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Crypto ads might be taking over the Super Bowl, but details are scarce

So far, FTX and Crypto.com have confirmed they’ll be in the game, but haven’t released their ads.
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Crypto.com

· 3 min read

This February, prepare for an emotionally exhausting chore you never saw coming: Explaining cryptocurrency to your uncle over buffalo chicken dip and light beer.

Why? Because the Super Bowl’s got an entirely new category of advertisers. What we know so far:

  • FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange that’s featured Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen in past campaigns (both have a stake in the company), is expected to run a spot.
  • Crypto.com, which recently got the naming rights to the home arena of the Lakers and other professional sports teams, will also make an appearance, according to the Wall Street Journal. (A commercial that debuted last year starring Matt Damon giving a ham-fisted pitch for bravery hasn’t exactly gone over well).

Both companies have been mum on details in terms of what their game-day campaigns will look like. “The Super Bowl is, in many ways, the biggest stage from a culture perspective—and as crypto moves into the mainstream, we wanted to be a part of that massive conversation,” Nathaniel Whittemore, FTX’s head of marketing, wrote to Marketing Brew over email. “Our Super Bowl strategy is actually just like our overall marketing strategy: To invite people in. To get to know us.”

So, no, the commercials probably won’t explain what an NFT is. You’ll have to do that yourself.

A spokesperson for Crypto.com told Marketing Brew that the brand is “not sharing any details on our Super Bowl ad aside from that we’re doing one.”

Brennen Schlueter, head of marketing at Web3 education company RabbitHole, told Marketing Brew that he expects crypto advertisers to “stick to a Super Bowl playbook, which is do something fun, do something memorable,” adding that cryptocurrency has “already been in the cultural zeitgeist” for so long that a game-day appearance is “kind of an expected next step.”

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The goal should be to keep it simple and to articulate a value proposition, Matt Wurst, VP of client management at Jellyfish and an advisor to Mint, an NFT tech platform, told us.

“With Super Bowl spots, brands have a small window to capture attention and find a hook to spark curiosity, to pique interest,” he said. “Many brands are in this space now, it’s not clear who does what. What is a blockchain, what is crypto, what is the metaverse, what are NFTs? To most of the viewing audience, the goal for these organizations should be to ask a question that someone needs to go find an answer for.”

NBCUniversal, which is airing the game this year, doesn’t have any explicit guidelines related to cryptocurrency advertising (although it does have rules that cover “financial advertising” and “get-rich-quick and pyramid schemes”). For its part, the NFL doesn’t appear to have any crypto-related ad guidelines either, although its teams aren’t allowed to “sell sponsorships to cryptocurrency trading firms,” per The Athletic.

According to Business Insider, “unnamed cryptocurrency players and NFT companies” are still vying for last-minute Super Bowl spots, so don’t be shocked if the list of crypto ads continues to grow. Especially since, according to some projections, spending on crypto ads within the sports TV category will reach $100 million this year, as recently pointed out by the Sports Business Journal.

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