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Legendary Watches On GenZ’s Avatars: Casio Launches NFT Collection

Companies are increasingly exploring the unique digital characteristics of NFTs to grow their reach and enhance the consumer experience. Watchmaker Casio is also riding the wave by launching an NFT collection to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Non-fungible tokens have switched gears. Once seen as the future of art, these blockchain-based assets are increasingly being used in the brand-building strategies of companies and projects. According to CoinGecko, 21 of the 50 biggest global fashion brands have launched at least one NFT collection, with sports brands like Adidas, Nike, and Puma leading the trend.

Electronics giant Casio is also riding the wave. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the Japanese watchmaker has launched an NFT collection of eight token designs meant to be a digital time portal for the company’s most iconic watches.

The venture comes from a partnership with Astar zkEVM, an Ethereum layer-2 solution developed by the Japanese smart contracts platform Astar and powered by Polygon’s zks and AggLayer.

The tokens have been available since May 1 in Casio’s Yo-Port. Yo-Port is a toy machine belonging to the “Yoki Origins” interactive user journey developed by Astar. It allows users to earn reward tokens and grow their “Yokis,” the platform’s user characters, by collecting NFTs launched by projects on the network.

This is the third NFT venture for the electronics company. In September 2023, Casio launched a co-creation program in partnership with Polygon. The competition allowed users who obtained the free G-Shock Creator Pass NFT to develop their own version of the classic 1983 watch design.

Three months later, the Tokyo-based conglomerate launched a limited collection of 2,000 NFTs celebrating the super-resistant G-Shock model. The digital assets could be purchased at 0.1ETH a piece and granted exclusive rights to buyers, including a visit to the laboratory where Casio watches are tested and the right to pre-purchase the next virtual G-Shock product.

The collection, which launched last Wednesday on Askar zkEVM, also bears gifts to lucky users, who can win an original commemorative G-SHOCK piece or Astar tokens valued at 10,000 yen (around $65).

Granting exclusive rights to those who purchase brand tokens is one of the strategies companies are exploring to improve brand loyalty through non-fungible tokens. Another frequently used approach is to leverage the flexible ownership rights granted by the smart contracts of NFTs to allow users to use the digital assets across multiple virtual experiences, such as metaverse worlds or Web3 games.

By creating Web3 products, companies are finding a way to meet younger audiences, such as Gen-Z, who have become unreachable through traditional marketing channels. Casio is building brand awareness among a generation that associates the company more with calculators or wristwatch relics used by their parents.

Users who purchase the NFTs have to wait until May 10, Revelation Day, to discover the contents of the tokens, which are, for now, encapsulated.