Marketing was Key to Moonbirds Becoming a Super Successful NFTby@sergey-baloyan
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Marketing was Key to Moonbirds Becoming a Super Successful NFT

by Serge BaloyanAugust 15th, 2022
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"Moonbirds" was one of the most successful NFT projects of the year. The project raised around 19,700 ETH (around $60m+) from the public sale of the 7,800+ raffled NFTS. It also has a function called ‘nesting’ - something like staking your NFT to get additional benefits from holding it. We will speak about nesting in more detail later, and you’ll see how the team created an additional value for the holders with this.

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My goal is to start a series of posts breaking down the successes of various NFT and Web3 projects. To start, we'll look at things from a marketing point of view.

Based on this, we might spot some patterns that can help new projects that want to be successful on the market, and assist collectors that want to understand and predict what makes this or that project potentially in demand and valuable.

Today, let's talk about "Moonbirds", an NFT project that had tons of hype around it, becoming one of the most successful projects of the year. And of course, it’s not investment advice, it’s a marketing review. Many NFT heads asked meon Twitter to explain their secret. So let’s go!

Moonbirds: Basic Information

Moonbirds 10k PFP NFTs

Moonbirds are 10k utility-enabled PFPs.

It also has a function called ‘nesting’ - something like staking your Moonbirds NFT to get additional benefits from holding it. We will speak about nesting in more detail later, and you’ll see how the team created an additional value for the holders with this.

Successful Drop: Figures, Facts

The drop took place on April 16, 2022.

Mint price: 2.5 ETH

The project raised around 19,700 ETH (around $60m+) from the public sale of the 7,800+ raffled NFTS. And only a few days after, secondary sales achieved around 100,000 ETH.

An interesting fact is that the project also receives 5% of all secondary sales.

So let’s get down to business. What are the main factors that made such results possible? And how did that drop get so much hype before, during, and after the drop? Let’s review it to understand.

1. Strong Team

One of the best ways to make your audience believe in your NFT drop (or in any of your projects, really) is by having a team that can be trusted. This also takes previous projects and track records of success into account.

Let's take a look at the people behind Moonbirds.

Kevin Rose and Ryan Carson make up the two founders. Both have solid experience and have taken part in well-known projects in the past.

Kevin Rose is a serial internet entrepreneur and former GP at Google Ventures. He took part in many different projects such as Revision3, Digg, Milk, and so on. Rose is also a True Ventures partner and has over 1.6 million followers on Twitter.

Kevin Rose, Moonbirds co-founder. Photo by TechCrunch

Ryan Carson is one of the founders of Treehouse (an online technology school that Rose actually invested in!). Carson has 120,000 followers on Twitter.

Ryan Carson, Moonbirds co-fonder

There's also Justin Mezzel, CPO of the PROOF project (which we'll talk about below), and the artist behind the pixel-art style of Moonbirds. Mezzel has 43,000 followers on Twitter.

Justin Mezzel, CPO of PROOF

The team of founders, as you can see, is fully transparent and very knowledgeable. Each member has a track record that can be checked to confirm their experience.

On a final, but equally important note, before starting Moonbords, these founders were (and still are to this day) involved in another NFT project that proved their seriousness on the market called PROOF.

2. Previous NFT success: PROOF

PROOF Collective is a private community of 1,000 NFT collectors and artists.

In order to access PROOF, you need to hold a special NFT, which serves as a key to the community's private Discord server, free NFT drops, allocations in different NFT projects, online and offline events, and so on.

NFT passes were minted in December 2021.

The initial price was 1 ETH, and there were only 1,000 NFTs released, which sold out very fast.

At the time of writing this, the floor price for the PROOF NFT is 60+ ETH.

A successful drop like this inevitably draws a lot of attention to future drops. Many people believe that if it can be done once, it can be done twice, and even more, and this is often true.

Creating a private club turned out to be a smart move for several reasons. For one, they experienced a successful drop. They also gathered a bunch of people that had blue chips and were ready to make a blue chip out of other projects. And finally, they were able to put together a very strong community for their future projects.

PROOF members own a grand total of 150,000+ NFTs, which includes 800+ Bored Apes, 140+ Crypto Punks, 490+ Meebits, and so on. It's a prestigious club to be in, to say the least!

And, naturally, when this community supports a project, it's essentially a green light for others looking for trendy and promising projects.

3. Community Building

As you can already understand, the PROOF Collective became the starting community for the Moonbirds project. Each PROOF member was given 2 Moonbirds.


Holders of Moonbirds also have the main community on Discord. To access the server, you need to own the NFT. This method of community building and communication makes chatting more productive and less spammy. At the same time, it's beneficial for both initial and secondary sales, as you get access to the "secret servers".

As stated in the beginning, Moonbirds use additional features to encourage NFT holding and generate a desire to buy on the secondary market. More on that below in the "Additional NFT value and features" section.


Let's take a look at the Moonbirds Twitter page.

Content gets published to the page regularly, highlighting new partnerships and news in project development. Sometimes, you'll find posts about their NFT holders, further emphasizing how unique and prestigious the community is. When you purchase the Moonbirds NFT, you don't just own a blue-chip NFT with other additional features, but you also become a member of a closed and high-valued community. And while I've repeated this point several times already, I believe it's a very important one to consider when trying to understand the success of Moonbirds.

**The founders’ Twitter accounts are also updated regularly.

4. Additional NFT value and features

You've probably been waiting for this section, as I've mentioned it several times before.

This is an important one. NFTs began as an art that you could own. Yes, a rare piece of artwork that you can own, and the price of it depends on several factors: the name of the artist, speculation, interest, and so on. The artwork itself can be simple or complicated and often isn't the centerpiece of the NFT.

The main thing is what gives it its additional value. Nowadays, you get many more chances to drop a successful collection if you can show and prove the additional value.

Let's take a look at what Moonbirds did, as it's a good example.


Moonbirds NFT nesting

Nesting is similar to staking, but is done with your Moonbirds NFT.

You can lock (aka ‘nest’) your NFT, and the more time it remains nested, your Moonbird will achieve new tier levels, which give you more benefits. The project promises that these benefits will include exclusive "crazy airdrops'', access to online and offline events, and so on. It's important to note that while NFTs are nested, they can't be sold. This method is interesting in how it encourages buyers to become long-term holders.

In addition, there was already an additional drop for Moonbirds holders calledOddities.

While it's related to the main drop in some form, there still aren't many details on how it'll be used. At the time of writing this, the floor price is 1.2 ETH.

Highrise Metaverse

Owners of Moonbirds are also promised access to a new PROOF project called "Highrise". There isn't much information on it yet, but the team says that it will bring something unique to the metaverse sphere. Holders that nest their Moonbirds will enjoy access first (and probably, at least, partly free).

Many holders will be waiting for the metaverse and all the potential profits it can bring. Once released, PROOF might announce something related to the metaverse (not a guarantee – just my opinion), which will inspire others to wait for longer. This creates a perfect holding spiral.

The team can prove that this can be potentially profitable.

Before Moonbirds, PROOF conducted an in-house NFT drop called "Grails". They gathered 20 artists and celebs, from Tyler Hobbs to Tim Ferriss, and created a drop of 1,000 NFTs.

PROOF members were able to choose one of the twenty artworks without knowing the artists behind them.

The most valuable "grail" was sold for 120 ETH. Not bad, eh?

5. Celebrity Holders

Having celebrities among your NFT holders is a great tool that helps a ton with marketing.It adds more value to NFTs, especially in the eyes of speculators.

Famous PROOF members include Beeple, Tim Ferriss, Garry Vee, Alex Ohanian, and others.

Snoop Dogg's alter ego supported the drop.

Famous Flamingo DAO bought one of four super rare Moonbirds.

Beeple created artwork inspired by Moonbirds.

And Jimmy Fallon stirred a lot of buzz when he set a Moonbirds NFT as his avatar.

Later on, there were rumors that Fallon acquired it for free and didn't actually buy it, but it doesn't really matter. A lot of celebrities don’t buy the NFTs they own, and they even get paid to own them (I’m not saying that Fallon case was the same). Nevertheless, it's a perfect tactic for attracting the masses, especially those who don't know much about NFTs, gaining secondary sales, and increasing the overall reputation of the drop.

6. PR and Media

The benefit of releasing a drop right after doing a successful one is that media, influencers, Twitter, Reddit, Discord alpha chats, etc, will start to discuss your new project right away.

Moonbirds went through the same process. Many influencers and channels that understood the drop was from PROOF Collective tried to be the very first to announce it (afterward, they're able to proudly say that their recommendations are effective).

All that PROOF needed to do was to explain the idea of the drop, the nesting, and the benefits that holders can get to crypto audiences and the masses. And that's what they did – perfectly.

One of the founders, Kevin Rose, created many podcasts explaining Moonbirds. For example, he recorded podcasts with Bankless, Tim Ferriss, and Zen Academy.

He created simple talking-head videos on PROOF, Moonbirds, and their plans and roadmaps (which is important for every project).

The team interacted with the community, answering questions, and making decisions on the opinions they got. This created an additional level of trust and gave members a feeling of being involved in the project.

7.Mint Features (and discouraging bots)

The team used several interesting things to make the mint more fair and equitable.

Firstly, they decided to resolve the issue of multi-accounters and speculators. The team outlined requirements that had to be met before users could be whitelisted for the raffle:

  • Wallet must contain 2.5 ETH until the end of the raffle
  • Discord and Twitter accounts need to be connected

Ryan Carson also shared his personal mint strategy for the drop:

The team tried to be as transparent as possible, as you can see, which is always a great sign for the community. Everyone had a fair chance, and everyone felt like the team was aiming for the long haul with this drop.

If you're interested in how the drop was distributed, here are the statistics:

  • 7,875 whitelist winners public sale
  • 2,000 PROOF members
  • 125 strategic reserve for marketing, collaborations, and so on

8. Post Mint

As you may know, secondary sales and an increasing (or stable) floor price is as important as the mint itself. Release news, do partnerships, involve celebrities, and do anything else your imagination can think of.

Take a look at these statistics and news after the Moonbirds drop date:

  • Moonbird #2642 sold for 320 ETH (~$1 million at that time)

  • This record was set within a week of the collection's launch

  • The buyer of the NFT was The Sandbox

  • The seller bought the NFT on OpenSea for 100 ETH a week before

Do you get what I mean? See how FOMO works? :)

The first week after the Monnbirds mint

What’s next?

Many more details and factors can be added to this, of course, but I don't want this article to go on for too long. These are the main factors and solutions from the marketing side of things that led to the Moonbirds NFT drop having huge success.

I hope you like it! If you want similar materials and marketing reviews on different NFT and Web3 projects, let me know on my Twitter.

And please message me what project do you want me to review next?

Also, if you run an NFT/Web3/Crypto project and are interested in learning how to promote it, drop me a line.

P.S. Check out my previous articles at HackerNoon: