Lifewtr commissions NFTs, debuts TikTok for Black History Month

Linda J. Dodson

Dive Brief:

  • PepsiCo bottled water brand Lifewtr is expanding its Black Art Rising initiative through a partnership with actress and producer Marsai Martin, who will serve as creative curator for the brand’s new TikTok account, according to a press release.
  • Marsai will lead Lifewtr’s foray into TikTok by coordinating original artwork from Black creatives across the performance, fashion, makeup and culinary art worlds. The first four artists to be featured on Lifewtr’s TikTok are Ajani Huff, Kihmberlie, Cakeface RJ and Gabrielle Reyes. The Pepsi brand is expanding its effort with a contest letting followers submit their own artwork via the hashtag #BlackArtRisingContest. Entrants can win $1,000, see their artwork featured on a Lifewtr bottle and have it featured on the brand’s TikTok channel.
  • Lifewtr is doubling down on supporting Black artists by getting into nonfungible tokens (NFTs). It commissioned 100 prints in celebration of Black History Month. Consumers can follow Lifewtr on Instagram and TikTok to learn how to access the limited-edition art later this month on Nifty Gateway.

Dive Insight:

Lifewtr’s latest announcements expand the scope of its Black Art Rising initiative, demonstrating the brand doubling down on supporting Black creativity in the art world.

Black Art Rising debuted in October 2020 as a digital time capsule documenting the diverse responses to the Black Lives Matter movement. Lifewtr followed the effort with a limited-edition bottle collection that launched in February 2021, featuring the artwork of three purpose-led Black artists. Months later in November, Lifewtr leveraged mobile and experiential tactics to give Doja Cat fans an immersive experience as the singer ramped up her Planet Her tour. Fans could use an augmented reality (AR) filter found on Instagram pages for the musician and Lifewtr to snap a selfie and share with followers, helping Lifewtr to reach a larger online audience. The Pepsi water brand tapped artist Jillian Evelyn to design a mural featuring scannable QR codes to unlock the AR experience.

In April, it teamed with actress and producer Issa Rae to launch Life Unseen, a platform focused on fair representation in the arts. That effort sought to boost awareness of systemic disparities throughout the arts, celebrate diverse creatives and help cultivate opportunities among the art community.

Now, Lifewtr is extending its initiative to spotlight four Black creatives across some nontraditional art disciplines, including performance art, makeup and a cross between singing and cooking.

“Having grown up in the entertainment industry and being a creative myself, I’ve seen the lack of resources and representation within the Black content creator community,” Marsai Martin said in the release. “Being able to create opportunities that spotlight and celebrate Black digital creators who are pushing the culture forward is something I will always support.”

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