Crypto Super Bowl Ads: What do They Mean for the Market?
Last Sunday, the Super Bowl, the biggest television event of the year, aired to over 100 million viewers from around the world. On five separate occasions, cryptocurrencies were mentioned or advertised. This marks a significant shift in the public perception of crypto and foreshadows exciting times ahead.
Ads in the Super Bowl are incredibly expensive: they typically cost $7 million for 30 seconds. This year, cryptocurrencies were mentioned five different times in ads from Crypto.com, Coinbase, FTX, eToro, and TurboTax, all with big-name celebrities leading the charge.
Coinbase had one of the most influential ads of the night, and it was ironically the most simple. They had a QR code leading to their website bounce around the screen for 30 seconds. Though this seems like a waste of an ad spot, they had so many people use the link that their website crashed, and it was a hot topic of discussion on Twitter and other social media sites. It has been praised as a unique and completely new approach to advertising.
FTX, the second crypto ad of the night, featured comedian Larry David in 60 seconds of discussion about technologies that were thought to be a fad but ended up being incredibly influential, including electricity, the wheel, and even the toilet. Naturally, cryptocurrencies were mentioned at the end, and were insinuated to be the next revolutionary technology. This commercial performed incredibly well, and ranked 16th out of 64th for the night according to the USA TODAY ad meter ratings.
TurboTax’s ad had a very small cryptocurrency mention, but a mention nonetheless. In the ad, one person asks if TurboTax can handle taxes for a crypto trader, to which they say yes. Though this may seem insignificant, the fact that a tax company sees crypto as legimitiate and profitable enough to include in their $7-million dollar ad is important.
eToro, like TurboTax, had a small mention of crypto when discussing the assets available on their social trading platform.
Crypto.com’s ad aired immediately after the halftime show and featured LeBron James, one of the world’s most prolific athletes. In it, he encourages his younger self to make history.
Though these ads may seem insignificant for the trillion-dollar cryptocurrency market, they represent a massive movement in the direction of cryptocurrencies. In the previous bull market from 2017, Bitcoin being mentioned on CNBC was a significant event. Now, a day does not go by without CNBC mentioning Bitcoin, and a large proportion of the world is aware of cryptocurrencies. These cryptocurrency ads are playing a huge role in normalizing the space and legitimizing it as an investment opportunity.
As ads and marketing become more common, cryptocurrencies will continue to slip into the subconscious of the general public and come to be associated with stocks, commodities, and real estate as a vehicle for investment.
Unfortunately, the Super Bowl ads did not air without controversy. Some criticize the manner in which crypto was advertised and see it as irresponsible to insinuate that it could be a life-changing investment. This is valid, and is likely a result of the lack of regulation in the space. Until a government agency steps in and regulates crypto ads as stock, alcohol, and gambling ads have been regulated in the past, this is an unfortunate fact of life. Regardless, the ads will continue to air and make the public aware of the opportunities in the cryptocurrency space.
The crypto Super Bowl ads are foreshadowing the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies in the 2020s. It’s likely that crypto marketing will only become more popular as companies get bigger and competition becomes more intense, leading to more people joining the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
By Lincoln Murr