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Decoding NFT: The game-changer for traditional enterprises

For some traditional companies, 'innovation' is not just an empty talk but a crucial element that determines the future of business. Market is ever-changing, rapidly. And it means that those traditional companies could do nothing but to go with the flow. The recent attempt by McDonald's reflects the ambition of this multinational catering giant, which was founded for more than half a century, its 'innovation', however, is not about fried chicken but McRib NFT.



McRib is not commonly known by Asian but it owns high popularity in the United States. Whenever McRib is launched, it is only available in designated stores for a limited period of time; this “scarcity” explains why Americans would travel across the states to get this “legendary burger”. This popularity is the reason for its '”return” - on 30 September 2021, McDonald's announced that McRib would be available in all the stores in the US starting from 1 November. Moreover, it will launch a limited-edition McRib NFT to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the burger.


It is worth to note that, the limited-edition McRib NFT is not for sale but as a gift to win, as it stated in the announcement: “to enter for a chance to win, make sure you're following @McDonalds on Twitter and retweet the Sweepstakes Invitation tweet any time between 1cNovember through 7 November from your public account. By 12 November, we'll select ten fans who will receive the exclusive McRib NFT to add to their personal collection.”

According to Hootsuite (social media management company), online conversations surrounding the McRib's 40th anniversary and subsequent NFT announcement hit more than 20,000 mentions (with the NFT giveaway contest generating 83,000+ retweets. All these data has proven the success of this NFT campaign. The buzz even spread across the globe to the United Kingdom, Japan, Spain and Canada, though the lucky draw was limited to people who lived in the USA. 

The success of McRib NFT campaign is certain. Its success is not only reflected from the heated discussion around the world, but also from the trendy and stylish brand image McDonald's established via NFT. When its competitors are busy launching new flavors and new foods; or working on the price war strategy. McDonald's uses NFT to upgrade an “old product” that has been available for 40 years to a “new product” that relevent to Gen Z, a young but promising market. Nevertheless, the “limited prizes” of the game are created by McDonald's itself, the cost is low and controllable. 

The campaign positioning the NFTs as gifts reflected that making profit is not the company’s objective. They aim to create a topic about “scarcity” and gain brand exposure by the extensive discussion around the world. NFT, in this sense, is used to establish an innovative and fashionable image - which a reasonably low cost.

Unlike those new creators and start-ups who rely on NFTs to make a name for themselves or break through, traditional companies are not lack of resources and manpower, but the awareness of ”innovation” and the effectiveness to kick start those innovative plans. Traditional companies can wash away the conservative image and step into the young market by embracing NFT technology. McDonald's McRib NFT is definitely an excellent example of traditional corperate using NFT as a new way for promotion. Which company will be the next successful one that uses NFT to repackage and upgrade its conventional products and services? 





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