NFT ‘metadata’ has mostly consisted of JPGs, GIFs, and MP4s, and the more advanced collections have traits and rarity. Critically, creators haven't changed the metadata, in some cases they even ‘froze’ it to prevent tampering or ‘rugs’ post-mint.
But innovative brand and agency leaders are poking holes in this dogma, and starting to realize what is possible with ‘dynamic metadata’ – updating a consumer's NFT metadata over time. It’s not just about possible new artforms or content, it’s about the fundamentals of how brands and agencies leverage consumer data itself.
“NFTs: your ticket into a brand’s action," wrote MediaMonks Web3 Director Michael Litman.
"We’re entering an ownership era where everyone has a chance to own a piece of the action. This ownership partly lies in NFTs or digital collectibles, which can be many things—an artwork that evolves over time as users get involved, a digital object, and more.”
How will brands and agencies personalize experiences and tailor ads in a future without cookies? How will developers create unified consumer experiences across disparate brand properties or different brands altogether? How can consumers achieve a more elevated digital experience without compromising on privacy?
Dynamic NFTs may be part of the solution. It’s not a consumer-facing term by any means, but it may soon become a key piece of every brand and agency's consumer data and engagement strategy. Here’s an explainer, today’s most helpful use cases, and where we see Dynamic NFTs going at Mojito.
What are Dynamic NFTs?
First it’s worth clarifying: What is an NFT?
An NFT is an unique digital asset owned by a single individual or entity at any given time. This digital asset maintains its own records, too: NFT 'metadata' can reference a near-unlimited amount of content, code, and raw data. When consumers 'connect wallet' to websites or apps, the brand can 'see' what assets they own and 'read' the metadata.
Traditionally, creators ‘froze’ or otherwise swore to never change their NFT metadata after minting. Imagine buying a physical product off the shelf, and by the time you brought it home, the manufacturer had somehow altered it completely, or even somehow ‘deleted’ it. This is why best practice was to never change the metadata: otherwise, consumers couldn't trust its lasting value.
But then some people got creative, and wanted to play with the idea of dynamic onchain art where the work changes over time, and not only that, but changes based on signals it receives from the internet (!!). One of the earliest and most famous examples of this is the Bitcoin Volatility Art by Matt Kane that changes daily based on the past 24 hours of Bitcoin trading activity.
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- Bitcoin Volatility Art dynamically updates its metadata based on recent market trends, but there's no reason it couldn't be driven by anything else. What offchain sources of engagement data would you wish to capture, reflect or incentivize onchain?
- Brands and agencies don't necessarily need to do anything other than 'update' the NFT metadata with these touchpoints, and possibly maintain an omnichannel 'consumer profile score'.
- This would then be 'readable' by any website or app to enable personalized experiences on first-party and third-party platforms. These insights have gotten people in our industry thinking….
LaMelo Ball (NBA) - Dynamic Content
In 2021, NBA star LaMelo Ball sold 10,000 digital collectibles in partnership with Chainlink, a company that specializes in bridging offchain and onchain data, with the premise that if Ball should win the Rookie of the Year award later that season, the collectibles would 'evolve in a more powerful version'. This means dynamically updating its visual appearance as well as its 'rarity', an important aspect of collectibles markets.
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- Imagine fantasy sports, reality TV, or other 'live data' enhancements driving desirable outcomes in a consumer's chosen collectibles, say, during a prediction or even betting contest. What would be right for you?
Australian Open (tennis) - Dynamic Content & Rewards
In 2022, the Australian Open sold 6,776 digital collectibles called AO ArtBalls in partnership with Hawk-Eye, a company that linked each NFT to a specific area on the court and triggered dynamic updates to corresponding NFT for each match point.
AO Artball 'lucky winners' each earned 'upgraded' NFT artwork, but also free redeemable tickets to the next tournament.
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- Upgrade the artwork when relevant, sure, but add loyalty points or access to free redeemables dynamically within the same NFT metadata, and the reward is suddenly that much more real and valuable.
gmoney & 9dcc (fashion) - Dynamic Rewards & Community
Crypto-native lifestyle brand 9dcc incentivizes weekend wear amongst its ambassadors through flash mini-games that generate loyalty points and is only playable if you have the NFC-chipped garment nearby (or preferably, on your person).
Founder and CEO gmoney designed these 'network points' to be a dynamic element within the 9dcc ecosystem, stored offchain but tied to each consumer's onchain identity.
"How do you find and incentivize those fervent brand people to become bigger ambassadors? That’s what I’m trying to mess around with." @gmoney
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- The future of consumer engagement is onchain. But that doesn't mean that literally all the data is onchain, public, transparent and immutable. Here we see gmoney decide to store his network points offchain for privacy but with an onchain reference (i.e. wallet, NFT pass) to leverage within his own platforms or others where he shares permission.
- This is indicative of a broader trend within web3 called web2.5 (coined by yours truly!). Rather than decentralizing everything, this term refers to applications that blend centralized and decentralized tech in order to achieve a necessary balance between desirable web3 features, a smooth and familiar user experience, and corporate risk management. This is our specialty at Mojito!
What are the brand benefits for Dynamic NFTs today?
You can’t sell consumers a better database. You need to sell applications and benefits instead. So what can brands and agencies offer with Dynamic NFTs today?
- Onchain Loyalty Points – Distribute fan or membership passes, then increment/decrement their loyalty points ‘in the metadata’ every time they interact with your brand or redeem rewards. Omnichannel, omniplatform, cross-brand. No fungible tokens necessary. Lightest possible legal and operational lift for web3 rewards program.
- Personalized Token-Gating – Deliver richer experiences and tailored rewards informed not just by token ownership alone, but all relevant engagement data including social, ecommerce, and IRL. Gate websites, apps, games, and events. Generate and distribute additional points at the point of ‘check-in’ for surprise and delight.
- Memberships/Subscriptions – Sell time-access passes with expiration dates in the metadata. Consumers may keep their passes after expiration for limited access to certain community spaces or re-entry discounts, but to retain access to members-only spaces, they would need to pay a subscription fee or simply ‘buy more time’ on their expiration date. Token-gates would read not just the presence of the pass but the expiration date within its metadata to determine whether to let the user through.
- Physical x Digital Enhancements – Pair NFC-enabled spaces, objects, and garments with digital rewards schemes to drive IRL engagement and a bridge from geo-constrained, time-limited physical experiences to boundless, timeless digital ecosystems. Making a bit of a comeback, the humble NFC chip delivers a more delightful user experience than QR codes, and is much more technically capable, too, meaning many clever ways to ‘read’ and ‘update’ a user’s NFT metadata through ‘proof of proximity’ engagement campaigns
"Web3 wallets are the new cookies but the difference is that, this time, it belongs to the customer," said Salesforce SVP Marc Mathieu.
"The big difference is that these people are no longer just consumers, they want to be co-creators co-innovators, collaborators, and co-beneficiaries.”
Here's how to get started with Dynamic NFTs for your brand:
- Identify 2-5 key engagements you want to track and reward digitally.
- Define 1-2 valuable rewards and thresholds for engagement.
- Contact Mojito to get it all done, on budget and on time.
As always, we love talking web3 consumer engagement with brand and agency leaders. Whether you're sourcing tech solutions with a clear scope, timeline and budget in mind, or you're just getting started, Mojito can help you every step of the way. Share your contact details and our team will reach out for an exploratory chat. Get in touch.
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