[Dive #10] Azuki Has Entered the Chat

A new bar has been set for experiential marketing

I’ve been excited to write about this for a while 😏

Also, this one’s fun because I do not have an Azuki so I really am on the outside looking in. And IMO what I’ve looked at is impressive.

Don’t just take my word for it, let the floor do the talking. One of these anime-style profile pics costs a cool $75,000 (25 ETH). More metrics here.

So, what’s Azuki?

Let’s start off with NFT’s in general.

Close your eyes. You’re scrolling Discord and Twitter late at night browsing projects. You click on a project’s website and what do you see?

Probably something like this right?

Sorry SpaceCats Metaverse Club, I’m just using your site as an example. I hope your project is successful :) (floor is 0.007 or $24).

Then you come across a A..zuki? Doesn’t that mean ‘red bean’ in Japanese? (this is an important detail to remember) Is this another dumb anime project?

They even have an embedded music player, groovy!

Woah, this website makes you…feel something. There’s a vibe.

Is this…a brand? Well whaddaya know…

Check out the website for yourself.

Who’s the team? Oh some anons that have experience in..oh snap.

Defi, Big Tech, Y-Combinator 2x, Google, Y-Combinator again, Facebook, Blizzard, Street Fighter, Esports, and Google again.

These mf’ers aren’t your average anon.

Check ‘em out here

Btw, they modified the minting process that the Ethereum NFT space on has adopted. (TLDR: They innovated and open-sourced the innovation.)

So…cool website ✅, intriguing mission ✅, experienced team ✅, good vibes/music ✅

How does that make me feel? A lot of things, but going over the site for the nth time with the music bumpin’ gave me chills down my spine. How many brands make you feel that way?

And if Azuki doesn’t make you feel those feels, that’s ok. I’ll still have takeaways for you dear reader.

And as the joke in the space goes: The art looks better the more expensive it is ;)

So what’d they do that deserves a TPan Dive™?

Jk I didn’t trademark TPan Dive, looks nice though!

I’m going to break this down into a chronological play-by-play so we can follow this more effectively.

March 30, The Party, NFT LA

NFT LA is one of a series of conferences for the NFT space, similar to other industry conferences. Speakers, networking, expo halls, and of course…parties.

And Azuki’s party was on March 30th. People were excited to say the least...

Stella Chuwu @StellaChuuuuu

Big sword energy. I made this for @AzukiOfficial event tonight. It will be part of the photo booth experience. HAVE FUN!


7:54 PM ∙ Mar 30, 2022


And party they did! The team brought in Tokimonsta and Wiz Khalifa to perform. No biggie, typical for any 3 month old project.

Oh and in the middle of the night, they interrupted the crowd telling them to ‘check their wallets’.

Twitter avatar for @ron1ndoteth

seraph @ron1ndoteth

“Check your wallets”

6:04 AM ∙ Mar 31, 2022


This is an ‘airdrop’. Yes, what some people like to call ‘free money’. Each holder of an Azuki got a little surprise. If they had 10 Azukis they got 10 surprises.

Wait a second…is this a version of…the legendary “YOU GET A CAR” moment?!

Woah. Ya, it is. But Azuki’s was 10x harder to implement. Why?

Oprah’s stunt was revolutionary, but operationally easier to execute. Oprah had several assistants come in and hand each audience member a wrapped box. When ready, she told everyone to open it at the same time, and then, cue the ecstatic chaos as they got the keys to their new cars.

To show you why Azuki’s stunt was 10x harder, let’s go through the same timeline, but from a different angle.

March 30, The Party, Discord

Not everyone who was eligible to attend the Azuki party (held an Azuki) could attend. Work, school, other obligations caused a lot of FOMO.

People who were able to attend snuck in livestreams of the party, or posted videos on Twitter. Holders and non-holders alike, we were all foaming at the mouths to see and hear about what was going on.

And then suddenly, this happened in one of the Discord servers I am a part of.

Wtf is this gibberish? It’s the making of a multi-billion dollar brand, that’s what it is.

From a technical standpoint, the Azuki contract woke from its slumber and executed the airdrop to its thousands of holders. Flawlessly.

Oprah conducted her surprise in a physical/physical environment.

Azuki conducted their airdrop in a physical/digital environment. Or ‘phygital’ as they call it (ew, if you know a better name for the term, please let me know lol).

That’s 10x harder.

What if there’s a bug? What if the deployer craps out halfway through the airdrop? What if the airdrop took longer than expected?

Oprah effect, gone.

So Azuki just crushed an phygital experiential campaign in LA while all holders had a “YOU GET A CAR” moment, no matter where they were.

Couldn’t get into the party? Halfway around the world? Sleeping? It was f*ckin’ Christmas anyway.

But it gets better. This is part 1 :)

Every holder got 2 of these crates. Those 2 crates are worth the same amount as the car Oprah gave to each of the audience members

April 1, The Prank, Twitter

Azuki dominated the conversation for the rest of week post NFT LA.

What’s in the box? Is the price worth it? Should I sell mine? Should I buy more? When will they reveal?

And then it was April Fool’s…

Half of Crypto/NFT Twitter is April Fool’s every day, so I don’t think the space expected much. On my timeline I saw more jokes than usual, no biggie.

But then…

Twitter avatar for @AzukiOfficial

Azuki @AzukiOfficial

Refresh your metadata.


5:37 PM ∙ Apr 1, 2022


“Check your wallets”

“Refresh your metadata”

Holy crap, is this NFT performance art?


Twitter avatar for @DeezeFi

DeeZe @DeezeFi



5:40 PM ∙ Apr 1, 2022



The market responded quickly, with some holders fireselling their crates of dirt. For a hot second.

Wow, this is a really good April fools joke. But is it a worthless one?

But when that second cooled down, the cooler heads put two and two together. Ok, so this isn’t a pet companion, accessory, or mini-Azuki. What could it be?

For holders that read into the lore of Azuki, the dirt probably meant something was growing in the dirt. What could it be?

April 2, The Introduction, Twitter

Twitter avatar for @AzukiOfficial

Azuki @AzukiOfficial

waaazzup mwahaha BEANZ wuz here 🖕

Twitter avatar for @ZAGABOND


So @bobubeanfarmer accidentally gave the @AzukiOfficial Twitter password to some strange blue figure. Beware of any weird Tweets...🤦‍♂️

9:20 PM ∙ Apr 2, 2022


Crate —> Dirt —> BEANZ?

BEANZ might not make sense to someone outside looking in, so the important part to remember is that Azuki references beans a lot.

Their website call to action: “Take the Red Bean.”

There’s a trait in the collection with the character flicking a red bean.

Oh ya, Azuki means ‘red bean’! Remember? :)

But wait a second, let’s watch that video again.

Why is it a blue bean? Why is this blue bean mischievous and using spray paint?

Wait a second, blue beans are a trait in the collection too.


April 18, The Announcement, Twitter

Twitter avatar for @AzukiOfficial

Azuki @AzukiOfficial

Introducing BEANZ: a small species that sprout from dirt in the garden. Being a sidekick is in their DNA, although some like to kick it alone. They're earnestly driven by the desire to help. However, certain BEANZ feel a calling to pave their own path...🧵


10:04 PM ∙ Apr 18, 2022


Azuki announces BEANZ! Cute and full of personality, these little fellas were initially met with some skepticism.

However, after the initial wave of FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt), the community started to take over and do what they do best, building upon the introductory lore that Azuki created.

Twitter avatar for @lellelo3

lello.eth @lellelo3

Staring Intensifies @AzukiOfficial


9:04 PM ∙ Apr 19, 2022


Twitter avatar for @degen_deb

degen deb @degen_deb

Azuki #3204 with purple bean 💜👅 #azuki #beanz #ikz


10:26 AM ∙ Apr 20, 2022


Twitter avatar for @Sushee50383002

SOHL @Sushee50383002

I stand by the Beanz. This track's for all you @AzukiOfficial skaters and haters out there. produced by me and performed by the talented bilingual @_nckv (Show him some love!) Shoutout to @FastandLucid for the visualiser! @ZAGABOND @2pmflow @locationtba @DemnaAzuki @daphtheSHAFT

5:04 PM ∙ Apr 20, 2022


?, The Reveal, Twitter

And the story about BEANZ has only begun. Even though the BEANZ have been introduced, the 20,000 bean pods have not revealed yet.

And from the reveal, the BEANZ universe — A part of yet, also uniquely separate from Azuki, will truly begin.

By the way, did you notice that 2 out of the 10 silhouettes are revealed? More BEANZ characters incoming!

Is this like Marvel Avengers or what, geez Louise.

I just wasted 10 minutes of my life reading this. So what?

Oh ya I forgot, I have to add value in my newsletters 😅 So why did I write an essay about beans?

The bar for excellent experiential marketing has been raised - NFTs have added a whole dimension do what this could look like on the digital side of things. Whether it’s the digital augmenting the physical, or extending the experience on digital, it’s happening.

I believe what Azuki pulled off would’ve cost a Fortune 500 company 6 to 7 figures to pull off and weeks if not months of planning. (someone keep my honest if I’m wildly off, I am not an experiential marketer lol).

What were the results of this brilliantly executed campaign? Well let’s talk dollars since that’s we really care about, right? ;)

3/29: 1 Azuki = 17 ETH @ $3400 = $58,000

4/21: 1 Azuki = 25 ETH + 2 BEANZ = 10 ETH @ $3000 = $105,000

81% increase in value for a single holder.

I’m not saying that Web2 is screwed. There’s so much brilliant work being done in the space! However, the game is changing, and these jpgs are coming for a slice of the pie. And they’re doing it faster, and with less resources.

The stakes will be higher and those that execute to the new standard will be rewarded handsomely.

Make jokes, and follow through with them - Brands seem to be upping their game when it comes to April Fool’s and that’s great to see. I’ve been tired of the ‘fake announcement’ April Fool’s tactic anyway. *Yawn*

However Azuki still took it one step further. They made April Fool’s play into their plan. They didn’t play into April Fool’s. The schedule of NFT LA and April Fool’s made it that much more perfect, but I would bet that Azuki would’ve revealed a pile of dirt even if April Fool’s wasn’t a thing.

Would any of the brands in the Adweek article done those stunts if April Fool’s wasn’t a thing?

Alright folks, that’s a wrap for this Dive. I’m going to get carpal tunnel at this rate.

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