Coinbase released a new ad this week, via Accenture Song, that defends crypto against naysayers. The ad features messages posted over the past 10 years saying “Crypto is dead” – and then it concludes with Coinbase’s message: “Long live crypto.”
The ad comes as confidence in crypto has hit another gully. A report from Coindesk this week found that crypto funds shrank to their lowest level since the summer of 2021. Investors pulled out some $143 million through the week of May 20. So far, it was the year’s second-largest outflow.
The indecision around crypto comes as European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde has said that “My very humble assessment is that it is worth nothing,” referring to crypto. “It is based on nothing,” she added. “There is no underlying asset to act as an anchor of safety.”
Advertising is an unproven countermeasure to such sentiment. In the U.K., Coinbase has received warnings from the Advertising Standards Authority about more than 12 breaches, six of which were for “misleading advertising.”
In the U.S., celebs pitching crypto, like Matt Damon and Reese Witherspoon, are facing scrutiny for doing so.
For some, the recent implosion of the crypto market is reminiscent of the dot-com bust of 2000, when Super Bowl XXXIV featured more than 20 dot-com ads. Many, like LastMinuteTravel.com and OurBeginning.com, are no longer around, but some are, like E*Trade and Monster.com.
When put in perspective, the crypto boom is smaller than the dot-com wave, but the same advice applies to those in advertising as it does to the potential customer watching at home: Buyer beware.