Socialite Paris Hilton portrays herself as "Bitcoin Barbie" in one of her NFT pieces. Just last year, she sold "Iconic Crypto Queen NFT" for a sumptuous $1.1 million, and she's not, in any way, shy in showcasing her infatuation with NFTs.
The money which some celebrity-made or endorsed NFTs is fetching may seem ludicrous for most people, especially when you think about what you can buy for $1.1 million these days. But that just proves how powerful celebrity endorsements are.
NFTs are gaining mainstream attention, and part of it is because of the support they're getting from famous personalities. When Snoop Dogg unveiled a collection called "A Journey with the Dogg," it took less than two days for one of the pieces to sell for $100,000.
Obviously, celebrities are helping NFTs from the marketing perspective, but are they a positive reinforcement to the industry?
One could argue that they are. After all, more marketing attention means more people will be aware of NFTs and what they can do. This, in turn, could lead to more transactions happening within the space.
But there's a downside to this as well. Some people might see NFTs as a way for celebrities to cash in on their fame. This could turn many people off and make them believe that the entire industry is a sham.
So, there are two sides to this argument. Now, let's dig in and weigh in on how celebrities and their marketing power help (or hinder) NFTs.
More Than Just Hype
Celebrities creating or endorsing NFT collections help bring more attention to the industry. However, it's not all about the hype. Admittedly, the opportunity to earn millions is the primary motivator, but there's more to it.
The likes of Elon Musk and Hilton don't need to push to make money (they already have more than enough). They support NFTs because they know it's the future. They're already popular, and people will likely buy anything they put their names on. But the fact that they've decided to venture into the world of NFTs says a lot about the potential of the technology.
It shows that even celebrities believe in the power of NFTs. They understand that this is more than just a fad. It's a new way to create and trade digital assets, and it has the potential to change the landscape of the internet as we know it.
With that said, their involvement could be the push that NFTs need to go mainstream. When Musk announced that his company, Tesla, would be accepting Bitcoin as payment, the cryptocurrency surged to an all-time high. The same could happen with NFTs.
Granted, we're not saying that every celebrity endorsement will lead to a similar result. But it does have the prospect to attract new people to the space and help grow the industry.
With public figures and personalities strutting their NFT collections, it creates some sort of ripple effect. Creators now realize they, too, can make a lot of money off it. So, they start creating collections in the hope of selling them.
Not everyone needs to be a celebrity to cash in on the trend. Case in point: Amrit Pal Singh. In February of last year, the 32-year-old self-proclaimed artist from New Delhi started minting his designs into NFTs. It took just nine months for him to earn a little over $1 million for a collection of 57 NFTs.
Singh calls this success a product of the people who inspired him. Well, our guess is as good as yours when it comes to who these people are. But we're pretty sure a few celebrities are on that list.
The (Potential) Negative Effect
Like any other industry, NFTs have their fair share of naysayers. While some people quickly dismiss the technology, others have valid concerns about it.
One of the most common criticisms is that NFTs are nothing more than a way for celebrities to cash in on their fame. This is especially true for those who have no prior experience or knowledge in the field of digital art or cryptography.
Although the likes of Snoop Dogg and Grimes took advantage of their previous successes in their respective fields to create NFTs, some celebrities are nothing more than just "endorsers." And by endorsers, we mean those who get paid to promote and market for companies with investments in crypto and NFTs.
In other words, these celebrities have no real connection to the industry and are just in it for the money. This could lead to many people becoming disillusioned with NFTs and viewing them as nothing more than a gimmick.
It's not hard to see why this could be a problem. If people start to think that NFTs are nothing more than a way for celebrities to cash in, it could decrease interest and investment. It could also make it harder for new and relatively unknown creators to be taken seriously.
Fly-By-Night "Fintech" Companies
So long as they get paid, some celebrities don't care if they work with shady fly-by-night "fintech" companies. These companies often promise inflated returns and use shady tactics to lure people in.
These companies need all the help they can get to get noticed. They use a celebrity's endorsement to lure investors in, promising that their NFT project will rake in millions in a quick ROI.
For example, rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine's Trollz Collection was put to a halt when the people behind it realized it wasn't making money. One investor said he invested in the project because of the rapper's endorsement, only to see his $40,000 go to waste.
The thing with these shady fintech companies is that they were created solely to cash on the NFT hype. They have no intention of actually developing a product or service that will last. Sooner or later, they'll run out of money, and when that happens, they'll close up shop and leave investors high and dry.
Having said that, it's not all bad news. While some celebrities don't care about the industry, others are genuinely interested.
Celebrities Pave the Way for Mainstream Adoption
Hilton, Grimes, and Snoop Dogg are some of the many celebrities who've taken a genuine interest in NFTs and have been working on projects outside of just endorsements.
These personalities know that NFTs are likely to change how we interact with content online. Grimes has even said that she wants to create an ecosystem in which artists can sell their creations directly to fans without going through intermediaries like agencies and record labels.
The truth is there's no way for NFTs to generate the attention and interest it currently enjoys without celebrities rallying behind. In a sense, they are the key to driving mainstream adoption.
So, celebrity endorsements have played a part in the growth of the NFT industry, and there's no denying that. It has led to more people becoming interested in the technology and has inspired creators to start minting their NFTs, whether it's for money or creative endeavours.