This Week in the Metaverse: Portrait NFTs at Cannes Lions and Virtual Budweiser Clydesdales

Things are moving fast in the metaverse and the wider world of Web3 as a whole. Depending on who you ask, this futuristic blockchain-based space is either the next big thing for marketing — and pretty much everything else — or an overrated fad. Here’s what you need to know from the past week:

Budweiser lets the virtual Clydesdales out of the stables and becomes the official beer of Zed Run

Budweiser grabs Web3 by the reins and rides Zed Run, the popular NFT-based virtual horse racing platform. To celebrate the famous Budweiser Clydesdale horses, the brand announced earlier this week that it is launching The Budweiser Pass, a new NFT drop that will give fans the chance to race digital Clydesdales on the new Budweiser track at Zed Run. Budweiser also became the official beer of Zed Run. The new passes, which go on sale June 10 for $225 each (plus gas charges), will give holders access to a virtual racehorse (which will be available at any of the three varieties), the brand track and other exclusive benefits. “We are thrilled to partner with Zed Run to offer Budweiser fans and collectors the opportunity to virtually run and own an iconic piece of our brand’s heritage, a Budweiser Clydesdale,” said Richard Oppy, Vice President global brands at AB InBev. A declaration. “This partnership reinforces our commitment to providing enriching and meaningful experiences for adult consumers. We celebrate our history and gallop into the future, simultaneously.

The latest news and marketing information straight to your inbox.

Get the most out of The Drum by choosing from a range of excellent email briefings, whether daily news, weekly recaps or in-depth media or creative dives.



Budweiser is now the official beer of Zed Run. (Credit: Allison PR)

Christie’s and MAPS launch NFT campaign to support psychedelic science


Christie’s, the historic auction house that has become a powerhouse in the expanding NFT market in recent years, has announced a new Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) NFT campaign to support research into therapeutic applications of psychedelics. “Cartography of the Mind”, as the NFT campaign is called – an apparent reference to MAPS – will feature drawings by some of NFT’s most famous artists and psychedelic spaces, including Beeple (from “Everydays: the First 5000 Days ” fame) and Alex Gray (a painter known for his delightfully mind-blowing creations). Founded by Dr. Rick Doblin in 1986, MAPS is a non-profit organization “focused on research and education that advances medical, legal and cultural benefits of the careful use of psychedelics and marijuana for mental and spiritual healing”. psychedelics while simultaneously eroding the cultural stigma surrounding them.The new NFT campaign – launched in partnership with Ryan Zurrer, founder of Vine Ventures and Dialec tic AG – represents the burgeoning psychedelic industry’s latest effort to blend into pop culture. “There is an intrinsic connection between the psychedelic community and art,” Doblin said in a statement. “Art is often used to integrate psychedelic experiences, transcending language, culture and experience to communicate what words simply cannot do. We are honored to work with Christie’s and engage these talented artists NFT fundraising for MAPS.

StockX Defends Against Nike Lawsuit


Online clothing marketplace and retailer StockX is defending itself in its ongoing legal battle with Nike. Nike filed a lawsuit against StockX in February, alleging that the company’s sale of NFTs containing Nike sneakers qualified as trademark infringement. Nike claimed in its original complaint that StockX sold more than 500 such NFTs, per CNBC. That complaint was amended last month with an additional claim by Nike that it had been able to obtain several pairs of counterfeit Nike shoes from StockX, each of which was allegedly marked as genuine by the online retailer. StockX presents itself as a company committed to authentication. In a court filing dated June 06, attorneys for StockX claimed that its “recent introduction of non-fungible tokens (‘NFTs’) to track ownership of frequently traded physical products and essentially serve as a claim ticket for frequently traded physical products. traded, transforms the shopping experience on its platform by increasing efficiency and reducing transaction costs for buyers and sellers.Use of NFTs in this manner is legal and does not violate any legitimate rights of Nike or of one of the manufacturers of the underlying physical goods.Nike’s claims of trademark infringement and dilution lack merit, disregard established doctrines of trademark law, including first-sale doctrines and of fair named use, and show a fundamental misunderstanding of the various functions that NFTs can serve. Nike claims that StockX knowingly and willfully sold counterfeit products and falsely advertised its authentication services are also without merit.

Actor and entrepreneur Rob McElhenney launches web-based media company3


Rob McElhenney, creator and one of the stars of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” co-founded a new Web3-based startup called Adim. The company describes itself as an “entertainment technology company…creating a new way to reward creators and collaborators throughout the creative development process.” Organized around the fundamental principles of Web3 (namely decentralization, transparency and co-ownership), McElhenney’s new company aims to build a network of creators to develop intellectual property – whose potential future fruits, including royalties and additional creative opportunities will be made available to members. “Every beloved character in the history of television, film and gaming has been imagined and brought to life through collaboration,” McElhenney said in a statement. “Adim is building for the next evolution of these groups – communities of creators, writers, artists, designers, developers, fans and friends working together to create and own a new generation of content.” For an industry in which it is commonly said that “it all depends on who you know”, Adim also aims to make professional creative opportunities more accessible to people outside of the epicenters of the film and television industry.

iHeartMedia and State Farm Announce New Metaverse Activation


Like a good neighbor, State Farm is… settling into the metaverse. Yesterday, mass media company iHeartMedia announced that it is partnering with the insurance company to create iHeartLand, a virtual experience on Roblox. The goal of the new project, according to a joint statement from the two companies, is “to create the future of live experiences, combining major album releases, some of the most popular podcasts and interactive games in exciting new ways. for the fans”. The virtual space is launched, in part, to commemorate the centennial of State Farm. Like many brands entering the metaverse, State Farm hopes its new collaborative project with iHeartMedia will provide eye-catching new opportunities for customer engagement. “As the quintessential good neighbor, it makes sense for State Farm to join the virtual neighborhood that is the Metaverse,” Rand Harbart, director of agency, sales and marketing at State Farm, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to work with iHeartMedia to meet consumers where they are, as only our two brands can. Together, we aim to create a space where fans can come together to compete and collaborate to unlock unique experiences in a virtually limitless world of entertainment in iHeartLand.

‘NFT portrait studio’ is coming to Cannes Lions 2022


Have you ever wondered what you would look like as an NFT? Now you can find out… if you can only do it inside Cannes Lions. At this year’s festival (June 20-24), stock-market media company Shutterstock will operate an “exclusive NFT portrait studio” inside its largest “interactive 3D animated entrance facility.” The portraits will be taken by renowned celebrity photographer David Fisher – known for his celebrity portraits – and can then be turned into NFTs. Who knows, maybe your photo will soon fetch millions on OpenSea (but again, good luck getting into the festival). The Cannes Film Festival also launched its first NFTCannes summit in May.

Angel’s Envy unveils its virtual distillery


Bourbon maker Angel’s Envy announced the world’s “first virtual distillery” this week, alongside the expansion of the IRL distillery at its headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky. The virtual distillery is set to open to the public on National Bourbon Day, June 14. As a preview, The Drum was able to explore the virtual premises, which were built at Decentraland. After the few minutes it took to learn how to awkwardly maneuver our avatar from a computer keyboard, we finally found our way, where we were greeted by a virtual tour guide. He popped up at strategic points throughout our wanderings in virtual space to break down the bourbon distillation process — and, of course, offer a sales pitch or two for Angel’s Envy. “We are thrilled to welcome Decentraland’s first distillery with Angel Envy Meta Distillery,” said Adam de Cata, Head of Partnerships at the Decentraland Foundation, in a statement. “As we’ve seen over the past few months, people want to engage with the metaverse with activities and possessions they can relate to from that reality. Angel’s EnvyMeta Distillery is creating a new way for people to people to engage and celebrate in the metaverse.” The bourbon company is just one of many liquor companies that have taken a look at Web3 in recent months. Absolut Vodka, for example, launched a virtual brand activation in April to celebrate the return of Coachella. Jose Cuervo also recently unveiled plans for his own virtual distillery. Too bad we can’t taste the virtual alcohol that is sweeping through these places. But who knows, maybe Reality Labs is currently working on the technology for that.

For more, sign up for The Drum’s Inside the Metaverse weekly newsletter here.

Charles P. Patton