This year, cryptocurrency firms have significant advertising budgets, but industry professionals have varied perspectives on how to advertise cryptocurrency.
Advertisements abound wherever we go, from billboards visible on long road journeys to ads shown every fifteen minutes or so during TV programs. In addition, most advertising currently include messages from big internet-based firms such as Amazon, which was named the top marketer in the United States in 2020. Telecommunications companies and financial giants such as American Express have also been included among the top marketers in the United States. These businesses usually spend billions of dollars every year on marketing communications designed to educate, convince, and remind customers about their goods and services.
The year 2022 is designated as the year of crypto advertising
While dot-com brand ads and social media marketing continue to bombard consumers, some advertising strategists anticipate that cryptocurrency firms will dominate advertising in 2022 and beyond.
Mark DiMassimo, founder and creative director of DiGo, a New York-based marketing firm, told Cointelegraph that “the growth of Web3 and the integration of crypto assets into digital ecosystems known as the Metaverse” would dwarf the dot-com and social media boom. According to DiMassimo:
This is not standard consumer terminology, but practically every business I deal with or job posting on LinkedIn now mentions the Metaverse and Web3. The role of cryptocurrency is essential to all of this. As a result, I believe this will be a larger ad boom than the dot-com and social booms.”
DiMassimo also said that the emergence of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) has improved cryptocurrency’s appeal. As a result, crypto firms can now afford enormous advertising expenses. “Many early adopters concentrated on word-of-mouth marketing or advertising through Reddit, Discord, and other social networks.” “However, we’ve advanced to the next level, which is reflected in traditional marketing and advertising tactics,” DiMassimo stated.
DiMassimo, for example, said that cryptocurrency advertisements shown before the 2022 Super Bowl emphasized the premise that blockchain corporations would rule the advertising industry in the future. “I jokingly dubbed the 2022 Super Bowl the ‘Crypto Bowl,'” he said. To DiMassimo’s point, 2022 Super Bowl advertisements from top crypto businesses like as FTX and Coinbase did make an impression, drawing a lot of media attention while also showcasing that crypto companies had big advertising expenditures.
To put this in context, an NBC official said that the company was selling 2022 Super Bowl advertising for $6.5 million for 30-second spots. According to Bloomberg, some advertisements went for as much as $7 million this year. “Production values are moving to ‘Mars,’ and crypto enterprises want to be heard in the real world,” DiMassimo remarked. As a result, he predicts that more crypto groups would finance advertisements with celebrities or sports venues to demonstrate their seriousness.
Are cryptocurrency advertising making false promises?
While the emergence of bitcoin marketing is remarkable, several industry professionals are concerned about the risks connected with cryptocurrency firms pushing adverts to the general public. For example, Richard Smith, an investment specialist and the chief operating officer of risk management tool RiskSmith, told Cointelegraph that this year’s Super Bowl advertising from crypto firms were a letdown since they were entirely dishonest with their target audience:
“These adverts made no mention of the hazards associated with high levels of financial speculating.” In reality, there was no awareness of dangers at all – just benefits. I realize that Super Bowl commercials are intended to be humorous and entertaining, but these were not.”
Smith went on to say that the Coinbase Super Bowl advertisement touted the prize of free Bitcoin (BTC) merely by scanning a color-changing QR code that traveled quietly across the television screen. When scanned, the QR code sent readers to Coinbase’s homepage page, which advertised a Bitcoin giveaway and sign-up bonuses.
While these ads were entertaining, Smith feels that in the long run, they will be detrimental to crypto firms owing to what he sees is a lack of authenticity. “I believe bitcoin is more about independence and transparency, and I believe individuals who care about cryptocurrencies will be turned off by these plainly pandering messaging,” he said.
Smith was not the only one who was irritated by commercials from cryptocurrency firms during the 2022 Super Bowl. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, United States Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown chastised the ad producers for failing to provide sufficient cautions and dangers associated. “I don’t believe crypto advertisements should be openly deceptive about the merits of their product.” People are being gravely harmed today as a result of the advertising-driven meme craze,” Smith added.
DiMassimo disagrees, pointing out that the reason Bitcoin Super Bowl advertisements drew criticism was because they connected with the mainstream. According to DiMassimo, the goal of Super Bowl advertising is to leave viewers with a lasting sensation rather than to educate them in 30–60 seconds. He continued, saying:
“With Coinbase and the QR-code, for example, the goal was to attract consumers to sign up and remember their exchange while also starting dialogues.” Coinbase boosted the likelihood of this via digital repetition, so individuals are more likely to recall their brand over others. Emotions are more essential than logic in advertising. As a consequence, I believe that more individuals will join up for Coinbase.”
The rationale behind the adverts
To DiMassimo’s perspective, the Coinbase ad elicited a positive response from many Super Bowl viewers. The day following the event, Coinbase released a blog post in which Kate Rouch, Coinbase’s chief marketing officer, reported that the exchange received over 20 million views on its landing page in one minute. “It was a monumental and unparalleled volume,” Rouch wrote. He went on to say that engagement was six times greater than prior goals for the organization.
Unfortunately, Coinbase’s website broke after their 2022 Super Bowl commercial, causing a plethora of other problems. However, this technological blunder did not seem to cause substantial problems for the bitcoin exchange. “Unsurprisingly, this volume resulted in us momentarily slowing our systems,” Rouch added.
While the Coinbase QR-code advertisement caused quite a stir during this year’s Super Bowl, Brad Michelson, head of U.S. marketing at eToro, told Cointelegraph that the Super Bowl is one of the finest brand-building chances in the United States. “This gives it the ideal chance for our brand to assert a claim, especially given the extent of the ‘crypto bowl’ that we witnessed this year,” Michelson added. Michelson noted that eToro’s To the Moon advertisement demonstrated how the business views social investing:
“We felt it was particularly vital to incorporate tributes to the crypto community.” However, it was also a goal to make investment in these assets as accessible as feasible. Through this campaign, our team was able to do just that.”
Michelson went on to say that eToro has had a significant crypto advertising presence in the United States for some years, saying that the firm has experimented with television, radio, and print channels to reach new consumers. While this is one aim, Michelson also said that eToro thinks education is the key to investing and would, as a result, devote more time in this area in the future. “Crypto is eToro’s lifeblood, and we want to continue supporting the sector via our advertising in the future,” he said.
Smith, on the other hand, voiced doubt, adding that crypto businesses should be explaining how blockchain technology enables digital sovereignty, rather than putting out offers for free Bitcoin that may instill FOMO, or fear of missing out. With this in mind, Smith said that one cryptocurrency business, in his perspective, did connect better with people. He highlighted that Binance’s Jimmy Butler commercial, which aired across social media platforms before to the 2022 Super Bowl, was less about excitement and more about trust: “This is what crypto is about.”
Binance’s 30-second social media commercial featured American basketball player Jimmy Butler, who admitted that he knows very little about cryptocurrencies. Butler noted that, regardless matter what commercial messages suggest, Super Bowl viewers should always do their own research.
Binance’s chief communications officer, Patrick Hillman, told Cointelegraph that although the business considered running a commercial during the 2022 Super Bowl, it opted against it and instead aired its message on social media before the game:
“It’s difficult to calculate the real return on investment of Super Bowl advertising.” Most businesses want to do this to increase brand recognition, which is not our purpose. I also believe it’s strange to promote Web3 and blockchain in between advertising for beer and Coca-Cola.”
Hillman went on to say that, whereas most crypto efforts rely on celebrities to raise brand recognition, Binance intends to concentrate more on educating new users via channels such as Twitter, Discord, and Telegram. “Unlike many of our colleagues, we are adopting a different strategy.” When it comes to innovation, the crypto business has no bounds. “There are a lot more new users than knowledgeable users currently, so finding effective methods to educate these folks is critical,” he added.
And, although Binance’s “unofficial” 2022 Super Bowl campaign included a well-known person, Hillman claimed that the idea was to utilize a well-known name to turn the advertising paradigm around and urge customers to conduct their own research when it comes to crypto. “We want people to fully comprehend the benefits connected with cryptocurrencies, which just cannot be accomplished in a 30-second Super Bowl commercial.”
Given that Binance’s advertising was not shown during the Super Bowl, some may question if the message was successful. This was not a problem, according to Hillman, who noted that Binance’s official Twitter account ad garnered 55,000 hits in the first quarter of the 2022 Super Bowl. “We then promoted it to a lot of Reddit forums, and it got viral from there,” Hillman continued. Even more astounding, Hillman said that Binance spent one-tenth of what its competitors spend on Super Bowl commercials.
What comes next for cryptocurrency advertisers?
While cryptocurrency firms increase their promotional efforts, it is crucial to note that other types of marketing are also on the horizon. Although the influence of cryptocurrency-focused advertising was proved during the 2022 Super Bowl, billboards pushing for crypto, Web3, and NFTs are also becoming more prevalent.
Christian Hasker, chief marketing officer of Hedera Hashgraph, a layer-1 distributed ledger technology platform, for example, told Cointelegraph that the business is promoting on billboards and utilizing online video advertisements to attract potential Web 3 developers. “We just placed billboard commercials for EthDenver at Denver International Airport.” “The advertising effort was warmly received, and the return on investment far surpassed our expectations,” Hasker added. As a result, Hasker said that Hedera would capitalize on this momentum at other forthcoming blockchain events.
Billboards promoting NFT are also becoming increasingly prevalent. SaveArtSpace, a nonprofit art patronage group, has assisted Nadya Tolokonnikova, a conceptual artist and part of the Russian punk-rock collective Pussy Riot, in displaying NFT artwork in the United States. Tolokonnikova chose ten pieces of art to be shown on billboards in New York, California, Tennessee, Nevada, Missouri, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, and Alabama.
According to Travis Rix, co-founder of SaveArtSpace, Tolokonnikova’s show intends to question presently held popular notions. “Women earn less than males for the same job, on top of all the other challenges that women confront.” “We want to push or compel the spectator to adapt,” Rix stated. He went on to say that SaveArtSpace hosts new billboard exhibits almost every month:
“It’s really successful; even if people just see one of our billboards for a second, it may stay with them the rest of the day.” And if they pass them every day for a month, it could influence people’s minds.”
DiMassimo cautioned crypto firms who are new to the marketing arena to have a clear plan in mind, regardless of their advertising approach. “In the advertising industry, money can be sucked up quickly if you don’t know what you’re doing. This is still a young and fragile area, and advertisers that can’t afford to maintain tactics will face difficulties.”