Cannes Day Two: Paris Hilton Talks NFTs And What It Means For Brands

Cannes Day Two: Paris Hilton Talks NFTs And What It Means For Brands
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B&T’s Nancy Hromin is in Cannes and managed to bag a seat at probably this year’s highlight event – an audience with the one-and-only, Paris Hilton! The socialite took to the stage alongside CEO of VaynerX and Vayner Media, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Swan Sit the board director of Edgewell, Novabay and Far Niente. The trio chatting all things NFTs…

I must admit, I have always been a Paris fan and loved her in The Simple Life back in 2003. In 2022, my 18–year-old-daughter and her friends are raving fans. They even have a shrine to Paris in their college dorm, with original gossip magazine cut outs of Paris in all her wild days glory.

Elyse joined me today at Cannes Lions Festival and asked me what an NFT was.

“Collectibles on an alternative platform to the internet,” was the best I could come up with.

I then Googled the Madonna NFT (check that out HERE) and showed her to which she responded, “Ew!”

By the end of the 30-minutes though we both knew that Hilton is certainly more than just a pretty face and NFTs are more than Madonna’s vagina with a tree growing out of it.

Sit started: “If you ask 10 people what an NFT is, you might get 10 different answers. And they can all be right!” Sit adding that is it just a digital record on the block chain, it’s universally accessible and you can’t change it.

Vaynerchuk went on to add that the reason people struggle to understand NFTs is because (and he included himself in this) we all operate from what he called an internet brain. It is a digital asset you can own and once we get that, we start to understand the utility of NFTs.

“In 1996, people really struggled to understand the internet and what it could do,” Vaynerchuk said. “We forgot to add the com. This was real then. When social media first happened, we were all shitting on it saying who cares what people eat. Today it’s bringing down governments!”

Sit then went on to extrapolate this with the “digital ownership” that Hilton has created with great success.

“What a lot of people don’t know about me, is I am a huge undercover nerd,” Hilton declared. “I started my journey back into gaming in 2004 when I released my first mobile game and in 2017. I created this place called Paris World, there wasn’t a word created yet for metaverse. This is where people can come and hangout and watch me DJ and party, and shopping. We partnered with Levi’s and did some amazing activations; it has been all very exciting,” she said.

Hilton went on to say that growing up in this male dominated business, she feels this technology is finally giving woman and voice and power and she wants to share this platform with women.

Sit went on to say she felt like Hilton had been planning this for a long time and was just waiting for the technology to catch up.

“Exactly, I have always been ahead of my time,” Hilton quipped!

Vaynerchuk went on to talk about humans and how we communicate through what we buy. “From the home- zip code, the car logo, and don’t let me get started on fashion. The entire trillion dollar industry is complete predicated on how we communicate.”

He then pointed to someone in the front row and said, “That hat, that’s a fucking OG hat, and I see that and it makes me think something. Something about you and who you are. That’s physical. The blockchain, as an example of scale for ownership to communicate who they are, is the most profound technology since the internet.”

Hilton added: “Web 2 was all about building audience and web 3 was all about building community. And what I love about this community is that people are willing to support each other, teach each other, lift each other up. It’s so different to the mentality in Hollywood.”

“I used to travel 250 days a year working. Now I am able to DJ a concert in the metaverse for hundreds of thousands of my fans from Bora Bora, in bed with my husband on our honeymoon. My friends are there, other celebrities, it’s just amazing.

Vaynerchuk said the biggest thing web 3 would do for brands is expose pre-internet and internet realities which this industry has been built on – reach.

“Obsessed with reach. And it is the currency that a lot of executives here know what I am talking about. The problem with that is this industry has been lying to itself and to clients on the consumption of this reach. There is nothing more full of shit than GRPs and internet impressions.”

There was a solid roar of agreement and cheering after that. Vaynerchuk went on to slam the creative industry for being vanilla and challenged the room to leave their jobs and say “fuck you” to vanilla, bullshit creative.

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