Crockpot fires up NFT to target next generation of at-home cooks

    Dive Brief:

    • Crockpot is celebrating 50 years in business with a nonfungible token (NFT) auction that showcases its product designs across the decades, per a news release. The move promotes a new Design Series of slow cookers that hit shelves last month.
    • The Newell Brands marketer partnered with the marketplace for the auction, which will close Oct. 21. The NFT itself is an animated GIF that displays a Crockpot constantly transforming into various iterations while prepping different meals. Interested participants must sign up for OpenSea and the winner will need to sign a transfer agreement to secure their digital art piece.   
    • Starting bids for the NFT, which went live Oct. 14, were 0.03 of the Ethereum coin — approximately $100 — and the highest bid at press time was valued at $755.55. Proceeds for the sale will be folded into Crockpot’s larger Hunger Action Month donation to Feeding America, adding a charitable component to the activation.

    Dive Insight:

    Crockpot is commemorating 50 years in business with a decidedly modern marketing play, tapping the nascent NFT format that has taken the art world by storm and become an increasingly common tool for brands. In showcasing legacy Crockpot designs — one for each decade — the digital art piece tries to meld the product’s past, present and future, according to Christine Robins, CEO of Home Appliances at Newell Brands.

    We wanted to celebrate our history without getting too nostalgic,” said Robins in a press statement. “Minting an NFT might seem like an unexpected move from the Crockpot team, but expect to see more newness from our brand as we embark on the next 50 years.”

    Pushing into NFTs shows Crockpot, which bills itself as the original slow-cooker, continuing to switch up its marketing strategy to engage new consumer groups. The brand’s products were originally targeted at “busy homemakers,” but Crockpot is now appealing to the next generation of at-home cooks, per the announcement. 

    Other categories, including consumer packaged goods, have started to shift away from using domestic tropes in their campaigns to instead focus on initiatives that are better tapped into broader cultural discussion. For Crockpot, the reassessment comes as the pandemic has shored up home cooking habits, including for younger cohorts that previously did little meal prep on their own.

    Crockpot kickstarted its reinvention last year by dropping the hyphen in its name and changing its packaging design. Unlike other legacy marketers that have leaned heavily into nostalgic appeals when overhauling their brands, the slow cooker purveyor has deliberately tried to avoid relying on its past.   

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