Sep 21, 2022 - Economy

World of Women NFTs playing a different game

Photo illustration of Shannon Snow and her avatar.

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Images: courtesy of World of Women

Turns out the "pink it and shrink it" marketing strategy that mainstream shops often reach for in an attempt to draw women is fungible. What's not: social causes, or so one NFT project is banking on.

Why it matters: World of Women (WoW) started out as a PFP, or profile picture collection, offering an NFT collection depicting women in an industry better known for ape-punk dominated worlds fueled by memes, sarcasm and general punk crassness.

  • Shannon Snow, who left Meta (Facebook) to become chief operating officer of WoW in June, tells Axios the project is forgoing the attention-seeking drip that tends to be the way of NFT projects.
  • "For our community it’s not about attention but about belonging. They believe in the mission," Snow tells Axios. "WoW is the front door for women into NFTs and we're continuing to expand that to Web3 and the metaverse."

Flashback: WoW's first drop in July 2021 was a hit, with 10,000 generative portraits created from 200 drawn by co-founder Yam Karkai, selling out in mere hours at 0.07 ether apiece.

State of play: Today, as NFT market activity slows to a trickle, projects like WoW — now just a year old — are trying to keep the momentum alive with things that should matter to everyone, not just women.

The latest: Snow and Inna Modja, WoW's head of philanthropy, spoke at a co-hosted event at New York's Tavern on the Green about climate change and using art to spread the message.

  • Karkai was also named as a UN Sustainable Development Goals ally.
  • Why not take up crypto causes like privacy? "If we don't have a planet to live on, we can't have privacy," Snow said.

The big picture: "WoW has already committed $2 million to social, gender and climate causes around the world," Snow says, referencing the 5% raised from the initial collection drop to charities and auctions they host. They dropped their second collection in March.

  • The three things that are going to keep WoW relevant are its legacy, its road map and "continuing on the mission to create a sense of belonging," Snow says.

Details: "Legacy" refers to the place WoW has already forged in history, per its mainstreaming women via NFT collection but also with its record-making Christie's auction in February.

  • The road map references things to come.
  • The mission: inclusivity, social justice and climate change.

Of note: When the Roe v. Wade decision landed, trolls emerged on the Discord channels of WoW and certain other NFT collections dominated by women holders, sowing divisiveness, Snow says.

What's next: Expansion is on the agenda, showing the demands of keeping an NFT collection hot — there are live events, TV shows and movies in development using WoW intellectual property, physical dolls, and fashion lines.

  • "People come up to me saying they found out about NFTs seeing Reese Witherspoon using a WoW as her profile picture," she says. "Everything we do can introduce women to this new emerging technology."
  • Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine is among one of the celebrity-started shops partnered with the brand. Nicole Ritchie's House of Harlow, is another, Snow says.

The bottom line: "We’ve had influential people use and purchase WoWs," Snow says, but WoW has not, nor will it use influencer marketing. It's about "authenticity."

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