A virtual version of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be held alongside the real one this year as a way to get younger, digitally savvy fans excited about the event.
The department store is launching a scaled-down procession through the streets of an online world hosted on the OnCyber platform. The activation will also include NFT galleries from five creators, with the opportunity for visitors to vote on one design that will be turned into a balloon for next year’s real-life parade through midtown Manhattan.
The activation follows a series of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that the department store issued around its sponsorship of the Fourth of July fireworks earlier this year, as well as a separate project tied to the 2021 parade.
Will Coss, executive producer of the parade, said the success of the previous collection inspired the brand to delve further into technologies under the banner of what proponents call the next iteration of the internet, or Web3.
“As we count down to the 96th Macy’s Parade, we are excited to bring this spectacle once again to the Web3 virtual landscape with a fun experience that empowers our fans, collectors and our highly engaged Discord community,” Coss said in a statement.
The virtual parade will kick off at 9 a.m. Eastern time on Thanksgiving Day through the Macy’s website. It can be accessed on desktop or mobile without the need for a log-in ID, crypto wallet or virtual reality headset.
The balloons featured in the metaverse parade come from designs made available in the store’s NFT collection from the 2021 parade.
Macy’s will sell virtual gallery pass NFTs in the experience for $50 each, proceeds from which will be donated to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America nonprofit. NFT designers showing off work in the event include Boss Beauties, Cool Cats, gmoney, SupDucks and VeeFriends.
Brands of all kinds have been experimenting in the metaverse as a means of engaging younger consumers in what many see as an up-and-coming digital medium. But some brands have also begun to rethink their approach to NFTs with a greater focus on loyalty rewards and tie-ins to real-life experiences among widespread sales slumps in the market.