Buyer Beware: Marketing’s Role in Crypto
It was only a few months back that we published a blog ‘coining’ Coinbase’s “QR Code” ad as the most effective commercial of the Super Bowl. Today, Coinbase and Crypto.com are facing a unique marketing challenge–much as tech companies have in past bubble bursts.
If you haven’t heard, only three short months after the abundance of cryptocurrency ads that had the Super Bowl regarded as the “Crypto Bowl”, Bitcoin plunged to its lowest value since 2020.
Coinbase and Crypto.com have been widely celebrated for their approaches to marketing cryptocurrency and their platforms. Crypto.com’s branding has been heavily dependent on celebrity endorsements from Lebron James and Matt Damon. Coinbase has leaned into a more cryptic strategy, using less conventional marketing tactics to spark interest in a wider audience.
What makes these companies unique, now, is that—rather purposeful or not—both established brand positionings that seem well suited to the moment.
Crypto.com wraps their celebrity endorsements around the message, “Fortune Favors the Brave,” with the suggestion that if you can just not break into night sweats in times of volatility eventually things will bounce back.
Coinbase came out with a unique new TV spot oozing with swagger. They reacted with an ad called “Long Live Crypto” … complete with the “cheeky” use of a funeral march that soon turns into a light, fast-tempo beat. It’s a stark but clear message: they’re clearly looking beyond the horizon, and seeing this dip as a temporary roadblock.
Was it wrong for these companies to promise a brighter future to people who buy in? They know the risks involved much better than the average consumer. How much responsibility do the crypto companies own? What about Matt Damon and the other celebrities who pumped up Bitcoin and Ethereum?
Maybe this is a lesson to be less reactionary, or maybe we need to be more conscious of the potential influence of our messaging. How would you approach advertising a potentially volatile investment knowing the swagger you portray may minimize the actual risk the investor is taking? At Rule of 3 we run into this often as we work with many clients in financial services. Is it enough that a legal line saying, “may lose value” is boiler plate to bring up at the end? It is our internal debate, but if you have an opinion we’d love to hear it. Until then, invest carefully.