Today, the titan of the jewelry world, Tiffany, will release the Crypto Punk collaboration. Ok, not just a collaboration, but a very specific, extremely limiting (250 pieces) collection of CryptoPunk pendants available only for the CryptoPunk holders who are willing to pay 30 ETH (ap. $50.000) for the diamond pendant, and it’s NFT copy. Sounds bougie as hell – because it is – but if you think about it a little, it will seem more convenient.
This kind of marketing strategy works perfectly for both sides – CryptoPunks is a relatively new project (let’s ignore the fact that in web3, everything becomes old news the week after release) that gets a gold stamp from a well-respected jewelry brand, partly becoming a part of this big world of “old money.” And Tiffany’s strategy now is to be a younger-audience-oriented brand, especially after Alexandre Arnault (the son of the wealthiest man in Europe, billionaire Bernard Arnault) took the position of Executive Vice President of Product and Communication.
Alexandre is a young, progressive, easy-going guy. He loves hip-hop so much that he invited Beyonce and Jay-Z to participate in the most expensive Tiffany campaign ever. He also was smart enough to make Hailey Bieber the face of the “new Tiffany.” Of course, 80% of Hailey’s fans can’t afford Tiffany but still counts as a cool progressive move. He even uses a CryptoPunk pic as an avatar for Instagram – like millions of other people. He’s so relatable! He’s like all of us, except he’s a billionaire son, and all of us are not, but it’s such an insignificant difference.
Would it be timing better if the collab launched a couple of years ago when CryptoPunks were huge? Probably yes, but getting approval from the management team can be long and exhausting in small firms; imagine pushing the idea to LVMH holding (In 2021, LVMH acquired a majority stake in Tiffani&Co) even when you are a son of the owner. Is this collaboration an attempt to hype NFT popularity? Yes, it is. Is it a good way to emphasize the exclusivity of the CryptoPunks? Also, yes. That’s where a new generation of 20-something crypto-millionaires got access to the crème-de-la-crème trifles, and brands create even more elite circles or illusions of the elite circle (practically the same in the marketing world).
But of course, it’s not the first attempt to marry NFT and jewelry. Gold is the oldest and one of the most bullet-proof investment decisions, and NFT is the newest and the riskiest – match made in heaven!
Brand Jevels took off during the pandemic with AR earrings, which looks pretty logical: we had to communicate with people, but we were freed from the liability to wear pants and put on makeup. The lack of need to wear jewels was just another step forward. You want diamond earrings, but can’t buy the real ones? No problem, we’ll help you give an impression that you can! Nevertheless, «If you make an NFT of a real diamond, and the diamond itself gets destroyed in a fire tomorrow, you still have the same asset. Few understand».
Six months ago, L’Dezen released a pair of diamond earrings that simultaneously exist in the real and digital worlds. They offered a lot for an auction, and the winner will get the digital version to use for social media, and the real version will be stored till the owner redeems the earrings by connecting his (or her) wallet. Consider it as a case when you make a copy of your grandma’s family’s 5-carat ring to save it for future generations.
Playing with NFTs was the leitmotiv in 2021, and now – in 2022 – we are all obsessed with metaverses. We want to buy more land, put more shops, ad more brands, and even if we are not sure how it may work for us in the future, we still are extremely excited. And it’s understandable. Because big brands are coming to the metaverses to help your virtual- self look dope, why don’t you apply the meta-attributes at least to your zoom version? Yes, it is not about owning but about making the appearance of owning. Ironically it perfectly applies to the NFT itself.
Does it mean that you can present your girlfriend a code instead of a Tiffany engagement ring? You can try, but it might end up with you losing your girlfriend. On the other hand, some NFTs are much more expensive than any diamond, so if you splurge on a decent one, she’ll appreciate it.