proceeds from the NFT auction will go to Special Olympics International. The Coca‑Cola loot box, which is now split into individual NFTs up for secondary sale, ranks among the top five NFTs ever sold on OpenSea. Vlad credits the surprise-and-delight aspects, retro design and collectability of the NFTs with driving engagement and demand.