Kia America today is debuting a television commercial that for the first time gives viewers a chance to claim a non-fungible token (NFT) by scanning an on-screen QR code. The 30-second spot for the 2023 Kia Soul cross-over SUV is offering 10,100 of the Kia-themed tokens, per information shared with Marketing Dive.
Three popular characters from the Dead Army Skeleton Klub (DASK), a group of computer-generated 3D skeletons whose NFTs can be collected and traded online, are shown in the commercial driving the new Kia Soul out to the country for a picnic. The spot is part of Kia’s broader “Built for Whoever You Are” campaign.
David&Goliath, Kia’s creative agency of record, worked with the carmaker on the campaign. NFT marketplace Sweet is providing the supporting technology to claim the one-of-a-kind tokens and store them in a digital wallet, per the announcement.
Kia aims to engage consumers with the campaign for the 2023 Kia Soul with its offer of DASK and Kia-themed NFTs to viewers of its commercial. The tokens are partly inspired by the original DASK collection of almost 7,000 computer-generated skeletons introduced in January on the Ethereum blockchain. Holders of the tokens are given access to member perks such as exclusive merchandise and its Discord server. The individuality of each DASK skeleton fits in with Kia’s “Built for Whoever You Are” theme.
NFTs, which act as a certificate of ownership and authenticity of a digital asset, in the past couple of years gained attention as auctions of NFT artwork sold for millions of dollars in cryptocurrency. But as with any collectible, the value of NFTs depends on what people are willing to pay for them. There are signs that the market for NFTs has shrunk amid roaring inflation and economic uncertainty, but the tokens are expected to have continued utility in metaverse environments. NFTs can be used to showcase digital artwork, to sell tickets to online events or to mark ownership of virtual real estate.
Kia’s giveaway of DASK NFTs follows this year’s release of its first NFT, which was based on the Robo Dog from its Super Bowl LVI commercial. The carmaker donated most of the proceeds from the initial sale of those NFTs to the Petfinder Foundation, which helps to find owners for abandoned animals. An additional 10% royalty was built into a smart contract, meaning that whenever the NFT is resold on a secondary market, the foundation receives another donation. The NFT sale helped to extend Kia’s branding efforts following the massive visibility of its Super Bowl commercial, which showed a robot dog escaping an electronics store to chase the driver of an all-electric Kia EV6.
Department store chain Macy’s this month released 10,000 free fireworks NFTs with access to AR wearables that customers can use on select social media and video platforms. Do-it-yourself chain Lowe’s last month released a limited-edition collection of wearable NFTs for users of Decentraland, as part of a bigger digital push. Before that, Bud Light Next released an NFT that gives purchasers access to exclusive perks. These campaigns indicate that brands continue to find applications for NFTs despite the cooling of early hype.