Many car washes are toying with a number of platforms in digital marketing, but only one car wash to date is making its digital media a collectible.
Well known for its limited-time-only air fresheners, San Diego-based Soapy Joe’s has created a Summer Passport promotion to provide its legendary air fresheners as digital assets. Soapy Joe’s air fresheners are available in the form of non-fungible tokens or NFTs. NFTs represent real-world items that are bought and sold online – sometimes with cryptocurrency – and are generally encoded with the same underlying software as many cryptos. Soapy Joe’s Anne Mauler is the first to admit that this is uncharted territory not only for her but the car wash industry as a whole, as NFTs represent a relatively new trend in the world of digital commerce.
“This is not something that I come with a strong background in,” Mauler said.
Mauler said the market moves fast, and expectations of the crypto community, as well as the webstream and metaverse communities, are always changing. For that reason, Soapy Joe’s took on this endeavor with a flexible learning approach that included farming out coding and blockchain efforts to create a collection of NFTs that are reflective of the air fresheners made for the passport program.
“Our members already have a collector’s mindset around our air fresheners, so we made a special LTO (limited-time-offer) air freshener for every single one of our 17 locations that was reflective of something of pride in their neighborhood,” Mauler said.
Ultimately, Soapy Joe’s offers 17 air freshener versions. Each version is programmed into blockchain – a public, decentralized ledger that tracks transactions with code – for the result of highly-sought-after Soapy Joe’s NFTs. These NFTs serve as digital rewards and collectibles received when Soapy Joe clients reach the four prize tiers that are part of its Summer Passport promotion.
“That really is at the heart of how we parlay our real-life Passport program into the metaverse,” Mauler said. Now that the Soapy Joe’s NFTs are coded, they can be seen on OpenSea, the world’s first and largest NFT marketplace.
Unlike many of the NFTs found on OpenSea, Soapy Joe’s are closed NFTs and not tradeable or available for purchase. The only way to get them is to win them during Soapy Joe’s Summer Passport promo – but that hasn’t deterred customers from collecting the digital air fresheners available from July 1 to Sept. 30.
Mauler said that in researching the concept, she learned that there is a really strong imperative for having a community around an NFT collection, or having “in real life” (IRL) meaning and value to it.
“We really focused on building in that IRL value and community for our members as we approached the NFT launch,” Mauler said. “And overwhelmingly, it has been received with a phenomenal response.”
Listen to the exclusive bonus episode of CAR WASH The Podcast where Anne Mauler shares the Soapy Joe’s NFT story.