Cryptocurrency brands make plays during Super Bowl

Hailey Chin

The Super Bowl is famous not only for being the annual championship game of the NFL but also for the commercials that air between plays. This year, cryptocurrency companies bought advertisement spots, giving way for people to call Sunday’s show the “Crypto Bowl.”.

The Super Bowl generates large audiences, with this year’s game bringing in 112.3 million viewers, some tuning in just to watch these commercials. By running a commercial during the Super Bowl, many companies will automatically bring viewers’ attention to them. This is what cryptocurrency companies like Coinbase Global Inc., Crypto.com and FTX hoped for.

FTX, in particular, recently entered a $135 million deal to rename the Miami Heat’s stadium to FTX Arena. It comes as no surprise that FTX had a commercial during this event.

“It’s a way to get our name out there,” FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried said to the Wall Street Journal. “In terms of venues to do that, it’s hard to find a higher-profile one than this.”

This year’s 30-second ad spots were sold for $6.5 million, according to CBS News. The costs of individual advertisements are not reported, but it is speculated that this is the amount that these cryptocurrency companies have spent to acquire these highly coveted spots.

Tom Brady, who has already appeared in FTX commercials and is also an investor in the company, was expected to appear in the commercials being shown during the Super Bowl. He didn’t, but comedian Larry David did. The company had guaranteed a Bitcoin giveaway.

“If the spot airs at 9:45 [p.m.] ET, they will give away 9.45 BTC to four people,”  a representative for FTX said to Blockworks.

Four cryptocurrency companies aired commercials during the Super Bowl, which seems like a small number when considering how many cryptocurrency companies there are. Not all of the companies participated in this affair as they did not necessarily see this as a good opportunity. “A Super Bowl ad does not make sense for us,” Binance CCO Patrick Hillmann said to CNN. “Education about crypto is not happening in 30-second ads during the Super Bowl. It’s weird to market blockchain the way you would a bag of potato chips or light beer.”

The purpose of these commercials during the Super Bowl was to present cryptocurrency as an exciting opportunity that many viewers are missing out on. These ads were not necessarily educational, rather promoted the thrill of investing in cryptocurrency to convince the viewers  that this is something they need to be a part of.

According to the Pew Research Center, 86% of Americans have heard about cryptocurrencies, while 24% of this total have heard a substantial amount about them. This percentage most likely increased after the Super Bowl and the commercials aired.

With public figures of their own and a combination of nostalgic and futuristic themes, it is safe to say that other brands and businesses, such as Squarespace Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., were not overshadowed by the cryptocurrency commercials during the big game.