General Mills auctions NFTs to promote return of chocolate Dunkaroos

Dive Brief:

  • General Mills is auctioning 10 original digital artworks to celebrate the return of Chocolate Dunkaroos snacks and raise money for charity, per an announcement emailed to Marketing Dive. The illustrations are in the form of nonfungible tokens (NFTs), a type of cryptocurrency that turns digital images into verifiable one-of-a-kind assets that can be sold through a blockchain.
  • The NFTs — which General Mills has dubbed as “new frosting tokens” because the snack consists of cookies that consumers dip in frosting — are inspired by Dunkaroos artwork from the 1990s, when the snack was popular. The highest bidders will score an exclusive first taste of Chocolate Dunkaroos before they hit store shelves.
  • As the buzz around NFTs continues, General Mills is looking to leverage interest in the tech to support Feeding America, and will donate profits from the auction to the nonprofit network of food banks. The NFTs are available for bidding at Rarible, the online marketplace for crypto assets, until 7 a.m. ET on May 1, per the announcement.

Dive Insight:

General Mills is jumping on the growing trend of creating and trading NFTs to drive interest for the reintroduction of Chocolate Dunkaroos, which the marketer said is built on a system of scarcity, just like NFTs. The packaged foods company last year brought back a vanilla-flavored version of the snack to the U.S., where it had been discontinued in 2012, amid a wave of nostalgia for brands that people enjoyed in their youth. That trend picked up steam during the pandemic as homebound consumers ate more meals at home and sought comfort in familiar brands.

The CPG giant’s CMO Ivan Pollard said marketing is playing an important role for the company this year as it looks to sustain a sales boost driven by renewed interest in its brands during the early days of the pandemic, in an interview with Marketing Dive. With this in mind, the marketer is increasing media investments with a focus on digital and building brands with purpose.

General Mills is the latest marketer to host an auction of NFTs, whose values are based on what people are willing to pay for one-of-a-kind digital assets. Their exclusivity is maintained on a blockchain, which is a database of transactions that can’t be altered, forming the basis for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. NFTs last month made headlines when a digital artwork titled “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” sold for $69.3 million in an online auction.

NFT mania is drawing interest from brands that seek to parlay the growing interest in digital assets into more publicity for their campaigns. Dole Sunshine recently announced plans to sell a series of original digital artworks as NFTs and donate the auction proceeds to hunger-relief programs. Procter & Gamble last month hopped on the NFT bandwagon with an auction of digital artwork inspired by its Charmin brand of toilet paper, with plans to donate the proceeds to charity. Pizza Hut Canada sold digital images of pizza as NFTs to build buzz for the pizza chain’s lunch menu.

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