The consumer is not a moron


We’ve come a long way since the days of Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper in 2008. Over the years, cryptography has rarely been more than a footnote in social discourse. There were a few bubbles that made their way into popular perception: the dark web, Silk Road, and other nefarious activities early on, and later people started to notice the price, but not much of it. other.

Now people no longer need the mainstream media, financial experts, or governments to tell them what crypto is. The industry has grown so much that the major companies in the industry are launching one mass impact advertising after another. It started with FTX, but is now carried on by people like Gemini and, recently, styling with an ad from Matt Damon.

How did we get here?

Longtime crypto watchers and fans aren’t surprised by this attention. It was the crypto dream after all – for everyone to join this new “shadow financial system” created for people to take more independent control of a legacy financial system that for many catastrophically failed during the Great Financial Crisis of 2008.

Yet delving deep into bitcoin, other coins, and burgeoning DeFi markets requires a fundamental understanding of the nature of asset markets, currency and its fiat embodiment, the Austrian economy, and much more, all mixed with a good dose of new digital and emerging infrastructures and tools.

It’s easy to see how this isn’t the best recipe for mainstream appeal and adoption – there are often many hurdles and sticking points for consumers just to buy cryptocurrency, let alone. to participate in the DeFi ecosystem.

Today, the development of NFTs has created a whole new market for digital art which, together with the growing phenomenon of blockchain games to play to win, and the retail digital coupon market allows crypto to roam with casually in popular perception. GTF exchange is a network that provides NFTs to your mobile phone without needing to have or understand crypto, wallets or blockchain, a space ready to take off with consumers.

Facebook’s rebranding to Meta, inspired by the Metaverse’s native NFT idea, is perhaps a hint of more than one revolution to come.

Yet the monetary principles of bitcoin, the immutability of smart contracts on Ethereum all have value. More than anything else, crypto needed an attractive hook or ‘anchor’ to spark the curiosity of people who never really cared about crypto. Moreover, crypto is only a fraction of the traditional global financial system, a system that is slower and can often be more cumbersome and expensive for users.

All of this makes it likely that the next era of financial services growth will be dominated by crypto and digital assets, as Web 3.0 is architected and integrated in real time over networks. One of the main drivers of this growth and adoptions is capturing people’s minds with a compelling proposition through what purports to be a superior offer of many metrics. Crypto turned to advertising.

“The push for mass adoption is exciting because of the promise of crypto – financial inclusion, transparency, efficiency. Yet the industry as a whole still has work to do on consumer education and market integrity – ensuring that investors don’t need to be technical experts to avoid being victims of fraudulent schemes and market manipulation, ”said Kathy Kraninger, former director of CFPB in the United States who recently joined the management team of the crypto risk monitoring firm Solidus Laboratories.

Confessions of the crypto advertising industry

One of the most striking examples of such campaigns probably comes from, the multi-functional crypto and debit card exchange provider. The company has just announced a $ 100 million advertising campaign that will run for several months in more than 20 countries, with the aim of reaching new crypto users.

The campaign is launched with the collaboration of award-winning stars Matt Demon and Wally Pfister.’s new commercial is titled “Fortune Favors the Brave” and is played by Matt Damon, who has never been seen featured in private company commercials in the past. also donated $ 1 million to, the nonprofit clean water initiative co-founded by Matt Damon and Gary White in 2009.

“As our financial solutions and platforms evolve, we can use them for good,” said Damon. “ and are both working for positive transformation, and our innovative financial solutions will help change lives and the world.”

The goal of the campaign is not to target a particular niche – for example GameStop aficionados – but to invite everyone into the revolution. “Crypto will soon be as ubiquitous as the Internet,” says Steven Kalifowitz, CMO of, “As such, this ad is for everyone, and if you watch it carefully you’ll see it appealing. to people who don’t know anything about crypto, as well as people who have been in the industry since day one. is just the latest in a series of crypto marketers. One of them was the display of mysterious and minimal billboards around Columbus Circle in Manhattan. The posters show simple words and phrases like “electronic”, “a solution” and “are lost” with little explanation.

The Gemini crypto exchange has took possession an advertising campaign in midtown Manhattan to celebrate the 13th anniversary of Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper.

Gemini did not disclose how much it paid for ad space, one of which was previously occupied by the CNN logo. The crypto exchange is also taking advantage of the new marketing strategy by selling some of the phrases displayed on the notice board as NFT on its Nifty Gateway exchange.

Another crypto exchange running on new marketing and advertising strategies is FTX. FTX is exploring a new way to promote its products through sports advertising. The crypto firm recently invested $ 20 million in a campaign for a spot in the 2022 U.S. SuperBowl.

The stars of the FTX ad, titled “FTX, You in? ”, Will be Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen.

In addition to the commercials, FTX said National Basketball Association player Steph Curry will receive a stake in FTX and serve as a brand ambassador. Previously, FTX sponsored the popular League of Legends TSM team, which is now commonly referred to as FTX. A similar thing happened for what was once the American Airlines Arena in Miami, which is now simply FTX Arena.

“A lot of these ads are designed to create FOMO, and rightly so, the crypto space is a very dynamic place with a lot of opportunities. However, it’s important to remember that FOMO often contributes to fraud because it pushes people to consumers and investors to make decisions quickly.

“Like any other investment opportunity, consumers need to exercise due diligence and make informed decisions about how and when to enter the crypto markets. For example, they should ask themselves if the platform takes risk monitoring and compliance seriously? ”Adds Kraninger.

Timing is everything

After so many years of exploration of blockchain technology and many crypto billionaires, why has mainstream crypto advertising only reached its peak now?

It is likely that today’s social and market conditions never existed in the past. As the world manages to overcome a global pandemic, the economic and social impact becomes evident – governments cannot print endless money and solve all of society’s problems and this is evident in the debt market. public.

The scar left by the Great Global Financial Crisis of 2008 and subsequent banking scandals related to financial crime and market manipulation left a scar on the traditional financial sector, itself often struggling to clean up its global practices.

As the crypto market has continued to develop over the years, its public understanding of crypto and the financial market has also increased.

Telling young retail investors that they risk losing all of their crypto money because of bitcoin’s decade of performance is almost futile – many point out that bank stocks hit a dollar during the 2008 crisis, Britain’s big banks went bankrupt and Lehman Brothers went to zero, and that’s literally ancient history – the unintended consequences of which still make investors and bankers uncomfortable.

We are also living in a period of decidedly heightened public interest in (retail) commerce, with all the “GameStops and Shibas”.

Elon Musk’s endorsement for crypto, the launch of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and Wall Street’s interest in crypto, have all sparked interest in cryptocurrencies. The launch of the ETF, in particular, is a great opportunity for retail clients in the United States to participate in the world of crypto and discover its potential without worrying about security risks.

Could this be the peak of crypto prevalence in mainstream society? Maybe, but it’s also true that mass adoption is initially indistinguishable from a fleeting bubble.

We are seeing a more permanent focus on crypto in society than the temporary attention during the peaks of 2017, a change in the zeitgeist, not just a bubble. As the Roaring Twenties set to become the digital decade of financial services and Web3.0, advertising is likely to prevail and be a major driver of education, awareness and consumer spending. crypto.

As we move forward on this digital journey, let’s keep in mind the words of Madison Avenue great publicist David Ogilvie, “The consumer is not a jerk.


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