Crypto Ads Nowhere To Be Seen At The 2023 Super Bowl
- Crypto Super Bowl ads were noticeable in their absence this past weekend after a bumper crop in 2022
- The crypto market has faced trials and tribulations in the last 12 months, affecting advertising spend
- That didn’t stop the likes of Netflix and Workday from producing big-budget ads to represent the tech sector
The 57th Super Bowl took place over the weekend, giving us celebrity cameos galore and the very best ads marketing teams have to offer.
But there was one noticeable difference this year: there wasn’t even a whisper about crypto in a single advertisement. The closest we got was an NFT giveaway, while the rest focused on more traditional advertising.
This is a big departure from last year when several top crypto brands dominated the airwaves. But it’s no real surprise, given the repeated crashes and drama cryptocurrencies experienced in the last 12 months.
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What happened at last year’s Super Bowl?
The 56th Super Bowl saw so many crypto ads running it was jokingly nicknamed the ‘Crypto Bowl’. MediaRadar puts the total figure crypto companies spent on Super Bowl ads at an eye-watering $54m.
Larry David was the star of the FTX advert, lambasting great inventions throughout history as useless, before placing the crypto exchange among the wheel and the lightbulb.
Lebron James batted for Crypto.com where he spoke to his younger self about taking chances, while eToro’s ad was all about social investing.
But for all of the fancy endorsements and big-budget productions, it was Coinbase that took the crown for the most memorable crypto ad. Their QR code bouncing around the screen linked to the Coinbase website still has people talking a year later.
Why were there no crypto ads this year?
The reality couldn’t look more different since those crypto ads aired. Since the last Super Bowl, the crypto market has come crashing down. Bitcoin lost 60% of its value while the market as a whole had $2tn wiped off.
The very same companies that were flying high with expensive Super Bowl ads have now had to downsize and lay off staff. Crypto.com slashed a fifth of its headcount, while Coinbase had laid off over 2,000 employees in two separate rounds of cuts.
Any company looking to hunker down and weather the storm wasn’t exactly keen to pay the $6-7m fee for a 30-second slot. According to Mark Evans, Fox Sports vice president of ad sales, four crypto companies had been lined up to take ad space but pulled out.
But it doesn’t help that crypto hasn’t been without scandal.
The highly publicized collapse of FTX lost some users’ entire life savings, crashed the market again and left its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, facing fraud charges. The company had been booked to repeat its 2022 Super Bowl success this year before it filed for bankruptcy.
As a result, Larry David is now being sued along with a slew of other celebrities who have previously endorsed FTX. It’s hardly an appealing option for anyone looking to get paid to star in a crypto ad.
What were the standout ads of the 2023 Super Bowl?
Despite the lack of crypto ads this year, there were still standout displays from some of the world’s biggest brands. Let’s take a deeper dive at some of the more memorable ones.
The streaming giant, which has gone through its own woes in the economic downturn, has partnered with General Motors (GM) to use its electric vehicle range in Netflix films and TV shows.
This pairing was firmly on display in their Super Bowl ad, with Will Ferrell walking through Netflix’s various hit TV shows like Stranger Things, Squid Game and Bridgerton on how an EV car could (or not, in the latter’s instance) be used.
Netflix stock prices are up 3%, while GM has bumped slightly by 1.5%.
The software company laid off 3% of its staff at the end of January, but that didn’t stop it from pulling out the big guns for its Superbowl ad. Ozzy Osbourne, Joan Jett and Paul Stanley all featured in the campaign to ‘stop calling executives rockstars’.
It’s a much-needed sentiment, but the timing was poor. Firing workers after blaming the economic downturn, then spending megabucks on a one-minute Super Bowl ad, now rings somewhat hollowly.
While there weren’t any strictly crypto-related ads at the Super Bowl this year, that didn’t stop NFTs from getting in on the action. Blockchain gaming company Limit Break got in on the QR code hype, which led to the start-up’s DigiDagaku NFT collection.
The first 10,000 people who scanned could mint the NFT for free. Considering the value of the collectable skyrocketed after the ad, there’s no denying the Super Bowl effect could be a much needed boost for Web3.
Customer intelligence platform Dialpad, which uses AI to handle contact centers, meetings and sales, brought artificial intelligence to the Super Bowl this year.
Featuring a plethora of AI pop culture references and Easter eggs, the ad was designed to pay homage to what’s come before in AI, to herald the future of machine learning at work and in our everyday lives.
Special mention: Rihanna
Yep, we’re counting her here because the performance was a masterclass in marketing (and a great way to dodge the advertising fee). Performers aren’t usually paid for their shows, so the pop star, who hasn’t done a live performance in five years, took every chance to capitalize on the spotlight.
Before the show, Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty clothing line and Fenty Beauty makeup range released their Super Bowl collections for fans. Standout products were the football-shaped makeup sponge and the ‘Rihanna concert interrupted by a football game, weird but whatever’ slogan tee, which celeb friends sported on the night.
The Fenty Beauty blotting powder compact appeared halfway through the performance, which ended up trending on Twitter, while her dancers wore clothing from her Savage x Fenty line.
The bottom line
After an impressive year in 2022, the 57th Super Bowl was a crypto desert. A mix of the crypto winter and the FTX scandal is to blame – especially when the stars of last year’s Super Bowl crypto adverts are now in the firing line.
It’s enough to leave any investor’s head spinning on what move to make next. Luckily, you can rely on Q.ai’s Crypto Kit to take the guesswork out of which crypto to buy. With the Kit, you’ll get a diversified set of exchange-traded trusts that gives you access to crypto without the hassle.
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