Back with Wunderman Thompson and Arianee in the YSL Beauty issue.
At the end of November, Wunderman Thompson France cultivated its positioning and expertise in web3 by being the first agency to join Partner Program of Arianee, a technology company that facilitates web3 access for brands. “Web3 is a marketing revolution, even the most interesting of the last 10 years. We have chosen to be the agency best positioned to support brands in this segment, and that means building an ecosystem of referral partners. Arianee is a pioneer and a leader and it was only natural for us to join the Partner Program”. then announced Virgil BrodziakManaging Director of Wunderman Thompson France.
The partners had already put this vivid vision into practice for YSL Beauty, in June. Let’s take stock of this project today to better outline the web3 revolution for loyalty programs. Answer with Pierre-Nicolas HurstelCEO and co-founder of Arianne, as well as Virgile Brodziak.
How did your collaboration come about?
Virgil Brodziak: We met a few years ago around the issue of certificates of ownership and blockchain authenticity. The use cases were still rare, it was too early for consumers, for the industry, even for what is now called web3, but which did not yet have a name at the time of our meeting 3-4 years ago.
We still wanted Arianee and Wunderman Thompson to collaborate back then. But we had to wait for some maturity on the part of the market, the big brands and the web3 ecosystem to have the opportunity to work together.
In mid-2021, the question of using NFT and blockchain-based pre-consumer devices was raised. It was around YSL that we found the first use case and the possibility of cooperation with Arianee.
Pierre-Nicolas Hurstel: For the record, we got the YSL review on the same day. I immediately said: we cannot respond to this summary alone.
We’re not an agency, we’re not here to design campaigns, visibility strategies… that’s not our job. We are here to deploy web3 technology to enable brands to transform their customer engagement.
So it made sense for us to be a technology layer in Wunderman Thompson’s proposition.
What have you decided on YSL Beauty?
PN.H. : It is a customer engagement device based on a completely new principle in terms of marketing. We decided to engage a community around the distribution of digital assets, a collection of Golden Blocks – free NFTs – created by YSL and distributed using traditional channels and direct marketing events.
The idea was to introduce the YSL community (social networks, newsletters, etc.) and maybe give a large part of its members a first Ethereum wallet address with ultra onboarding of the brand and make them hold an asset digital, one of 10,000 items. in the Golden Blocks collection.
What’s really interesting is that instead of asking these people for their emails or encouraging them to follow the brand on this or that third-party social media platform, we gave them a digital element that is an NFT.
And from there, we started interacting with them and offering them new web3 experiences. The first was related to music and YSL’s commitment to Abuse is Not Love. Everyone who had a Gold Block had priority access to a social token point of artists on a platform called p00ls. We made these people experience this hyper-positive engagement loop of the web3 that allows them to connect to another operation on another platform without exchanging personal data, and that just by having a digital asset.
This loop represents the foundation of everything YSL Beauty will do on web3. These NFT holders, these “genesis holders”, will now have access to new activations during 2023.
Exactly, does the project continue? What will these NFTs be used for?
UK: Yes, the project continues. What we launched was not 10,000 Golden Blocks, but a real long-term web3 roadmap to engage YSL consumers with super simple technology that allows us to onboard people who are on web3 and those who are right behind Yves Saint – Laurent.
There are activations coming throughout 2023 that will give those who were there first access to exclusive content, events, services and experiences.
PN.H. : The general idea, as we see it with Virgile and Diane Hecquet, CDO of YSL Beauty, is that we are entering a new form of digital customer relations.
Customers are no longer elements in a database of personal data, nor subscribers to a social media platform. They are holders of a digital asset. And from that, brands can interact with them.
How to engage these digital asset owners? Thanks to our technology, brands can send messages to their community wallets in a completely decentralized way. I don’t need to save the data, segment the wallets, read the chain, see who has what. I push a decentralized, encrypted message that, in a chain transaction, travels from a wallet that generated the NFTs—here the brand, YSL—to the one that owns it for a moment T. Now that’s revolutionary in terms of of direct marketing and customer engagement.
Then, anyone who can prove they own one of these tokens, an NFT, will have access to preview things, benefits, etc.
The point is that we do customer loyalty and engagement no longer with a database, but with what is in the wallets of those who participate in the program.
So there were 10,000 participants and owners of YSL Golden Blocks?
UK: 30,000 NFT distributed. 10,000 through first drop, then twice 10,000 through partnership with p00ls. This represents 24,000 portfolio creations.
PN.H. : 24,000 NFT owners is massive.
If we put this in the context of web3, in the crazy times in OpenSea, there would have been a million active wallets. And in the worst times of the year, less than 15,000. There are 4,000 wallets that the bored monkeys have. So 24,000 gold blocks for YSL is huge! Especially since we can engage them with messages with open and engagement rates well in excess of 30%. For web3, the results are remarkable. And it is a space which is still in the east, which is expected to grow.
UK: It is a pioneering, innovative project that has toured the world. We were amazed to see it spread in France, but also in the USA or China in particular.
How do you see brand presence evolving on the web3 in the coming years?
PN.H. : Tomorrow, brands will have among their customers people who will be the address of the wallet. In some cases, they will have little means of qualifying them with the usual socio-demographic elements. In turn, they will know their commitment to them. So the next step is to fit part no. 1 of the customer knowledge system, which is the customer data platform, to help understand that someone may be an engaged user, in addition to the date of birth, name and email.
Step 2 is the integration of fully decentralized customer interaction and messaging techniques and sign-in so that, ultimately, the digital relationship is about personalization, curation, access, and not just pull-through to serve more after all the same soup.
UK: The third thing that we’re starting to see happen in somewhat specialized projects is this aspect of participation through DAOs, of the community contributing to brands through the tokens they own. This gives them the right to vote and govern, and generally, the right to speak.
There is something about this philosophy of decentralization that I find extremely interesting for brands. Some will be set up as “decentralized local”. Some will involve their communities and their consumers more in the creation of products, in the choices they will make in terms of services, colors or flavors. Be it for make-up, yogurt or any other sector. Sounds super exciting to me.
It’s an evolution of brands like “Who’s the Boss?!” », consumer brand, in a web3 version with a technology that makes everything super simple and instant.