HomeCryptoThe crypto announcements that made waves in 2022
The crypto announcements that made waves in 2022
December 27, 2022
2022 was the year that cryptocurrencies entered the mainstream like never before, for better or for worse.
Earlier this year, during the heady bull run, many cryptocurrency companies seized the opportunity to promote themselves with flashy, high-profile advertising campaigns costing millions of dollars.
In retrospect, it was the high before another crash, with many of those ads having aged spectacularly after the decline of cryptocurrencies earlier in the year. However, some of the ads that have landed on screens and billboards point to the promise of NFT in advertising, with brands showcasing DAO partnerships and Bored Ape signings. Here are some of the most memorable.
Bud Light x DAO Nouns
After much speculation and accumulation, the NFT Nouns project got a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance in Bud Light’s Super Bowl commercial.
For most viewers, the brief glimpse of Nouns iconic pixel art glasses probably went unnoticed, but for Nouns DAO members, it was a big deal; The NFT “product placement” occurred after the DAO voted to give the beer brand its own NFT names. It’s an intriguing look into the future of how decentralized autonomous organizations could partner with legacy brands to benefit both.
Algorand x Earth Day: Times Square
For Earth Day 2022, Algorand took aim at one of the oft-repeated criticisms of blockchain: that it harms the environment. The Algorand Foundation took over Times Square’s digital billboards to promote its “carbon-negative blockchain” and tout its sustainability credentials, before shutting down those billboards, saving an estimated 23.4 billion joules of energy.
That, the Foundation claimedthat would be enough to power two weeks of operations on the Algorand proof-of-stake blockchain and around 350 million transactions, versus 1.5 seconds of operation on the proof-of-work Bitcoin network and six transactions.
FTX: Larry David
Following the spectacular crash of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, its slew of high-profile announcements since the start of the year have attracted renewed attention. In particular, its Super Bowl commercial, featuring “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star Larry David, seems eerily prescient in retrospect. In the commercial, David plays a series of historical figures who are ignorant of great inventions, before moving on to the present day. Presented with FTX, touted as a “secure and easy way to get into cryptocurrencies,” David says, “No, I don’t think so.”
If only people took him seriously; now he has been nominated in a class action lawsuit along with other celebrities who promoted the doomed swap.
Adidas: Bored Monkeys x World Cup
In 2021, sportswear brand Adidas bought a Bored Monkey NFT, which he called Indigo Herz and promised to make the centerpiece of his metaverse ambitions. Since the creators of Bored Ape Yacht Club, Yuga Labs, give the intellectual property rights to the owners of their BAYC NFTs, Adidas can use its monkey on products, merchandising and advertising.
Indigo Herz features on the front of a cereal box in Adidas’ 2022 World Cup advertisement, alongside soccer superstars like Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema. And while Bored Ape’s screen time may be short, it’s an example of how Yuga Labs’ new approach to IP is helping BAYC make its way into pop culture.
FTX: Tom Brady, Gisele Bundchen
Perhaps no announcement this year is as badly dated as this effort from FTX, in which NFL icon Tom Brady and supermodel Gisele Bündchen urge their phone contacts to trade cryptocurrencies on FTX.
With FTX plummeting over the course of a week in November, stranding the funds of hapless investors on the platform and wiping out billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies in the blink of an eye, it’s fair to say that none of Brady’s and Bündchen’s phone contacts will be sending them Christmas cards this year.
And Brady’s quip that “I have 10 more years left, maybe 15,” seems more darkly comical with each passing day, since he’s going to need every one of them to recoup the $45 million he reportedly lost from the his expensive tie-up with Sam Bankman-Fried.
Coinbase: “Trust us”
With the demise of FTX sending shockwaves through the cryptocurrency industry, other players were quick to distance themselves from the bad actors in the space and prove their trustworthiness.
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase was one of the first out of the gate, posting a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal to publicize its credentials. It wants to be the “most secure and compliant” cryptocurrency exchange, she said, before explaining exactly how it differed from “people who didn’t deserve” the public’s trust.
But in some ways Coinbase’s announcement seemed to go against the very idea of centralized exchanges, aspiring to a future where users “do not have to trust us or any other institution.”
After a tumultuous 12 months, Coinbase’s mildly plaintive plea for users to “trust us” and for regulators to step in may just be the year’s definitive crypto announcement.
Honorable Mention: Crypto.com: Fortune favors the brave
Yes, it came out in October 2021, but no ad has earned as much scorn this year as Crypto.com’s infamous Matt Damon commercial, or has come to symbolize arrogance before the crypto crash.
The spot sees “The Martian” star Matt Damon walk through what looks like an airplane hangar, mumbling platitudes about “moments of truth” and bracing his nerves. The act of buying Bitcoin on a centralized cryptocurrency exchange, Damon suggested, is similar to the Wright brothers’ first flight or Everest conquest.
“South Park” did not skewer the ad one time but twice– and that was before the actual crash. After the implosion of Earth and the collapse of FTX, Bitcoin has plummeted to minimum of two yearsthe announcement looked downright embarrassing.
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