The Superbowl is the mega sporting event in the USA and, with over 100 million spectators, the advertising event par excellence. Anyone who can afford it presents their brand there. Over the past year, crypto companies FTX, Coinbase, Crypto.com, and eToro have dominated, spending millions upon millions of dollars on their banners and commercials. Even if at that time the extent of the bear market and the collapse of FTX seemed a long way off, the behavior of the crypto representatives was already inappropriate at the time.
Like hooligans in the club
The belief that the crypto mass establishment will succeed through completely excessive marketing budgets seemed to have been dominant among all the representatives mentioned at the time. Why put 50 million US dollars into product development, compliance, IT security and innovation when you can simply book three commercials of 90 seconds each for the same money?
The then rush of success and cheap money made the crypto companies arrogant and comfortable. The desire for recognition, for having reached the top, was greater than the actual budget – even at the time. If you look at the companies that usually advertise at the Superbowl, then these are the largest corporations in the world and not companies that were still start-ups five years ago.
Beer and M&Ms instead of Bitcoin
A year later everything looks very different. There is no crypto promotion at the Superbowl. Instead, beer ads and snacks like M&Ms dominate. Beer producer Anheuser-Busch is the largest advertiser at the Superbowl. It seems like a return to basic needs: gamble food and drink instead of stockpiling. Beer doesn’t cycle, crypto does. Especially since some crypto investors from 2022 have every reason to take a deep sip from the bottle.
Commercial break as an opportunity for Coinbase, Crypto.com and Co.
The crypto brokers’ involuntary commercial break does not only have bad sides. Companies have gone through difficult times in recent months, countless employees have lost their jobs. Hopefully, the forced humility that it’s not always going up will burn itself deeply into the corporate self-image.
Instead of “hyper-scaling” and exaggerated advertising expenditure, the available funds should be managed efficiently and responsibly. Venture capital-driven crypto brokers cannot and should not adopt the mentality of Swabian family businesses, but financial planning should also include basic and negative scenarios.
It is to be hoped that the crypto players have learned their lesson and are now focused on establishing crypto with products. Certainly not yet at the Superbowl next year, but maybe in 2025, we will again experience crypto advertising in football – developed sustainably.