National Geographic Bored Ape Stunt Backfires

Reading Time: 2 minutes
  • National Geographic’s attempt to use a Bored Ape to promote NFTs has received backlash on social media
  • NatGeo wanted to use the popular NFT collection to lay the ground for its own collection
  • Some of the angry social media users said that digital collectibles are a bubble they’re no longer appealing

National Geographic has received criticism for its attempt to use a Bored Ape to promote NFTs and to lay the ground for its own Polygon-based NFT collection. Most of its followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter bashed the move with some saying that digital collectibles are overrated and a scam, with some even urging the nature-focussed magazine to pull down the post. Interestingly, NatGeo chose to venture into digital collectibles at a time when the Ethereum scaling layer Polygon is experiencing low NFT trading volume.

“Pyramid Scheme”

NatGeo’s NFT collection dubbed GM: Daybreak Around the World went live on Jan 17 and featured photographs taken by popular photographers such as John Knopf and Justin Aversano. However, its efforts to promote the collection met unhappy fans on almost all social media platforms. 

On Twitter, for example, a fan wondered why the nature-focused magazine is embracing digital collectibles despite a “well-documented climate impact of […] NFTs,” adding that NFTs are a pyramid scheme. Another Twitter user noted that NatGeo is already late to the party since “NFTs are dead, ” while another wondered whether the nature-centric magazine is experiencing a cash crunch and wants to use NFTs to raise money. 

Walk it Back When You Still Can

Some even advised National Geographic to abandon the NFT project when they still have time “to walk it back.” Despite most of the comments expressing disagreement with the move, NFT diehards expressed their support by liking NatGeo’s post. NFT supporters who commented on NatGeo’s post noted that most of those who bashed digital collectibles have little or no knowledge about NFTs. 

Those looking to own a piece of GM: Daybreak Around the World NFTs reported experiencing issues during the process, although the problem was later resolved. NatGeo’s experience with NFT haters aligns with a report indicating that companies are quietly launching NFT projects to avoid angering their fans, an indication that most people still don’t understand digital collectibles.