Alexis Ohanian posted his visit on Twitter, Diplo DJ’d the VIP party, and even Beeple, the original NFT artist, showed up. The Doodles SXSW activation for the emerging NFT (non-fungible token) brand is one of the must-see events of the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas.

Inside the pastel-colored world of Doodles, its characters are brought to life in an installation that seamlessly blends digital and physical. Doodle owners and fans alike can take selfies and hang out in this first major physical activation for the NFT collection.

For the uninitiated, Doodles is a collection of 10,000 joyful and whimsical NFTs based on designs by Canadian digital artist Burnt Toast (aka Scott Martin) that launched on Ethereum in October 2021. Their mascot is a reclining boy “puking rainbows.”

WEB Doodles centerpiece
Doodles centerpiece, SXSW 2022

The activation, which is sponsored by Shopify and Behr Paints, was created by LA-based design studio VTProDesign, whose producer Abby Murphy gave Wunderman Thompson Intelligence a guided tour of the immersive even. It features an abundance of cute Doodle characters, some of which are interactive. There’s also a coffee bar serving blends created by a group of coffee Doodle collectors (Coffee Doodle DAO), a nail bar where visitors can get Doodle-themed nail art and an interactive graffiti wall (for doodles, of course). Doodle NFT owners can even scan and project their own tokens into the experience.

WEB Doodles223

At a panel entitled Building a Next-Generation Brand, Doodles cofounder Evan Keast said the intention is to build a brand in which their community has a voice and a stake. “We wanted to show that it’s not all just about money—it’s about an experience. We don’t think ‘buy NFT’ is that cool, to be honest. We want to build a legitimate brand. The whole point of web3 is to give people ownership.”

To that end, the Doodle community itself voted for the installation to take place, via the community treasury, Doodlebank. Not only do users have a say in the direction of the brand, they are also able to derive value, via the right to commercialize their own Doodles merchandise, a growing trend in this space.

“The future of brands is people having a say” said Doodles cofounder Jordan Castro, “having a stake and people receiving value from their investment and fandom.”

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