Slim Jim is using its Discord channel to build interest in NFTs, metaverse efforts
Slim Jim is still bullish on the metaverse and NFTs — despite the decline in marketing in the space in recent months.
The snack food brand will leverage its social media platforms and Discord channel to draw its fans to NFTs as it invests in Web3 and the metaverse. Slim Jim is approaching the metaverse like Roblox and Fortnite (i.e. experiencing different games and activities, and interacting with other players) with the goal of adapting to consumers’ behavior as they engage with new technologies within this niche market.
For example, with this latest effort, Slim Jim is offering 10,000 NFTs that will change over time based on a user’s actions. Slim Jim is actively exploring virtual environments within the metaverse to grow its reach to consumers who are familiar with the metaverse and NFTs — and to gain new customers who aren’t.
Conagra Brands vp and general manager of snacks Spencer Fivelson said the novelty of owning an NFT has worn off since people realized they can’t do much with it beyond keeping it in their digital wallets. Keeping this in mind, he said the brand wanted to engage consumers in its metaverse effort with a gamifying experience so they would return to interact with other users through in-game activities and objectives to increase their NFT value rather than just browsing through its metaverse with nothing to do.
“At the time, it was exciting simply to have an NFT and either give it away or auction it off and I think the bar is raised in terms of what you can do with it,” Fivelson said. “What we’re after is to create something that’s a more dynamic, lasting platform, not just a one-off given room, but something that is a ton of fun and is functionality online that will continue to gain interest even over time.”
To spread the message about Slim Jim’s metaverse efforts, the brand took an organic approach on social media using Discord, TikTok (where the brand has 4 million followers) and Instagram (where it has 1.4 million followers). Fivelson said the strategy is not to come across as if the brand is trying to sell products, but rather to use the brand voice as a way to help consumers crush boredom and show up in unexpected ways on social media.
“For us, we learned a thing or two over time about what it means to build a really vibrant, inclusive community that’s all about having fun and that’s really what we built this new metaverse platform to be,” Fivelson said, adding that because of previous controversies involving gaming experiences with NFTs and the metaverse, Slim Jim is not monetizing this effort. Moreover, Fivelson pointed out that the brand is transparent with its Discord audience about its metaverse while educating them at the same time, and Slim Jim is aware of the gamble as more brands withdraw from the space.
It is unclear how much Slim Jim has spent on its metaverse efforts, as Fivelson declined to share exact figures. According to Vivvix, the brand’s spent a little over $14,000 on advertising efforts so far in 2023. Fivelson also said Slim Jim will experiment on Apple’s Vision Pro headset later this year to see if it’s worth investing in, given the high price of the product is likely to affect its ROI for brands.
Slim Jim is not the only brand that sees the metaverse as a worthwhile marketing investment. Nike, FiFa and Epic Games have also leveraged the metaverse and NFTs to provide unique experiences to their fan bases.
“They are clearly democratizing access to NFTs, which will get people interested that maybe haven’t interacted with NFTs and the metaverse before,” said Ariadna Navarro, chief growth officer at brand strategy agency VSA Partners.
Gartner research predicts that, by 2027, more than 40% of large organizations around the world will engage in the use of Web3, spatial computing and other metaverse-based projects as a means of increasing revenue.
“Smart brands are those that create audience-centric experiences and interactions, whether it’s funny text messages that go viral on Instagram and TikTok, fully immersive metaverse activations, or experiences that use a variety of event tech to put their audiences in the driver’s seat,” said Beki Winchel, director of thought leadership and innovation at brand agency Spiro. “Really smart brands are those that design these experiences to nurture year-round, thriving brand communities.”
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