Let’s face it—while NFTs have received a lot of attention, both good and bad, the extra limelight has also brought in celebrities and high-profile creators looking to expand their businesses and brands. It goes without saying that some of these NFT projects have been extremely low effort while others have put a lot of thought and heart into how they should launch their collections. It’s safe to say that Bill Murray’s NFT project, Bill Murray 1000 , created in collaboration with theCHIVE and Project Venkman , is definitely one of the latter…
When the world witnessed NFT interest reach fever pitch in 2021, many celebrities took note. Now for every good celebrity-backed NFT project, we can probably name ten that can only be described as low-effort, out-of-touch cash grabs. Luckily, this story isn’t about one of these…it’s about Bill Murray and how he turned his stories into a unique NFT collection.
In a space where everyone is tripping over each other to extract value from one another, this particular collection created by Bill Murray and his team seeks to accomplish some unique objectives.
The Blueprint of a Murray-ism
Bill Murray 1000 is a collection of 1,000 NFTs that launched on Coinbase NFT and describes itself as an “autobiographical NFT collection.” The official site for the collection starts off by stating “A great NFT collection tells a great story. And there’s no better story than a Bill Murray story.”
So as you can imagine, the NFTs themselves feature stories, anecdotes, quotes, and Murray-isms from different points in Bill’s professional and personal life. Each story is handpicked and approved by Bill and his son Spencer. They also recruited the help of author John Resig to add more depth to each of the stories.
One of the things you can appreciate about the different pieces within the Bill Murray 1000 NFT collection is the special aspects behind each one. Each NFT has its own unique title that has something to do with the story that’s being told. For example, the NFT below is entitled “It Just Doesn’t Matter” and comes with the following story:
In 1979, Bill Murray was cast in his first starring role in “Meatballs” as Tripper Harrison, a counselor-in-training at Camp North Star who’s only marginally more mature than the campers themselves.
When Tripper gives a rousing speech to inspire his young campers to defeat rival Camp Mohawk in the annual Olympiad competition, he repeats a line with hysterical reverie, “It just doesn’t matter if we win or lose, if we win, HAH! Even if we win…it just doesn’t matter.”
“Even if we win,” Murray tells the kids, “even if we play so far over our heads that our noses bleed for a week to ten days, even if God in Heaven above comes down and points his hand at our side of the field, even if every man, woman, and child held hands together and prayed for us to win, it just wouldn’t matter. Because all the really good-looking girls would still go out with the guys from Mohawk ‘cause they got all the money! It just doesn’t matter if we win or lose.”
The campers are whipped into a frenzy and begin chanting, “It just doesn’t matter! It just doesn’t matter!”
Bill’s message holds up today. No matter what your opinions and beliefs, you’re probably not going to change the minds of your friends or family; certainly not the anonymous internet trolls who insist on having the last word. So why do we care so much? You don’t need to win every battle, but you do need to accept that, sometimes, it just doesn’t matter. So maybe adopt that summer camp state of mind, put down the phone, and try to have a little bit of fun.
Not only do stories like this make you feel good but you should also know that the collection is striving to do something good for those in need. Just yesterday NFT #000 was sold for 119.2 wETH of which 100% of the proceeds will go directly to charity. The NFT comes with the painting that inspired the art behind the collection as well a digital version of NFT #000. The NFT titled “A Great Story” drew a bidding war which saw 60 bids until everything was said and done.
What makes NFT #000 unique is that it is the only NFT from the collection that comes with a free beer…oh, and Bill Murray will be there too! The winner of the auction will have a beer with Bill Murray and have his portrait taken on canvas by the artist behind the collection, David Grizzle . We’ve seen actors use their star power in similar ways for charities in Web2, but this is a pretty fun way to harness the power of NFTs while also doing some good.
Lessons We Can Learn
While I’m not saying every NFT collection needs to give us access to have a beer with a celebrity (but I’m also not saying they shouldn’t), there are a few key lessons we can take away from how this collection was launched.
Over 60% of the NFTs from the Bill Murray 1000 collection were bought from wallets that have never interacted with NFTs before. The project is also focused on using each NFT within the collection as a ticket to unique in-person Bill Murray experiences. Furthermore, they’re looking to create special merchandise, collectible physical coins, and a private Discord group for holders. While only 82 of the 1,000 NFTs have been released thus far, we’ll hopefully see these get into the hands of fans that genuinely enjoy Murray’s work.
The reason this celebrity-backed collection feels different from others is due to the fact that Murray and his team put in a tremendous amount of time and effort into making the collection what it is, and you can see it. Most other collections clearly look like a star’s management team proposed the idea, drafted a quick post for social media, and put no actual thought into what would happen to the project post-mint. I don’t see that here at all, and it’s evident that a long-term plan is in the works. More importantly, I see this as a template that other celebrities and creators can use to bring value to the space and interact with their fans while doing some real good at the same time.