Opinion Celebrity Endorsers are Rushing into the NFT Marketplace

Celebrity Endorsers are Rushing into the NFT Marketplace

February 5, 2022

Not long ago, after many years away from the spotlight of mass media, the world once again remembered Paris Hilton. That began when a viral clip from the talk show The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon started to be shared across social media. Paris Hilton, who is now somewhat of a crypto business promoter, was a guest who talked to Fallon about a range of things, including NFTs. During the interview, she showed one of her latest NFT acquisitions, a version of Bored Ape NFT with a hat and sunglasses. Hilton stated that she thinks that it is cool, especially when it comes to accessories. For many, the same interview led to a serious case of headaches, as once again, Paris Hilton emits a strong aura of having zero clue about any topic she might be talking about. 

In this case, that topic is NFTs and cryptocurrencies in general. But, even with the solid example of Paris Hilton that shows just the utter shallowness of it all, there is a growing narrative of celebrities presenting and promoting one NFT or another. In this case, Hilton began with the cream of the crop, but there are many other examples of the same pattern. For some, this is an unmistakable sign of the impending doom for the same business. But, for others, it signals a big turn towards mass adoption, despite the overt stupidity of it all that is so frequently present, especially with people like Paris Hilton.

Affectless Promotion

The thing that caught the eye of so many social media users is not the fact that Hilton is promoting an NFT network. What struck most was the fact that she was doing it so flatly and without any effect whatsoever. Instead of even trying to fake some level of enthusiasm, she simply stated the things she had to say and thought nothing more of it. Even the news media found this bizarrely interesting. That is why Vice labeled the entire talk as hallucinogenic, while New York magazine said that the setup seemed eerily similar to some kind of Herbalife automated pitch. 

The nod to the famous multi-level marketing company is also relevant because it showcases a dual-type of story. On one hand, so many despise all that Herbalife stands for, least of all its actual products. On the other hand, Herbalife is a huge business that successfully operates across several continents, despite their equally affectless means of promotion. That could chart out a pathway for NFTs as well, especially for companies that have very little to actually offer in terms of technology and blockchain usability.

Expanding Field

While there is no doubt that the clip of Hilton and Fallon is hard to watch, none of them are actually the culprit for the same effect. Instead, that type of entity simply does not exist here, as most individuals and even media are distraught not by a particular non-fungible token, but more by the entire domain in general and how it approaches its promotional efforts. But, the tide is turning towards more and more celebrities entering the same process, instead of turning them away. 

MoonPay, the company that sponsors Hilton, recently added their branding to a huge song by Post Malone and the Weeknd. The same track will become a hit in the coming weeks and months, regardless of its overall musical quality. The brand names behind it will make sure of that. Others are on the same boat, or they are at least investing in NFTs heavily.  Snoop Dogg, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gunna, Meek Mill, Lil Baby, and Kevin Hart are all among those who have purchased art in some non-fungible token form.

Streamlining the Process

MoonPay has a clear pitch behind its marketing efforts. It is said that anyone purchasing NFTs in an old-fashioned way has to deal with a range of hassles. These include activities on the ethereum blockchain, wallets that are self-hosted, seed phrases, and many other similar things that are a complete mystery to a layman. Instead, MoonPay allows high net worth companies and individuals the complete streamlining of the same process. 

In other words, they are helping celebrities get into crypto and they are using other famous individuals to promote that process. Still, the level of enthusiasm of the same celebrities, unlike the approaches of people like esports players and other first adopters, remains low or borderline missing. However, the pitch that the company and others like it provide is sound from a business perspective. It adds value to a field that is laden with money and by default ready to make atypical purchases, especially those which underlie their brand and public appearance. For that, NFTs are a perfect option in more than one way.

Organic Outreach

MoonPay was put under a bit of media scrutiny in the wake of the Paris Hilton appearance. The main issue was the process of outreach and who seeks out whom. In other words, does the company get in touch with celebrities or does the exact opposite happen? The CEO, Ivan Soto-Wright, managed to avoid a direct answer, saying that the outreach process is completely organic and that most conversations occur naturally and in other settings. 

Other companies seem to be taking on a similar posture, covering more than one basis with this organic means of getting connected. But, at the same time, there is little doubt that the contacts are also well-defined through legal means as well. Otherwise, processes where a Bored Ape mint can go for 500 ETH, or countless BTC, or around 1,5 million USD would quickly become legal and financial quagmires of problems. 

Money and Branding

Ultimately, the calculator for any celebrity for entering the NFL domain is simple. They can invest their own money, they can earn money by promoting NFTs and they can enforce their personal brand while they do the same. That is a solid deal all around and can help anyone reach more financial means as well as their direct individual promotion. Because of that, it is likely that even more celebrities will soon begin doing the same in the non-fungible token industry.