Yuga Labs, the parent company of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC), showcased the ape-themed BMW as part of its marketing strategy, marking a significant partnership that had been teased in a cryptic tweet.
BMW, a renowned German automaker, is no stranger to blockchain technology. The BMW brand has been associated with various NFT ventures, and the company employs blockchain for supply chain management. They embraced digital trends by giving their i5 M60 a “digital wrap,” a move that may perplex traditionalists. However, BMW’s innovative approaches in Munich have proven successful, with the company outselling competitors like Mercedes and Audi.
The BMW Ape Car, reminiscent of the i Vision Dee concept with its E Ink technology, has sparked nostalgia and controversy. The i Vision Dee, capable of changing its body panels’ colors, gained attention at CES in January 2023, highlighting BMW’s avant-garde design philosophy.
The festival took place at the repurposed Kai Tak airport in Hong Kong, signifying the city’s transformation and growing interest in Web3 technologies. As the first ApeFest outside the US, it aimed to tap into Asia’s vast NFT market. Despite challenges, including a cooling NFT market and Yuga Labs’ recent layoffs, the event was a success. Greg Solano, co-founder of Yuga Labs, announced a partnership with Magic Eden to launch a royalty-enforcing marketplace, addressing the ongoing debate about NFT royalties and creators’ rights.
While the festival featured stunning NFT artwork, some attendees experienced discomfort due to intense UV lighting, with a few reporting eye pain and skin burns. Despite setbacks, the festival demonstrated the enthusiasm of Yuga Labs. Whether it had a broader impact beyond the NFT community remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: the BMW “Ape Car” enjoyed its moment in the neon-lit spotlight.