From Tazos to NFTs, from physical to digital: the marketing evolution that is growing into a trillion-dollar opportunity
Tazos are a marketing evolution of the POG, which began as a playground game in Hawaii in the 1920s.
Some of you may be too young to remember Tazos and how they took the world by storm back in the 1990s. Back in those days children were begging parents to buy them bags of salted crisps or corn chips only because of them. Young boys and girls from Latin America, to Europe, Asia and Africa to Eastern Europe and the Middle East were caught up in the Tazo frenzy.
Unlike the collectible sports cards we’ve all heard about, Tazos were unique in that they were not only collectibles to store and conserve for a lifetime, but items children everywhere were playing with, even at a competitive level. The game was quite simple really. All players had to do was slam one Tazo on another or stack of others and would win those he was able to flip over.
Tazos are a marketing evolution of the POG, which began as a playground game in Hawaii in the 1920s, according to Grunge.
“The 1990s version of the game can be traced to a Hawaiian schoolteacher Blossom Galbiso, who wanted to introduce her students to the game she played as a child.”
Firstwefeast.com wrote in 2016 that it was Hawaiin beverage company, Passion Orange Guava (POG), that brought these flat plastic or cardboard collectibles to prominence in the 1970s and worldwide in the 1990s. Simpson Pogs are still available today and can cost nearly $2,400, according to Etsy.
Tazos and its journey into Latin America
Vice wrote a different story where they explain how in 1994 Mexican marketing guru Pedro Padierna, who worked for chips and crisps company Sabritas, came up with the idea of taking the POG concept and converting it into Tazos.
“I grew up collecting (football) soccer cards,” Padierna told Vice. “In the US it was baseball, but in Mexico we had soccer, and it was part of the way we all grew up. These cards usually came in bags of chips, so it wasn’t a huge creative leap to imagine that some other collectible might be similarly successful. But the question was what?”
Padierna decided to brainstorm some ideas with his colleague Fabian de la Paz, who got wind of the POG case study from Hawaii. The POGs had already been brought back to marketing in the early 1990s by the Canada Games kicking off a second craze. The firm saw an opportunity to license them to other brands and Padierna and De la Paz took them home with a Loony Tunes deal that took the POGs as Tazos to the global marketing arena.
The evolution from physical to digital
Today, CEO and Founder of Fayre Luis Carranza, who recently raised $3.9 million to launch his NFT marketplace, sees a new opportunity to take marketing to the Metaverse with non-fungible tokens.
“POGs and Tazos were a huge hit and still today they are remembered and collected by many people around the world,” Carranza said. “The evolution of the physical, tangible world from gaming, working, meeting and marketing is toward the digital and into the Metaverse. Covid-19 has accelerated that evolution in the last 20 months.”
Fayre is a new marketplace, which features a brand dashboard so that brands can build and engage with NFT fan communities. While many others are talking about building the metaverse, Carranza and his team are solidifying one platform where the three marketing elements come together.
Looking into the future
While many others are absorbed by the frenzy that are NFTs from one angle alone, Carranza is looking into the future and how non-fungible tokens can help bring brands into the future by creating a whole new experience for their fans and potential customers. Fayre is building a mobile companion app that would allow for NFT engagement in retail and stadiums.
The Fayre founder gave an example of how that is already beginning to happen within the fast food industry, although it’s yet to be considered by the likes of the crisps and chips brands that Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola own.
“McDonald’s, for example, got over 100,000 retweets from a McRib post in November. Burger King has partnered with Nintengo to offer gaming rewards with a kids meal,” said Carranza. “But this still needs to be taken further by offering NFTs collectibles that can be used in games by consumers.”
A Q1 2021 GlobalData consumer survey supports Carranza’s theory. Over 28% of Gen Z consumers said they want brands to develop general entertainment such as games to distract them.
In early August of this year, Louis Vuitton launched a game app called “Louis: The Game” to celebrate the 200th birthday of its founder Louis Vuitton. The game will simulate the journey to Paris of its mascot – Vivienne. (The plot is based on the life of Louis Vuitton). There are 30 free NFTs as rewards for players to collect throughout the adventure.
Just a few days later, Burberry also released Burberry NFTs in the Blankos Block Party game space, which allows building, designing, buying/selling, and collecting NFT characters.
A month earlier, Dolce & Gabbana launched a high-end collection aimed at its traditional audience – its fans who are so active that they want to own a digital representation of its designs.
Engaging through emotions
Through gamification, brands engage users by creating distinctive emotions from creative experiences, artistry, and uniqueness of luxury fashion products in the digital environment.
Different approaches of NFT and gamification in the luxury fashion industry
Brands have demonstrated that NFT and gamification approaches and applications can be diverse and customizable to serve different strategic goals.
For example, Louis Vuitton has come up with its own app with a fascinating storyline, a protagonist, and it rewards what customers want to embark on a journey with a sense of pride. The NFT in the game is mainly for collecting purposes rather than for sale.
To Dolce & Gabbana, the first NFT project’s target audience is existing loyal customers.
In Burberry’s case, they entered the market by designing, pricing, and selling Burberry NFTs on an existing trading platform.
Will digital fashion go further with NFT and gamification?
Gamification gives players the feeling of being “immersed” in the world of luxury fashion. It also allows brands to communicate and maintain their message and image more easily. Meanwhile, NFT creates unique digital products that make them as valuable as limited edition luxury fashion products.
The constant release of NFT and gamification-related products by fashion brands reflects a changing fashion industry that is oriented towards games and apps to interact directly with consumers.
High-fashion brands know that it’s their must-do to create a bond with their customers in order to earn loyalty. Nurturing and growing relationships through gamification and NFT is a potential solution to emotional uplift.
An indispensable marketing tool
“NFTs will eventually emerge as an indispensable marketing channel,” wrote Anjali Kapoor in a LinkedIn article entitled The Metaverse: A Paradigm Shift In Marketing. She’s an international media and tech leader, and Web3 & Decentralised Marketing Chief. Kapoor sensibly points out that the crypto architecture by no means will replace strategic media channel marketing campaigns but will help enhance them.
“If you’re an investor in a customer focussed business or an executive responsible for the growth of a consumer brand, it’s impossible to ignore the crypto culture demographic that’s shaping the future of digital asset consumption,” she adds.
Users and advertisers have increasingly adopted the metaverse. If you consider how much time people spend in virtual spaces and how that has blurred the lines between the physical and the virtual worlds, then you agree that NFTs combined with the metaverse is where the next big Tazo-like success will take place.
Hootsuite’s Q4 2021 Global Report shows there are 5.29 billion unique mobile phone users globally. That is 67% of the population. Over 4.8 billion or 61.8% of the global population use the internet. Another statistic for marketers to be aware of is that 44.8% search for brands on social media.
Some stats and numbers
In the UK, people spend an average of 6.4 hours a day on the internet, Uswitch revealed. Statista published a US survey showing 46% of people spent up to six hour, 11%, seven hours, 22%, up to four. In China, according to SMP’s Jane Zang, mobile users spend more than six hours a day online.
Given the mobile phone statistics worldwide, the rise of NFTs and the metaverse going globally —arguably thanks to Mark Zuckerberg rebranding Facebook to Meta— it’s no wonder that big brands such as McDonald’s, Burger King, Campbell’s, Nike, and so many more are diving into this new digital marketing sphere already.
Going one step beyond
Fayre takes the evolution one step further by making NFTs and the metaverse possible all in one place with a unique model that enables brands, fans and creators to subscribe for memberships that give them access to very low transaction costs and a dashboard that makes it easy to navigate in an otherwise complex and sometimes very abstract technological world.
In a November 2021 19-page report, Grayscale estimated:
“The Metaverse to be a trillion-dollar revenue opportunity across advertising, social commerce, digital events, hardware and developer/creator monetization.”
That still pales in comparison to the $14 trillion dollar market Web2 is today, but with the world evolving so quickly, Web3 is a market opportunity nobody can afford to underestimate because the risk of being disrupted is significant, Luis Carranza concluded.