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  • Writer's pictureDonavan R

Coca-Cola Enters the Metaverse

Coca-Cola is harnessing its history of collectibles with a first NFT as marketers continue experimenting with the intersection of cryptocurrency and culture.

The Atlanta-based beverage giant is selling a series of four NFTs—known as non-fungible tokens—that will be sold as a single asset with proceeds benefiting Special Olympics International. NFTs are digital assets backed by blockchain technology and have seen quick adoption this year by artists and cryptocurrency enthusiasts alike. Interest in the sector has prompted companies ranging from Pringles to the entertainment brand Superplastic to create NFTs with the hope of tapping into the crypto-cultural zeitgeist.

For its digital asset debut, Coca-Cola partnered with Tafi—a Utah-based startup that makes avatars and other virtual content—to resurrect a pixelated version of Coke’s classic 1956 vending machine. However, instead of cans of soda inside, the “Friendship Box” is meant to be like a “loot box” in video games. Coca-Cola’s own NFT loot box includes a metallic red bubble jacket wearable that is inspired by the company’s old delivery uniforms—but that illuminates with fizz. The series also includes digital versions of Coca-Cola’s 1940s trading cards and a “sound visualizer” that features classic Coke sounds such as a bottle opening and a drink being poured over ice. Coca-Cola’s auction will begin bidding on July 30 and run through August 2 on OpenSea, online marketplace for NFTs and other crypto collectibles.

Coca-Cola is just one of numerous notable brands experimenting with NFTs this year. On Wednesday, Campbell’s worked with artist Sophia Chang and the shoppable video app NTWRK to create an NFT collection that celebrates the soup company’s newly designed label. And while Taco Bell was among the first to jump on the NFT wagon when it released a series of “limited edition” taco NFTs, even luxury brands like Dolce & Gabbana have released their own high-fashion NFT collections as recently as this month.

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