Cryptocurrency has made moves in the past year, dominating the airwaves and the internet, convincing new consumers to take the plunge. Several of these brands have risen to the top, making headlines for their digital ad strategies, backed by a massive increase in spend.
As we see businesses increase their acceptance of this digital form of payment, crypto companies are rising to the occasion to expedite brand awareness and educate consumers. We analyzed Pathmatics data between January 1st and February 16th of 2021 and 2022, to see exactly how companies like eToro, Coinbase and Crypto.com are shifting their digital advertising strategies and amplifying their presence online as society explores decentralized forms of currency.
Super Bowl Ad Spend
During the Super Bowl, TV ads of course took center stage to reach consumers, but digital ads supplemented them across the board. Cryptocurrency brands reaped the rewards with these TV spots for both exposure and app installs. Coinbase’s viral TV ad of a bouncing QR code on a black screen stole the show by outperforming the group, sparking public interest and garnering enough traffic to briefly crash their website.
Brands like eToro and Crypto.com sharply increased their ad spend in the days leading up to and the days directly following the Super Bowl. With a focus on Youtube desktop ads, these ads were likely targeted towards those of us reminiscing on our favorite Super Bowl moments of the past and reliving the best moments from the latest game.
Looking at ad spend trends around the big day, brands like Coinbase and Crypto.com shared a similar strategy of smaller investments leading up to game day, with a strong uptick in spending the Monday after the Super Bowl. Coinbase spent $7.4K on Facebook Thursday leading into game day and increased to almost $56K on the Monday after. Their Instagram increased from $2.8K to $38K during the same timeframe. Crypto.com had $0 investment in Desktop Video ads in the days leading up to the event and skyrocketed that number to $426K the day after the game. In addition, their other spends were relatively consistent. eToro placed its bets with traditional TV ads as its digital ads took a dip. They hit around $228K for Desktop Video ads on Friday, February 11th, and dipped to $33K on game day, following with a small boost on Monday up to $113K.
Digital Ad Strategy
Cryptocurrency brands using digital advertising to reach new customers is nothing new, but after a year of true mainstream attention through NFT crazes, Dogecoin memes, and Bitcoin’s rise to $60k, 2022 looks like the year for these companies to increase their own brand awareness amongst consumers across the board, while also leaning further into demographics who might not yet be on the crypto train. We found increases in advertising dollars from all three brands going towards the two platforms most used among older populations: YouTube, which is used by 83% of adults aged 50 to 64 and Facebook, which is used by 73% of those aged 50 to 64.
Between January 1st and February 16th last year, Crypto.com doubled down on platforms that tend to be preferred by older generations, including Facebook and YouTube. For example, their desktop video spend (allocated fully to YouTube) increased from $100K in 2021 to $1.7M in 2022 and their Facebook spend saw a $1.9M increase. This suggests an increased focus on awareness amongst older audiences.
Similarly, eToro focused much of their energy in these spaces, with desktop video (allocated fully to YouTube) and Facebook accounting for the top percentages of their ad spend in 2022 (67% and 15%, respectively).
Coinbase followed suit, increasing their ad spend on Facebook by nearly $1M year-over-year and upping their desktop video spend significantly as well. Their sharp decrease in spend going to mobile display ads further demonstrates a potential focus on reaching older generations.
A Year of Growth
While cryptocurrency brands have had a substantial investment in ad spend over the last year, the commitment in 2022 thus far is palpable. Crypto.com had a total spend across all devices from the beginning of January to February 16th at $7M, a $5.5M year-over-year spend increase from the same time period in 2021.
Of the three brands, Coinbase had the second highest year-over-year spend across all devices with just $47K more from 2021 with $3.2M total. Their ad spots, while more varied and less educational from the previous year, took a nontraditional approach to make a lasting impression.
Unlike the others, eToro showed a surprising decrease in spend by just shy of $900K year-over-year. Despite lowering their total ad spend within this time period, platforms like Facebook and Twitter took up a greater piece of the pie by percentage allocated.
Doubling down on advertising to different demographics, tying themselves to key cultural events, and increasing ad spend overall shows us that cryptocurrency brands aren’t going anywhere fast.
As they become more and more popular, we’ll likely continue to see their digital ad strategies evolve to increase education amongst new demographics and awareness amongst existing audiences.
After she earned her BS in Business Administration and Marketing, Pam spent time in the non-profit industry developing skills in digital marketing and creating digital content for two years. She then made the transition to content marketing for San Francisco start ups.