An executive at Big Boy Restaurant Group, an 85-year-old brand, is refreshingly frank as he tells a Detroit writer why the company jumps aboard the NFT blockchain bandwagon.
"Instead of always being a step behind, this is us staying current with the times — to be the very first restaurant with its own collection of NFTs," [marketing manager Patrick] Blake said. "It's something that we're going to be able to get out there to a younger demographic."
"Always being a step behind" isn't typical talk from a marketer about the hand that feeds him. Then again, neither is a burger chain with limited-run digital cards featuring its roly-poly mascot.
Kurt Nagl has the fill at Crain's Detroit Business:
Big Boy is scheduled to launch a release of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) on Aug. 31, the company announced Wednesday. The digital collectibles will be created by Everett, Wash.-based toy maker Funko Inc. and available for purchase via the Worldwide Asset Exchange, a blockchain platform for buying and selling digital tokens.
The Southfield firm, with roots stretching to the first Bob's Big Boy in Glendale, Calif., in 1936, will charge $10 each for 15,000 standard packs of five registered NFT cards and $30 apiece for 5,000 premium packs with 15 NFT cards.
The digital cards feature the Big Boy mascot against various types of animated backgrounds.
A select few packs will include tokens that can be redeemed for physical figurines, including a first edition Big Boy with the original mascot design. ...
[Blake] expects the NFTs to be sold out within two or three hours after launching at 2 p.m. Aug. 31. The company said it will not sell more after the first batch is gone.
Big Boy, which has 62 sites in Michigan, hopes this will help bridge its generation gap and uncool image. "The younger audience might not be familiar [with us]," the marketing manager tells Crain's, "but their parents or grandparents might have a passion for it, and this is something that'll bring them together."
Nagl helpfully leads the uninitiated through this unfamiliar realm:
NFTs are digital assets that represent real items — anything from artwork to cards and tickets, or now, the iconic Big Boy mascot. Each has a unique digital signature distinguishing it from other digital assets. NFTs are typically one of a kind or rolled out in small quantities, keeping the asset scarce, and theoretically, the value high. They are also typically bought and sold on a blockchain, which is a public ledger that records transactions.
Basically, an NFT is a digital collectible that can be easily authenticated in a wild internet world full of knockoff GIFs and stolen memes.