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NFT is the next big thing in advertising: Heeru Dingra, Isobar Group 

The Isobar Group CEO spoke at length to exchange4media about the untapped market of NFTs, blockchain technology & its potential for brand promotion

e4m by Kanchan Srivastava
Published: Feb 11, 2022 8:49 AM  | 3 min read
Heeru Dingra

It was indeed a marriage that became the talk of the town. In November 2021, a Pune couple exchanged marital vows virtually, all thanks to blockchain technology. This unique wedding, considered India's first blockchain wedding, was documented in a Twitter thread and a LinkedIn post.

"Shruti and I made our marriage 'blockchain official' with an Ethereum smart contract that consecrated our commitment to each other in the form of an NFT minted on OpenSea," Anil Narasipuram, a design professor, posted on LinkedIn.

Meanwhile, an American artist Robness collected a whopping $252,000 last week by selling a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) image of a trash bin.

Sharing interesting insights on this trend, Heeru Dingra, CEO of Isobar Group, said during an interaction with exchange4media: “This is just the tip of the iceberg. The huge untapped market of NFTs and blockchain technology awaits us, especially the advertising agencies,” says. 

NFTs are digital assets on a blockchain that allow anyone to verify the authenticity and ownership of a property. In the case of the Pune couple, an image of the bride's engagement ring was used to create the NFT, which also had the couple's wedding vows embedded in it. 

WATConsult, an Isobar company, has created and launched its own NFT on the successful completion of 15 years last month, featuring the names of all 1500+ employees and alumni who have been part of the agency’s journey. WATConsult thus became the first agency in India to launch an NFT of its own. 

The vogue that NFTs became in 2021 seems to have gripped every sector that holds the potential to be tokenized. “The NFT market is likely to grow over 1000% in 2022 alone, as per an article published by Forbes. On the OpenSea platform alone, 600-700 NFTs are launched every month and multinational brands like Adidas, Pepsi, Vodafone are already hopping on to this trend,” Dingra said. 

For context, while 2018 saw $41 million in NFT sales, it rose to $2.5 billion in the first half of 2021 alone, as per reports. The figure is expected to be around $17.7 billion by the end of the year.

Agencies gearing up

NFT has emerged as a good market for creators and advertising agencies are gearing up to tap the potential of this new digital world. “We are trying to educate our clients on how they can make their brand journey better using NFTs. The leading Indian brands are part of the NFT learning curve,” Dingra noted. 

“Brands can create virtual representations of their products, history, milestones, iconic leaders, and so on. NFTs could also be the perfect access points for specific events and offer benefits that people can enjoy inside the metaverse. The applications and the potential seem endless, and this is what makes the idea so attractive.” 

As of early January 2022, 23.4 million conversations were happening in metaverse globally and 414K conversations were in India alone, the first insight report on metaverse and NFTs released by Tonic Worldwide’s ‘GIPSI’ said. 

This includes 3.95 million conversations of gamers, 755K conversations of investors, and 310K conversations by entertainers. 

Pointing out one of the best features of NFTs, Dingra says, “In the case of promotional merchandise, there are chains and networks of middlemen who deal with your brand. The best thing about NFTs is that there are no middlemen. Celebrities and brands own their digital assets and get royalties directly from the purchasers.”

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