Million-Dollar Campaigns: Cryptocurrency Firms Are Enlisting Stars To Gain Trust
People Aren’t Getting It, Tet
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Flush with funds, cryptocurrency platforms are eager to introduce their services to the public. The services are hoping that new ad campaigns will help them gain mainstream acceptance and are aiming to utilize the power of Hollywood, shelling out millions for high-profile celebrity endorsements.
The idea behind these companies is new, and people are comparing it to the early days of the internet. In the early ’90s, when the internet first started appearing in homes, and the public wasn’t familiar with the concept yet, the companies selling internet access were burdened by explaining to people why they needed it and how it worked.
“It’s not that different than the early days of the internet, where it was very much a Wild West,” says Cuy Sheffield, head of the crypto division for the global payments company Visa.
Apparently, digital currency is facing the same problem. People have heard of Bitcoin, but they don’t know how it works or why they should use it. This is a problem for cryptocurrency firms, including exchanges, digital wallets, and other businesses in the sector. People won’t use a service they don’t understand.
So companies affiliated with the digital currencies like FTX, Robinhood, Etoro, Coin Cloud, CoinFlip, and others are leaning on the talents of well-known celebrities like Tom Brady, Kim Kardashian, Spike Lee, and Neil Patrick Harris to introduce lay consumers to that world.
A Familiar Face Introduces A New Idea
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Harris can be seen bragging about the benefits of being an early Bitcoin investor in his CoinFlip ad, but he isn’t the only one scoring big bucks to hawk the digital currencies. Alec Baldwin appeared in a spot mocking those who think digital trading currencies on Etoro should be anything other than quick and easy, and Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen have become brand ambassadors for FTX to encourage the adoption of the digital currency.
One of the most aggressive ads featured Spike Lee – the famed director behind films like ‘Malcolm X’ – extolling the benefits of a Bitcoin ATM. Lee makes an impassioned case for cryptocurrency in the ad, hailing Bitcoin as “the digital rebellion” against a financial system that “systematically oppresses” people of color and women. He marches through Wall Street denouncing archaic financial systems and encouraging the nation to cash in their dollars for cryptocurrency.
Are You Being Influenced?
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It’s not just traditional celebrities either; the crypto firms are bringing their big bucks to the social influencer world. Influencers, such as the Charli D’Amelio and Tana Mongeau, have started to postpaid advertisements on their social media platforms for different digital coins and exchanges.
As part of a partnership deal, crypto exchange Gemini gave the parents of D’Amelio, who has over 125 million followers on TikTok, an undisclosed amount of Bitcoin, according to a spokesperson with the company.
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Successes And Concerns
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EDO CEO Kevin Krim said, “FTX Crypto’s spot drove almost half a million searches for the new trading platform in the minutes following its two airings during the game,” he continued, “that’s a massive number, and you have to wonder how much FTX Crypto, which to some people may feel like gambling, siphoned away interest from the sports betting brands that spent so much to advertise as well in the game.”
It’s unclear how long the spots can continue, however, as there are concerns over the ads. Pressure has been mounting toward advertising regulators over the lack of scrutiny given to the digital currency promotions, especially those targeting the young and financially naive such as those D’Amelio entertains on TikTok.
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Sources: The Hollywood Reporter, CNBC
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