It could be the Cincinnati Bengals winning the city’s first NFL title, after San Francisco’s Joe Montana beat them twice in the 1980s.
Or it could be the Los Angeles Rams becoming the first team to win a Super Bowl in their home stadium since… well, last year, when Tom Brady’s Buccaneers won in Tampa.
But either way, there’s little doubt of one thing: Viewers will see more Bitcoin and crypto ads than they’ve ever been exposed to before. At least six companies are running ads about crypto during the game: Bitbuy, Coinbase, Crypto.com, eToro, FTX, and Bud Light (a beer ad, but it prominently includes Nouns NFT eyeglasses).
And those are just the ads we know about because they’ve been pre-announced. It’s also widely expected there could be some kind of Bored Ape Yacht Club shoutout during the Super Bowl halftime show, since performers Snoop Dogg and Eminem both own Apes.
From Matt Damon to LeBron James to Kevin Durant, crypto companies have been using celebrity faces to plant a Web3 flag in America’s consciousness.
So, will the ads prompt a bunch of people to dip into crypto who had previously stayed away? Or will they serve to turn people off, or anger those who already see crypto as a scam?
Probably both. Stick with us during the game to get the full info on each crypto ad as it appears.
UPDATE: Bud Light first out of the gate (6:50pm EST)
Budweiser—a fixture of every Super Bowl—was first to flash some crypto during this year’s game. At 6:50pm EST, the beer giant aired an add for its new Bud Light N3XT beverage that included a nod to its participation in the Noun DAOs NFT collection.
The reference was a subtle one: showing the blocky spectacles that are the signature of the collection superimposed on an art gallery painting:
Bud Light’s ad did not come as much of a surprise since the company indicated it would do just this last week—as Decrypt reported. Meanwhile, the reaction on Twitter has primarily consisted of comments over what the heck the beverage Bud is flogging is all about.
UPDATE: Coinbase QR code giveaway (7:07pm EST)
Two crypto ads in the first quarter so far! Coinbase’s inaugural Superbowl ad was a clever one: 60 seconds of a floating QR code in different colors. It’s unclear how many were keen enough to hold up their phone camera to see the code took them but, in any case, the answer is that it opens an offer for $15 in free Bitcoin—but only for new customers.
So far, the ad appears to be playing well on Twitter with people praising its ingenuity. Meanwhile, as this tweet shows, it looks the ad was a hit with the canine set:
It looks the ad produced a big response—so much so that people are tweeting the site has briefly gone down. (Not a great look for Coinbase, but all buzz probably amounts to a net win).
UPDATE: TurboTax mentions crypto (7:45pm EST)
And finally, Ted Lasso appears at the day’s biggest football match.
Jason Sudeikis featured prominently in a spot for Intuit’s TurboTax, in which a potential tax filer/freelancer asks, “What if … I have no idea how to freelance but … I invest in crypto from my hometown of Gravity, Iowa.”
UPDATE: Larry David for FTX (7:50pm EST)
Just before halftime, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star Larry David appeared as different characters throughout history, giving his bad opinion on a number of important innovations (the wheel; Edison’s lightbulb; democracy) before finally, in the modern era, being shown the FTX mobile app. “Ehh…” he said.
While FTX had announced it would run a Super Bowl ad, Larry David’s star turn was a surprise. The ad also, like Coinbase’s, included a Bitcoin giveaway element.
UPDATE: LeBron talks to LeBron (8:25pm EST)
The Crypto.com spot featuring a young LeBron James chatting up an, ahem, older LeBron James aired just a few minutes after the halftime show wound down.
“At its core, this is really a story about all of us. We’ve all had to make these big courageous decisions that affect our future,” Ben Lay, creative director for Crypto.com, said in a behind-the-scenes video teasing the commercial.
This is a live blog and will be updated in real time. Check back here for updates.