Crypto ads were not so cryptic

Sunday’s Superbowl introduced the world to several crypto-currency exchanges. Coinbase, eToro, FTX, and crypto.com. Add in the NFTsNFT Non-Fungible Token or "NFT" is digital certificates showing ownership of an asset. It is embedded in a blockchain as a token. The asset can be digital or the NFT can point to a real-world, tangible item. from Budweiser, Pepsi and Kia for 7 blockchain and crypto-related commercials. Over 100 Million Americans and all the world were watching.

It’s been a few days of “Did you see the [exchange name here] commercial”? And the discussions reveal that the clear winner was Coinbase with the screensaver, bouncing QR code. With the color-changing bumps, it harkens back to the days of Nintendo and other video games which defaulted to such a screensaver. Words instead of QR codes of course as QR codes had not been invented yet!

Coinbase is doing a good job at marketing and education. Turning the education into a blockchain, smart contract, NFTNFT Non-Fungible Token or "NFT" is digital certificates showing ownership of an asset. It is embedded in a blockchain as a token. The asset can be digital or the NFT can point to a real-world, tangible item., and an entire ecosystem. More of the industry should focus on public education as there are some real knowledge gaps. Even people I encounter believe digital currencies are only for illegal activities. Our news organizations don’t help in this respect.

Note on Coinbase’s QR code. It linked to their website which access become unresponsive during the commercial and SuperBowl. I’ve dealt personally with this issue a couple times in my life, both related to a website being highlighted on a popular TV program. In today’s world, this was easily foreseen and prevented. Coinbase Infrastructure group needs to do better!

The FTX with Larry David I thought was enjoyable though it was a typical ad. And I think more people will remember Larry David than FTX.

Crypto.com with Labron James also was a typical ad and like the Matt Damon commercials, it seems more people remember the “Labron James” commercial than the crypto.com commercial.

And eToro. They do a good job with their mobile interface which is slower than it should be but that can improve. I really was not a fan of their commercial. They shot for the moon and left many scratching their heads. They tried to show they were the community app for social investing and missed the mark. Robinhood, Reddit, and others already beat you to that.

So for agile, high impact and lasting value. Coinbase took the prize this year. They found their market (people who know how to use a QR code) and exploited it to educate them about crypto. Sans the unresponsive app part. Lucky for them, Apple didn’t let them down with their the App store since they were the #2 downloaded app after the commercial aired.

What will next year bring? One prediction is that the NFL will jump into NFTs for a new collectible space. And seriously, if they were being innovative, it should have been done this year.

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