Well, well… if the citizens of planet Earth had not heard of “crypto” and “Coinbase” yet, they got a sensory overload of these terms and concepts when they tuned in to Superbowl LVI on Sunday night. And to further confuse the crypto uninitiated, the lines seemed almost blurred between electric vehicles, crypto, outer space, and beer (beer being easiest to understand).
Dubbed the “Crypto-Bowl” prior to kickoff, all sorts of researched news sources predicted the onslaught of cryptocurrency-related Superbowl commercials. Paul Vigna* of The Wall Street Journal summarized that ads of three crypto-related companies would be prominent. All three companies are exchanges upon which cryptocurrencies can trade:
For those who cannot recall these companies “featured” in the advertisements, perhaps featured celebrities Matt Damon (Crypto.com) and Tom Brady (FTX) will ring a bell. And it may be that a great number of Americans are not interested in crypto in the least – even if Matt Damon and Tom Brady are the headliners.
For now, there are sound reasons to remain on the sidelines with respect to cryptocurrency trading. A fourth crypto exchange featured during the broadcast, Binance, took a different tack in its Superbowl ads amidst a controversial time for the company. Binance’s advertising technique was to exercise “caution” toward crypto trading, emphasizing – via a celebrity – to “do your own research” and to “trust yourself.” Truly sound advice. BUT literally in the past week Binance is reportedly dealing with an investigation by the SEC (the US Securities and Exchange Commission) and has halted activities in Israel following regulator intervention. Prior to this week’s travails, Binance had been said to have no specific location of its headquarters (seriously?), and therefore no company address, and a “virtual” presence as far as global leadership.
Experienced cryptocurrency traders and investors will say the concept and currency are beyond infancy and now in hyper-growth, thus leading to massive skepticism amidst adoption by risk tolerant investors. Various Superbowl ads – notably the one featuring Larry David (the beyond talented and funny creator of “Seinfeld”) – made the point that history is filled with naysayers who later turned out to be wrong about new technologies and concepts – that made investors and ordinary people lots of money.
Like the nascent internet and Dot.com Bowl of the early 2000’s, this year’s Superbowl commercials featured a technology (or currency) that is all over the news and on people’s minds. Viewers of Superbowl LVI, if not already familiar with FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), were treated to whatever it is that they may or may not be missing out on.
What was Arnold Schwarzenegger advertising?
How about the Irish Spring commercial?
What was your favorite Superbowl commercial?
And to the powers that be: Please keep Roman Numerals in the Superbowl! If only to remind and refresh us each year of what XLVI (the last NY Giants victory) or LVI mean.
*Paul Vigna, Suzanne Vranica. WSJ.com. Available to subscribers or ask me to send a link.