The Big Game has often been a touchstone of pop culture. No doubt you’ve been watching the championship game for a few decades now. You’re likely able to recall that some of the most memorable ads garnered attention and cemented themselves into the cultural zeitgeist for years following (remember “Wazzuuuuup?”).
This year’s ads were full of nostalgia, a few gross out moments (like Gwyneth Paltrow taking a bite out of a candle) and a whole lot of cryptocurrency. As if all the water cooler/driveway chatter about blockchain wasn’t enough, your clients got a message loud and clear that Sunday – the brands have arrived and they’re ready to pour money into gaining new crypto customers.
A Departure from the Norm
Generally, there is a standard regiment of advertising for the big game: beer, cars, food and retail. And while technology companies like Meta and Salesforce have been squeezing their way toward top spots, people still have an understanding of who they are and what they do.
Enter Coinbase, FTX, and Crypto.com. These three companies shelled out millions of dollars to get their names in front of countless American viewers, and it worked. Coinbase’s minimalistic ad (the QR code bouncing around your screen) was so popular that it crashed their app. And while plenty of people understand what Cryptocurrencies are, how they work, and their potential, just as many are completely at a loss for their utility.
Is the Bubble Ready to Pop?
Everything else that has been standard fare for these big budget commercials is largely relatable, rooted in something tangible. Even software like Microsoft is almost always positioned around helping business grow. Never before have we seen commercials promoting a speculative investment that is effectively backed by nothing but lines of code.
Many analysts and pundits were quick to point out the similarities between Crypto and the dotcom bubble of the late 90s. Once upon a time, Pets.com, the poster child for the dotcom crash, spent its fair share of cash to advertise during the big game, only to be completely bankrupt just a few years later.
Of course, many people will back blockchain’s legitimacy as the future of software and digital assets including billionaire Mark Cuban.
Here to Stay?
At this point, most people agree that Crypto is here to stay, at least for now. There’s no doubt that a good portion of your clients will want to talk about crypto in the near future. Your advising style will determine what you say to them, but it’s important to remember that it’s an investment, a speculative asset, and largely unregulated. Ironically, after receiving so much attention in the past few days, the FBI just announced it will be forming a “Digital Currency Unit” to sniff out fraud in the industry.
While you may not be able to advise your clients on whether or not they should get into cryptocurrencies, it’s critical that you are able to respond to their questions and inquiries. The more embedded these brands become in our daily lives, especially if they are serving up ads after you followed their QR code, the more critical it will be to stay up-to-date on news and regulation in the industry.
This could be the greatest opportunity or one of the biggest bubbles. As with everything, only time will tell. Use your financial advising solutions to help your clients create a balanced and diverse portfolio that allows them to wade into new markets without jeopardizing their goals.