During cryptocurrency’s rocketship rise, big-name celebs joined the frenzy, appearing in numerous ads for crypto platforms.
But with crypto prices falling to recent lows, crypto’s biggest spenders are cutting back, and celebrity boosters are going quiet, per The New York Times.
… crypto trading platforms like Crypto.com and FTX went on a spending spree to increase their reach and attract new users:
- FTX spent $135m on a 19-year deal to take over naming rights to the Miami Heat’s arena in March 2021
- Crypto.com followed by spending $700m to take over naming rights for the Staples Center for 20 years in November
As part of the arms race, both companies enlisted top-tier talent to spread the gospel. FTX promoters include Larry David and Steph Curry, while Crypto.com worked with Matt Damon and LeBron James.
But falling prices…
… means cutting costs. Both companies have tapered spending in response to the market’s turbulence:
- Crypto.com cut digital ad spending from $109k per day in March to $24.7k per day in May
- FTX cut its digital ad spending from $26.4k per day in March to $14.7k per day in May
As for the celebrity boosters? They’ve generally gone silent. When asked for a response by the NYT, Damon, James, and David had no comment.
They don’t understand crypto. At least according to Jeff Schaffer, who directed David’s crypto commercial for FTX. He says they just wanted to make a funny commercial.
Critics argue the stars should be more transparent about the risk involved, especially after a study from the University of Chicago found that younger, lower-income groups are more likely to believe in the promise of crypto.
On the other end, defenders say that just because a celebrity endorses something doesn’t mean it’s worth buying. For example, you wouldn’t let Snoop Dogg convince you to buy Hot Pockets, would you? Oh, you would? Yeah, me too.
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