2022 was the year of the “Crypto Bowl,” the quirky little nickname given to Super Bowl LVI due to all the cryptocurrency exchanges running expensive ads during the game.
So, how many crypto commercials are going to air during the Super Bowl LVII this Sunday?
Zero. Not a single cryptocurrency company is advertising in the U.S. during the big game in 2023.
According to Fox Sports’ executive vice president of ad sales Mark Evans, that wasn’t always going to be the case. Evans says, according to The Associate Press, that two cryptocurrency advertisers had booked spots for the Super Bowl and two others were “on the one-yard line.” Then, in November, after an already tumultuous summer for the industry, FTX, which was once one of the biggest crypto exchanges, collapsed. Soon after, those planned crypto Super Bowl commercials also fell apart.
“There’s zero representation in that category on the day at all,” said Evans of crypto advertising on Sunday.
After crypto skyrocketed beyond its most hardcore advocates in 2021, many crypto companies wanted to continue to broaden out to the mainstream and pull in more everyday people to invest. As the Super Bowl is the most-watched annual sporting event in the entire world, it seemed like an obvious opportunity to do just that. Crypto companies like Coinbase, Crypto.com, eToro, and FTX all paid millions of dollars for a single ad spot during the big game in 2022.
Just a few months after those ads aired, the entire crypto market collapsed after the stablecoin Terra failed, which caused a domino effect that took down a number of other crypto companies. Then, in November, just 9 months after its ad featuring Larry David aired during the Super Bowl, FTX filed for bankruptcy.
And the other crypto Super Bowl advertisers aren’t doing so hot either.
Crypto.com, the company with the “Fortune favors the brave” Super Bowl ads featuring LeBron James and Matt Damon, laid off 20 percent of its employees in June. Then, just last month, the crypto exchange laid off another 20 percent of its workers.
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eToro, the crypto advertiser which ran a commercial featuring the song “Fly Me to the Moon,” a nod to the crypto advocates’ belief that the price of these digital currencies will just continue to go up, let go of 100 employees in July. The company also scrapped plans to go public.
The U.S.’s biggest crypto exchange, Coinbase, was lauded for its Super Bowl commercial featuring a QR code bouncing around a screen for a cryptocurrency. However, Coinbase faced its own challenges resulting in two separate rounds of layoffs in June and just last month, affecting 20 percent of its workforce each time.
However, we should note that while cryptocurrencies will be absent, the blockchain won’t be completely stricken from the Super Bowl this year. Web3 gaming company Limit Break plans to run a Super Bowl ad which will giveaway 10,000 of its DigiDaigaku Dragon NFTs for free to viewers. Also, a Canadian crypto exchange called BitBuy is planning to run an ad during the game, but it won’t be aired in the U.S.
In any case, companies will be eager to appear in postgame roundups of the funniest Super Bowl ads, so if you’re looking for a slightly safer investment this Super Bowl, bet on a couple of commercials churning last year’s crypto blitz into fodder for jokes.
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