Studio Blackthorns

Lyon, France

Blockchain and NFTs could well become real differentiation opportunities for alcohol and spirits brands in the next 5 to 10 years.

As E-Commerce becomes an important part of a beverage brand’s distribution strategy, brands are becoming more apt to experiment and invest in online spaces. NFTs and the metaverse, while still very experimental and surrounded by changing regulations, are an extension of this.

If exploited effectively and ethically, they could allow some brands to introduce new sales methods to the market, and new ways of interacting with consumers.

According to Studio Blackthorns, the NFT market reinforces the idea of the “high-class gallery” that has always been linked to investment, speculation and resale. For them, this is a first ethical brake. On the other hand, we have a digital market intrinsically associated with astronomical energy consumption. This is a second obstacle of an ecological nature.

In order to warn against the unbridled speculation and the ecological impact linked to this new digital movement, the communication agency Studio Blackthorns had fun inventing a brand of alcoholic sparkling water called “hardseltzer.eth”.

In an increasingly complex, digitalized and now “metaversed” world, Studio Blackthorns wanted to thumb its nose at the cryptofriendly world based on blockchain, NFT and Web3. Like Heineken who opens its virtual brewery on Decentraland or Budweiser who promotes its domain name beer.eth on some cans, they wanted to mix this decentralized trend with a totally conceptual project around a range of seltzers entitled “hardseltzer.eth”.

The studio’s idea was to tease “virtual drink tastings” with a slogan “Don’t mint it, drink it IRL!”.

On the graphic design side, Blackthorns played with code art and generative design in order to create random visuals with an ultra-digital trend. For that, the studio used the different algorithms of Kjetil Golid’s website generated.space. We can note that the fractal square effect used reminds us of the (pretty damn) expensive “virtual lands” of Decentraland, The Sandbox or MatrixWorld platforms. Moreover, they chose the name “Freeland Co.” as a company name to highlight the hypocrisy of the prices of a piece of virtual land on the metaverse.

From a typographic point of view, Studio Blackthorns wanted to start with something futuristic and opted for the beautiful Barrett Reid-Maroney font called “Wren”.

Finally, in order to stay in the neo-future-geek semantics, the agency had fun naming its different flavors like this: Lemon Gas, Alpha Mango, Burned Hibiscus, Non-Minted Berries, Orange PFP.

HARDSELTZER.ETH – Don’t mint it, drink it IRL!