For Nissan, NFTs are more than a token gesture

The automaker taps into the technology to show off the aggressive innovation it has been using to refresh its vehicles.


To show off the innovation spirit it has been putting into its vehicles, Nissan Canada is auctioning off non-fungible token (NFT) digital art that includes keys to a brand new vehicle.

The one-of-a-kind artwork is inspired by the automaker’s latest sportscar, a 2021 GT-R NISMO Special NFT Edition, which arrives in Canada later this fall.

The artwork will be hosted on RubiX Network (RubiX), a blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) with proprietary technology built on the secure and sustainable technology, with a live auction from Oct. 5 to 7. All profits received by Nissan Canada above the $280,000 reserve will be donated to charity following the auction.

“We really wanted to do something out-of-the-box and a first for the brand – something that is reflective of the innovative spirit at Nissan,” says Ken Hearn, director of marketing at Nissan Canada. “A lot of the value for us will be earned through the awareness and coverage of this campaign.”

According to Hearn, by recognizing the enormous potential offered by NFTs – especially as the world’s consumption of media becomes increasingly digital – the automaker wanted excite both car and tech enthusiasts by turning towards the GT-R for inspiration.


Hearn tells strategy the sports car was the inspiration for this project due to its exclusivity and bold design features. While the Nissan GT-R is already coveted as the brand’s flagship performance sports car and halo model, he says the NISMO Special Edition is particularly unique.

“To create a one-of-one NFT of such a rare model, with keys included, provided a multi-layered opportunity for us to ensure that our offering differed from other NFTs out there and to tap into the passion that is already behind the nameplate,” Hearn says.

He says the audience for NFT are affluent, unique, and tech-savvy, which is in line with many who are interested in the Nissan GT-R.

Hearn say Nissan has one of the freshest lineups among its key competitors in North America after aggressive refresh of the product portfolio in the last 12 months, including core models like the Nissan Sentra, Kicks and Rogue. New Pathfinder and Frontier models are now available for this model year, with the Z sports car and Ariya electric vehicle arriving soon.

A number of brands have taken their own run at digital tokens. For example, the David Suzuki Foundation created its own NFT to draw attention to the technology’s sizeable carbon footprint, while cannabis brand Fire & Flower created one as a charity fundraiser.

The concept comes from Juniper Park/TBWA, with PR support from Edelman, who worked with Canadian artist andfuturist Alex McLeod.