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Super Bowl 2023 Sees Stark Contrast to Previous Year as Crypto Ads Absent

2 mins
Updated by Ryan James
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In Brief

  • Crypto.com and Coinbase will not resume advertising at Super Bowl LVII as a tough 2022 forces companies to cut costs.
  • Most of the Super Bowl ad spend will come from alcohol and food companies.
  • The lack of advertisements only a year later bears an eerie resemblance to the 2000 dot-com Super Bowl where only one dot-com company advertised a year later.
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Crypto companies give Super Bowl LVII the cold shoulder as the bear market shrinks marketing budgets.

According to Super Bowl broadcaster Fox, several crypto companies that splashed big on multi-million-dollar Super Bowl adverts in 2022 will not be seen at this year’s NFL showpiece featuring the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Super Bowl Crypto Ads Replaced by Alcohol and Food

Following the FTX collapse and the crypto winter that curtailed trading volumes at crypto exchanges, there will be no crypto ads at Super Bowl LVII.

“There’s zero representation in that category on the day at all,” said Fox’s executive vice president Mark Evans.

Instead, alcohol and packaged foods adverts will dominate as 2022’s implosions and tough macroeconomic conditions weigh on crypto advertising. Beverage giant Anheuser-Busch will share screen time with fellow alcohol vendors Heineken, Remy Martin, and Coors, while packaged foods manufacturers like Doritos, M&Ms, as well as movie studios and streaming companies, will fill out the remaining slots. 

The lack of crypto ads marks a significant departure from last year’s spending spree to bring crypto into the mainstream. Coinbase, Crypto.com, and collapsed exchange FTX spent $6.5 million each on thirty-second TV spots featuring high-profile celebrities like NBA star LeBron James and comedian Larry David.

Before that, Crypto.com and FTX spent $86 million on controversial celebrity-driven marketing with Matt Damon and Tom Brady.

Crypto Bowl Evokes Memories of Dot-com Bust

The advertising pullback reflects a humbling moment in crypto’s history. Firms swept up in the exuberance of the 2021 bull market found themselves entering a consolidation period in mid-2022.

As early as June 2022, about four months after the Super Bowl ad blitz, several crypto companies had cut their ad spending amid a downturn in crypto prices catalyzed by the collapse of the TerraUSD stablecoin and crypto lender Celsius.

According to market researcher Sensor Tower, crypto firms spent 90% less on digital advertising between November 2021 and June 2022. Gemini Trust Co., a crypto exchange, reduced its advertising from $3.8 million in November 2021 to $478,000 in May 2022, while Crypto.com cut marketing expenses from $40 million in January 2022 to $2.1 million in May 2022.

In an ironic twist, FTX, once the darling of the crypto industry and one of the biggest spenders at last year’s event, filed for bankruptcy mere months after its spending spree. Its former CEO Sam Bankman-Fried faces criminal charges for illegally lending customer funds. The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission alleged last year that the exchange illegally funded its splashy advertising campaign using customer funds.

The crypto marketing pullback resembles the 2000 Super Bowl, where most advertisers were absent the following year. Pets.com, the poster child for dot-com busts, filed for bankruptcy a few months after its advertisement aired. Only one dot-com company E*Trade advertised at the 2001 Super Bowl.

For Be[In]Crypto’s latest Bitcoin (BTC) analysis, click here.

Top crypto platforms in the US | March 2024

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David Thomas
David Thomas graduated from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal in Durban, South Africa, with an Honors degree in electronic engineering. He worked as an engineer for eight years, developing software for industrial processes at South African automation specialist Autotronix (Pty) Ltd., mining control systems for AngloGold Ashanti, and consumer products at Inhep Digital Security, a domestic security company wholly owned by Swedish conglomerate Assa Abloy. He has experience writing software in C,...
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