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Best Crypto Bowl Commercials 🏈

How FTX, Coinbase, eToro, and Crypto.com appealed to the masses
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Feb 14, 20225 min read

Dear Bankless Nation,

Apparently, there was a major sports game yesterday in America? 🤷

Some of you were there for the game. All of you were there for the commercials. And crypto took over so many commercials that people are calling this year’s championship football game the Crypto Bowl.

Funny enough—they seem to work.

As a result of the Crypto Bowl Commercials, Coinbase retook 2nd place on the iOS app store, FTX gained almost 200k Twitter followers, and we have enough meme-fodder to last us months.

So who were the big winners of Crypto Bowl 2022?

We give our rankings below.

But who won? Crypto won.

Crypto was a centerpiece of the Super Bowl yesterday. Coinbase’s QR code commercial broke the 3rd wall. FTX made the crypto-haters feel out of touch. Crypto.com got Lebron James on our side.

The crypto-conversation was pushed center stage for 114 million people that tuned in to watch.

Early numbers look good. eToro, Coinbase, and Blockfolio all made huge jumps in the app store, and Twitter followers for most of these accounts are up huge (which has historically been an indicator of bull markets)

Ok but who really won?

Which crypto company had the best commercials?

Here’s our Ranking of the best Crypto Bowl Commercials of 2022:

#1 - FTX | Don’t Miss Out, ft. Larry David

It’s Bankless’s editorial position that the FTX commercial with Larry David takes the #1 spot (although Coinbase’s was a close second).

Larry David was perfectly cast for this role. His facetious arrogance was hilarious and engaging, and the commercial was two and a half minutes! That’s $32.5M worth of airtime.

The reason FTX’s commercial takes the top spot is that it also did the industry a favor.

It was great PR for crypto.

In the middle of a wave of anti-crypto and anti-NFTers out there, FTX puts out a 2.5 minute commercial about how crypto is similar to:

  • The wheel
  • The Lightbulb
  • Democracy
  • Space Travel

The throughline? If you don’t see crypto for what it is, you’re an out-of-touch incumbent who’s scared of change.

FTX’s commercial made crypto look cool and new, and is disarming to anyone who doesn’t get it (thanks Larry David). Imagine how many families or groups of friends were watching that who had a crypto-hater in the room.

How silly do they look now??

Thanks, FTX, and congrats on the new followers. Wen Larry David on Bankless?

#2 - Coinbase | QR Code

Coinbase spent $14 million on a commercial with a flashing QR code that bounced around the screen like the old DVD screensaver that we all know and love.

The sheer audacity of paying double-digit millions to broadcast a QR code got the people talking. Who are these people?

The code linked to $15 of free Bitcoin when you sign up with Coinbase but with a catch! Only 45 mins to redeem. Lesson 1: FOMO fast.

Some people hated it! Others loved it! But at the end of the day, everyone was talking about it. Mission accomplished, gg Coinbase.

Plus, the proof that it worked was immediately evident. The Coinbase app crashed because too many people were downloading it (or maybe it was psyops).

Of course, Coinbase got the QR code to hit the corner of the screen at the last moment of the ad in a moment of unbridled satisfaction. Good thing they did—we would have placed this ad in last place otherwise.

Coinbase also gets kudos, because while it cost them $14M to run the ad, it probably cost them a few hundred dollars to produce it. Nice ROI!

FTX also had some fun on Twitter, making a fun jab at the commercial:

That being said, I wonder how many people signed up and claimed the $15 in Bitcoin…

#3 | eToro

eToro isn’t really a ‘crypto-company’, and this wasn’t a crypto-focused commercial, but there were strong crypto elements placed strategically around the commercial.

Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” was a great way to reference “going to the moon” without being an annoying moonboi about it.

The Shibu Inu that was featured was a nice tip-of-the-hat to Doge / Shib.

There’s a Bored Ape hidden in a window.

But the thing I enjoyed the most was the whole thing was a reference to WAGMI culture. The vibe of the commercial was that “we can all help each other out” and reminded me of one of my favorite memes.

However, it just wasn’t very bold, and its replayability is low, so it comes in 3rd.

#4 - Crypto.com, ft. Lebron James

Crypto.com’s Lebron James commercial was a big swing and a miss for me. The ‘fortune favors the bold’ sentiment was good. Crypto rewards people who lean into risk.

But there was nothing about the commercial that was a reference to crypto, and understanding the association of ‘fortune favors the bold’ to ‘be bold, buy crypto’ is something that was probably lost on people who aren’t already in crypto.

I also thought what little semblance of a story the commercial told was… boring. If anything, they couldn’t even live their own messaging. Coinbase was way bolder.

Nice land getting Lebron James but still…

Last place.

Honorable Mentions!

Okay, so those were the 4 commercials that fall into the ‘crypto commercial’ category, but it didn’t stop there! Others just briefly mentioned crypto or gave crypto a wink, or we’re talking about the metaverse.

Bud Light x Nouns ⌐◨-◨

Bud Light gets HUGE kudos for the tip of the hat to Nouns DAO. William Peaster wrote about this in Metaversal a while ago, so a lot of the crypto people already knew this was coming.

Bud Light bought Noun 179 for 127 ETH a few months ago, and people figure out that it was for the purposes of a super bowl commercial

Bud Light Owns a Nouns Ethereum NFT—And May Use It in Super Bowl Ad -  Decrypt

This isn’t your typical “Celebrity buys a Bored Ape”. This is a deep cut of an NFT acquisition, for which I tip my hat to Bud Light for doing something original. I can’t wait to see what they do next.

Meta

Meta (Facebook???) commercial was for their Oculus Quest product, in an attempt to get more VR headsets on more people’s faces so we can all start living in Meta. So this wasn’t a crypto commercial, but rather a metaverse one instead.

It was pretty cute, but nothing more to say.


Crypto is a battle for hearts and minds.

Nation-states have much less power over this industry when the people of the world all think favorably about crypto, which is why these Superbowl commercials actually matter.

Thanks to the industry giants like Coinbase and FTX, we can just brute-force our way via fun commercials into the hearts of people everywhere.

Every Super Bowl from here on out is a Crypto Bowl.

Crypto’s here to stay.

- David

Not financial or tax advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This newsletter is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.

Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here.

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