GM DOers! 🚀
Mercedes, Porsche and Lamborghini all launched NFTs in the past few years. 👀
While it’s hard to believe, Porsche did their first auction back in 2021 and Lamborghini in 2022. 🤯
In 2023, Mercedes joined the cool kids club by launching their own NFT collection. 😎
In today’s piece, we’ll explore how three of the biggest car manufacturers in the world joined the web3 space by launching NFTs, and more importantly, why they did it…
Comparing the three to determine a ‘winner’ is almost impossible. They’re not only different, they all had different approaches when they joined this space.
So today, our goal is to find a blueprint that guides brands on how to join web3.
Keep in mind that this won’t be a one-size fits all. However, it will give some clarity over why, how and when (if ever) to start experimenting.
But let’s first explore what each of the 3 brands did, and how their actions performed.
👉 Lens Protocol: The Future of Social Media
Decentralized social media finally allows creators to own their content, data and followers. That’s why we choose to build part of our media platform on Lens Protocol.
Mercedes first announced their web3 endeavors by announcing the launch of their new Twitter account: Mercedes-Benz NXT, an account aimed for interacting with their web3 community.
Then, on the 7th of June, Mercedes announced the drop of their Maschine NFTs.
Mercedes-Benz pioneered its entry into web3 with "Maschine", a unique series of 1,000 NFT tokens.
They cleverly collaborated with the esteemed Fingerprints DAO, leveraging their profound web3 expertise, instead of reinventing the wheel in-house. Kudos!
In a stroke of branding intelligence, they entrusted the creation of this digital artwork to the celebrated artist Harm van den Dorpel, renowned for his innovation.
By combining their iconic brand identity with experienced partners and cutting-edge technology, Mercedes-Benz has showcased a forward-thinking approach to web3 and social media engagement.
The launch of their NFT was done through a Dutch auction, aka a fancy way of saying “we’re initially selling them for millions and if we really have to stay the whole night for just a few bucks, we definitely will!”
The auction started at 2ETH, but the interest was about 80% lower than expected.
The 1000 NFTs minted went for an average price of 0.34 ETH, resulting in $410,652 raised.
Porsche dipped their toes into web3 in 2021 (crazy, right?) when they auctioned a 1/1 design sketch of their iconic 911 model on Superrare for 30 ETH.
On January 25 of 2023, Porsche announced their 911 NFT collection. This was supposed to include 7500 NFTs, which were supposed to sell for 0.911 ETH each.
When Porsche realized that there’s no chance for them to mint out, they decided to stop the mint.
At the end, there were 2363 NFTs minted, with 5137 failing to sell.
Nevertheless, Porsche managed to raise a whopping $3.5 Million (2000 ETH).
Do You Enjoy Looking Onchain? 👀🔛 ⛓️
It’s (honestly) the only way to separate noise from reality. That’s why we send our PROs a weekly onchain report combined with industry insights.
By doing this, we ensure you stay on the forefront of web3 and invest and build successfully in this space.
Not a PRO yet? Let’s fix this…
While raising millions might sound like a success, this wasn’t necessarily the case.
Porsche's leap into NFTs didn't quite land. They had to stop the mint, suggesting that things didn't go as planned.
Overall, it felt like they just handed the task off to a hired agency, and the lack of effort showed.
To make matters worse, they tried to sell these NFTs for almost 1 ETH in a tough market.
This move didn't sit well with NFT holders, highlighting how crucial it is to tune in to the market sentiment.
The point of this report isn’t to suggest how Porsche could’ve done a more successful launch. For that, we’ll let our frens at Jump tell you.
🤝 Thanks to our trusted exchange partner, BYDFi.
We believe that we’re in the early stages of a bull run and there’s no better time to buy crypto. This is when you should be practising monthly dollar cost averaging into strong network tokens like Ethereum and Bitcoin. 💪
And if you’re buying it’s important to do so with a licensed and reputable exchange. That’s why we recommend using BYDFi. 🚀
Lamborghini’s Epic Road Trip
Lamborghini made quite the splash when they first ventured into the world of NFTs. In January 2022, they introduced the Space Key NFT.
Then, in April 2022, they raised the stakes by incorporating a unique 1/1 NFT into the auction of their last Aventador LP 780-4 Ultima, an auction that fetched an impressive $1.6 million!
The launch was wrapped around a Road Trip narrative, making it a unique journey through the digital space.
Unlike Porsche and Mercedes, Lamborghini chose to announce their NFT using their main Twitter account, connecting directly with their dedicated fanbase.
Their minting process was an eight-month event, spanning from August 2022 to March 2023.
Each month, for four days, they minted new NFTs. These included three regular mints priced at $193 and one special "rare" mint at $1,963.
In terms of outcomes, a total of 47616 tokens were supplied, with 2676 minted over the course of the event.
Lamborghini made a total of $1M through mint proceeds.
The Blueprint of Launching a Collection as a Big Brand
Now that you’re up to speed about how Porsche, Lamborghini and Mercedes dipped their toes into web3, let’s see what the blueprint is for others who are waiting on the sidelines….
The following section will include 10 key points that you as a brand need to think about.
Also, if you’re a web3 consultant or are looking to become one, here’s what you need to tell your client.
P.S- The following section is for PROs only… If you’re not one already, make sure to upgrade your subscription today. Let’s go 👇
1. Establish Your Goal
Just like in any business endeavour, you need a goal. You shouldn’t join web3 because it’s a new and shiny thing.
You should adopt this new tech because it can help you achieve your goal.
2. Hire A Web3 Expert
Don’t know what your goal is? Hire an expert who can help you.
People like Farokh or Zeneca (and even us at Web3 Academy) spend time advising brands about the DOs and DONTs in web3.
Partner with them and let them guide you through your web3 experience.
3. Communicate Clearly
99% of people HATE technical terms. That’s why Apple, when they launched the Apple Vision PRO, didn’t use any fancy words like machine learning, AR, VR or other technical jargon.
The same principle applies to web3. When you launch a new NFT collection or onchain experience, spread the benefits (how can it help your customer), not the features.
So never mention the words: NFT, Blockchain, Web3, Crypto, Decentralization, Smart contracts, etc…
4. Grab Your ENS
Your .eth domain is your brand’s identity onchain.
Porsche.eth is the new Porsche.com.
Only now, you can do so much more with your ENS than you could with a web domain.
So if you’re a brand entering this space, you need to get your ENS ASAP!
5. Partner With Other Web3 Brands
Over the years, Adidas partnered with BAYC, Gucci partnered with Otherside, Tiffany & Co. partnered with CryptoPunks & Mercedes partnered with Fingerprints DAO.
What do all of the brands above have in common? — They were successful.
Joining a completely new world is hard. So you need guidance and you need someone to introduce you. Therefore, joining the web3 space by partnering with an existing community will help immensely.
It’s like when you go to a new city and you ask a friend to take you around (or you hire a guide, aka, point 2.)
6. Have a Web3 Presence
Nobody likes a smartass. Especially when that person isn’t as smart as they pretend to be.
So if you’re joining this space, don’t just have your marketing team work on this… get a few web3 native people on your team, who understand this space and the culture.
It’s what Mercedes did:
And what Porsche didn’t (which is why they kinda failed).
7. Start Small
Often, when brands join the web3 space, they want to become the biggest hit. They all launch huge collections (often a 10,000 PFP collection) and then despair when they don’t sell out (like Porcshe).
So our advice is that you start small. Do a free mint or create a digital experience.
A perfect approach that worked is Nike’s dotSWOOSH IDs. They simply held multiple events and created digital experiences (before launching any NFTs), and gave its community the chance to mint the NFTs for free at a later date.
This led to a few things:
They created a digital experience where ANYONE could attend
They incentivized their community members to engage and be active
They did a mint that cost everyone $0, which avoided the risk of getting blamed for any monetary loss.
(In the Nike example, we’re referring to the dotSWOOSH ID drop, not the AF1 boxes.)
8. Create A Smooth Experience
Whether you want to do an airdrop, free mint or ICO, you need to make the experience EASY!
Ask yourself: Is this process as easy as scanning a QR code & ordering at a restaurant? If the answer is yes, you’re good to go. If the answer is no, you’ve got work to do, my friend.
9. Should You Incorporate Web3 In Your Brand?
Seeing alternative accounts on Twitter, like Mercedes’ NXT and Porsche’s eth_porsche (cringe name) makes me think that these brands aren’t serious about web3.
Sure, if they just want to test the waters and don’t want to risk damaging their brand, it’s understandable.
But remember… Just because you’re launching a bunch of JPEGs on the internet (I mean onchain) and fail, does not mean people will stop buying your cars…
At some point, web3 tech will be in everyone’s playbook (just like using social media is today). So you may as well just put your web3 plays on your main account, like Gucci did:
Despite saying that, I continue to expect web2 companies to branch web3 stuff off. We need to remember that the people behind these projects are well paid individuals who don’t want to lose their jobs by failing too hard.
Also, if you’re going to be an advisor for any big web2 brand, I suggest you tell them to make an alternative account.
Why? — Cancel culture is HUGE! And it’s so easy for brands to be judged and punished by a failed web3 approach.
It’s better to test things first, and if they’re successful, you migrate to the big account, like Puma did on Twitter.
S/O Tpan for making this point in our Discord.
What’s the utility? – That’s a frequently asked question by us at Web3 Academy…
It’s easy to get your audience hyped up around NFTs when you’re a reputable brand. However, long term, you need to figure out the utility.
Is the main goal community access?
Will you give your holders revenue share?
Will your holders get perks and benefits?
Is it simply fundraising?
Whatever it is, you need to nail it down and clearly communicate it to your community. Failing to do so will backfire, just like it did for Doodles.
11. Create A Digital Experience
Porsche allowed their holders to customize their NFTs.
This experience makes each NFT more unique and personal, something that’s valuable to holders for the long term.
Similarly, just last week, Nike’s dotSWOOSH allowed the holders of AF1 boxes to reveal their shoes.
They did it through a sick animation, which made the entire process much more enjoyable.
Tokens (fungible or non fungible) are the greatest marketing tool on earth.
Why? Because it lets you easily build a community in a far more impactful and easy way than what you have available in web2.
And that’s exactly what NFTs & other web2 tools should be used for.
If you’re trying to make money, you’ll very likely fail (especially long term) because people don’t give a damn about JPEGs on a blockchain.
Instead, they’re more interested in what that JPEG (smart contract) does for them (refer to point 10 above).
Focus on the benefits, not the features — it’s copywriting 101.
And if you, as a brand, creator, or brand consultant, understand this, you’re going to make it. 😉
P.S. I’m aware that people (you and I included) are a bit unclear on the specific IRL use-cases that web3 tools, like NFTs, offer.
So… We’re working on a piece called: The X IRL Use-cases Of Blockchain. Reply to this email with Yes if you want us to publish this article next week! 🔥
Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed it.
And remember, you're strong, you’re powerful, you’re alpha! ❤️
See you soon. ✌️
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and not financial advice. Conduct your own research and consult a financial advisor before making investment decisions or taking any action based on the content.