CRYPTO BOWL OR MONEY HOLE? 

/ / cryptocurrency / 14 February 2022

David Kennedy-Cosgrove, Partner, The Wired Agency

It’s the annual American festival of culture and creativity; Super Bowl 2022. And much like last year, the emerging brands are stepping up.

This year is Crypto Bowl; the turn of crypto giants who’ve enjoyed rapid growth in a lockdown world. 

Herein lies the irresistible mass opportunity to trial. 86% of American adults are aware of cryptocurrency, but only 16% have invested.

With the average 2022 30” Super Bowl spot costing $7M USD ($9.8M AUD) – a cost that has increased circa 70% since 2016 – this is an investment that perhaps looks a little less cryptical for the crypto brands; a guaranteed audience of 100+ Million (and that’s before any earned media is considered).

Before we get too excited, a Super Bowl spot is no guarantee of success for an emerging brand or category. In 2000, pets.com invested big with their Super Bowl campaign. But they may not have put their best paw forward. A year later, they found themselves in the financial doghouse, chewing on the bankruptcy bone during the .com crash. Alongside the ethical question of promoting crypto to retail investors, some are also forecasting a worrying repeat performance for the crypto giants. 

It would be too easy to label the Super Bowl spot as being an extravagant, over priced money hole. Kantar’s research suggests the opposite, with the 2021 average ROI sitting at $4.60 USD ($6.45 AUD).

You have the audience, but the investment is only as good as the content you put in it. 

Many of this year’s crypto spots are, in my opinion, as bland a dinner party conversation about crypto. You lost me at blockchain. With Matt Damo’s spot for Crypto.com being a real low point They make no impact. 

Perhaps a safer investment is to take a leaf out of the long history of Super Bowl success stories, that’s if you want both short and long-term growth. The creative plays that give the audience something unexpected and memorable; Uber Don’t Eats (2022), VW’s The Force (2011), Bud’s Frogs (1995), Old Spice The Man You Could Smell Like (2010) and Snickers Betty White (2010). 

In 2021, Kantar tested 90+ Super Bowl ads, ranking them as Poor, Average or Strong based on creative effectiveness. The results showed that:

  • ‘Strong’ Super Bowl ads received three times the ROI of ‘Average’ Super Bowl ads
  • ‘Strong’ Super Bowl ads drove ad recall 40% higher than those who ranked ‘Average’

Perhaps a successful investment in the Super Bowl needn’t be a cryptic one; a large captive audience waiting to be surprised with memorable stories.

See our picks of the top 10 2022 Super Bowl ads.


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