How we’re proving our ‘marketing powerhouse’ status by launching our own NFTs
MG Empower has launched its own collection of NFTs as part of an in-house project to dive headfirst into web3. Here, Sophia Bunker of the agency tells us why it’s worth it.
Agency MG Empower has launched its own collection of NFTs, starting with 'Empathy' / Image courtesy of MG Empower
In recent months the industry has been dominated by all things web3. Naturally, as a fully integrated marketing powerhouse, we decided to launch our own NFT collection – because there’s no storytelling medium we won’t explore.
The new channels known collectively as web3 are expected to revolutionize the world of influencer marketing, brand storytelling and the very nature of customer experience. We’re seeing big names like Burberry, Puma and H&M dipping their toes into the virtual waters. We’re also seeing more brands seeking expert guidance to help them navigate it – and we love it. The sooner brands realize this isn’t a passing fad, the better.
So, with the wonderful world of web3 in full swing, I sat down with MG Empower’s senior creative strategy managers, Edward Ogunrinde and Kieran Kelly, to see what’s in store for the next phase of the internet, and why it made sense for us to launch our own NFTs.
Community is king
Influencers are expert crafters of close communities. In web3, this will reach the next level. With more ownership over their communities, they’ll increasingly take on the roles of gatekeeper and guardian, especially when it comes to deciding which brands are allowed ‘in’. Now more than ever, brands will need to be extra-careful when procuring influencers for a campaign: their close-knit communities will be quick to call out inauthentic presences.
“We all know ‘content is king’. But for web3, we need to reimagine and remember that ‘community is king’,” says Kieran Kelly, senior creative strategist at MG Empower.
Target audiences: a new challenge
As we transition to a decentralized internet, one of the biggest learning curves will be figuring out how brands can bring audiences into the new world with them. Communications, influencer partnerships and community-building: it’s all going to have to change. Not all audiences are digitally-savvy, so test-and-learn processes will be key. Since this new world won’t resonate with everyone, brands will have to think hard and evaluate how (and to what extent) they get involved.
“The influencer will become the hero product for brands. Think of it as if they are becoming commodities themselves,” says Edward Ogunrinde, senior creative strategist at MG Empower.
Navigating the new power balance
As the walled gardens fall, brands will have to be willing to give more ownership to their influencer partners. That’s because one of the defining features of web3 is a decentralized exchange; when negotiating deals, brands must realize that the influencers are in charge of their community.
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Ogunrinde says: “Brands are going to have to unlearn old ideas of ownership and discover how to play the game in these new, decentralised spaces.”
Smoothing the transition
If a brand wants to enter (not own) this space, then it needs to bring its audiences on the journey with it. Laying the groundwork and putting user-friendliness first will mean that, when it comes to planning a launch, the audience will be native enough that the experience doesn’t feel unnatural to them. There are many ways to do this, but strategy and patience will be key.
“Entering this space is a challenge. But when brands are brave enough to take that step, they gain a lot of respect from their audiences,” says Kelly.
Why we’re launching our own NFT collection
In light of all these exciting changes, we realized it was time for us to take the leap and venture into this world ourselves. Cue the MG Empower ’#ValuesCollection.’
The process has been an exercise in self-reflection, turning the strategic lens we use with our clients on ourselves and curating their design based on the thoughts of what each value looks like to our own team at MG Empower – nodding to the co-creation element that is so crucial to web3. We emulated our client journey by advising ourselves and strategically constructing a narrative that would be meaningful, impactful and reflective of who we are. Our five values (energy, empathy, envision, excellence and empowerment) are the pillars of our agency-community.
NFTs, which are community-building tools at heart, seemed the perfect medium through which to visualize our brand and culture as one.
Each part of the collection was designed to reflect an element of our identity, and to live on forever as unique digital collectibles on the Ethereum blockchain. Blending abstract shapes with powerful figures, the expert minds of our in-house Studio team connected our values to patterns and colours, bringing the MG Empower vision to life.
Across five divisions, we provide our clients with cutting-edge influencer marketing, media buying, design and experiential production, advanced analytics and talent management – all integrated and orchestrated to propel award-winning campaigns that go above and beyond. This project materialises the ways in which these different offerings work together to create innovative campaigns that thrive.
Ogunrinde concludes: “The ’Values Collection’ is a way of showing the world that we are part of the future, and it provides us with first-hand insights which are invaluable when strategising for brands in this unknown territory, and guiding them through campaign decision-making in a space that is yet to be fully discovered.”
The ’#ValuesCollection’ is the first to launch under many upcoming projects taking place as part of MG Empower’s #MGEWeb3Dive series. Stay tuned on Instagram to see what launch we reveal next.
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