Larry David dressed in a Renaissance costume, peering into the camera from above

The Many Super Bowl Crypto Ads, Ranked by Our Level of Confusion & Disappointment

Et tu, Larry David?
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Watching Super Bowl commercials is always a fun game. Companies spend millions of dollars to present a little 30-second short film, usually centered around evoking extreme nostalgia or some other sort of emotional manipulation.

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Part of the fun is trying to figure out what product these little hyper-creative, heartstrings-twisting films are selling before the reveal. About 90% of the time, it’s a car.

This year, though, a different (non)product dominated the Super Bowl: crypto.

Ahead of the game, the event was already being called the “Crypto Bowl” and that name turned out not to be an exaggeration. For those of us who are tired of seeing this environmentally destructive technological Ponzi scheme hyped on television, the large number of crypto ads was exhausting.

Making things worse, crypto got a new round of celebrity endorsements for the event, and some of them were incredibly disappointing.

Here were some of the most notable ads, ranked from Fine to WTF:

eToro

This ad was one of the most innocuous. No celebrity endorsements, no aggressive shaming for not already being on board with crypto (we’ll get to that later). Just a weird little short film selling crypto as a kind of fantastical community. Sure.

Coinbase’s bouncing QR code

While I wish it were selling pretty much anything else, this was a clever ad! Nearly the entire 60 seconds just featured a QR code slowly bouncing around the screen like the old DVD screensaver. However, this one must have been disappointing for those who were actually interested in what it was selling, as the ad was so effective, it ended up crashing the app.

Crypto.com’s Double LeBrons

The de-aging effect is pretty cool but it’s so disappointing to see LeBron (who also produced the ad through his production company SpringHill) out here shilling crypto.

Bud Light’s … whatever this is

Not a cryptocurrency but more a crypto asset, this one is definitely confusing enough that it still had to be on the list.

Bud Light is selling NFTs now and I have to stop trying to get that to make sense before my brain fully melts. This ad isn’t actually for NFTs, but apparently it’s got some NFT Easter eggs in it for crypto die-hards.

https://youtu.be/c3fELinsiAI

FTX’s Larry David ad

This one was hands-down the most disappointing and infuriating of the night, mostly because up until the reveal, it’s a really fun commercial featuring Larry David being peak Larry David.

The ad shows David naysaying various world-changing inventions throughout time, from the wheel to the toilet. As a crypto ad, the message is a more aggressive version of what we got in that Matt Damon spot everyone hated so much: that if you’re not on board with the crypto movement, you’re a dinosaur and the future will laugh at you.

https://youtu.be/noekVG8XLQI

Thanks, I hate it. And I’m not alone.

https://twitter.com/ChelseaCirruzzo/status/1493026255888961540
https://twitter.com/garywhitta/status/1493026189962711041
https://twitter.com/iamTannenbaum/status/1493026872942157824


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Author
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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.