Matt Damon crypto ad vanishes from TV

Spending on advertising by major cryptocurrency firms crashes from $84.5m in February to $36,000 in July

Photo of Matt Damon                                 
Crypto winter brings to an end TV advertisements starring the likes of Matt Damon, above - Photo:Shutterstock
                                

Celebrity-filled advertisements from cryptocurrency companies featuring stars such as Matt Damon, the comedian Larry David and the American football player Tom Brady are disappearing from screens after ad spending in the sector crashed more than 99% in five months.

The TV-ad measurement company ISpot.tv Inc found that spending by leading cryptocurrency companies such as Coinbase, FTX and Crypto.com sank to $36,0000 last month in the US, an 18-month low. In February 2022 major crypto firms spent $84.5m in order to capitalise on the attention generated by the Super Bowl. 

Damon’s advertisement in 2021 for Crypto.com, which has thus far been viewed 18 million times on YouTube alone, cost around $65m, according to ISpot. This was larger than the campaigns run by asset management giants Vanguard and Fidelity.

The Bourne series star compares those adventurers who give up after a challenge proved “too much” with more intrepid individuals who endure adversity, adding: “Fortune favours the brave.” 

In light of the substantial sell-off in the cryptocurrency market since the start of 2022, however, the volatile sector has proved to be “too much” for Damon and the many prominent celebrities who promoted crypto projects and companies when the sector at its peak valuation of almost $3trn (£2.5trn). 

Crypto firms trim their sails

Having started 2022 at $2.18trn, the capitalisation of the total cryptocurrency market stood at $1.12trn on Thursday. Some cryptocurrency companies have collapsed into bankruptcy with the onset of the “crypto winter”, such as Voyager Digital and Celsius. 

Multiple firms, although not staring down the barrel of bankruptcy, have trimmed their sales in order to weather the storm. Crypto.com cut its workforce by 5% in June, while Coinbase and Gemini fired, respectively, 20% and more than 10% of their workforces in June and July.

Companies that pursued a different strategy during the heady days of 2021 have not had to resort to such drastic measures. At the height of June’s redundancy phase, Binance’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao, said: “It was not easy saying no to Super Bowl ads, stadium naming rights, large sponsor deals a few months ago, but we did. Today, we are hiring for 2,000 open positions for Binance.” 

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