This Year’s Super Bowl Ads Were All About Crypto and NFTs.

What does this mean for the future of digital assets?

In this year’s Super Bowl LVI—in which the Los Angeles Rams narrowly beat the Cincinnati Bengals—the average cost of a thirty-second commercial was $6.5 million. Any company, brand, or organization that wanted a slice of this limited airtime would certainly need to know what they were doing.

While the Super Bowl is obviously a big day for many of the world’s biggest football stars, it is also a big day for many of the world’s leading brands. This year’s ad class contained a lot of the classic product lines we’ve come to know over the years—food, beer, and car ads were all ubiquitous. However, there were also a few new names among this year’s leading advertisers. Cryptocurrency platforms, including FTX and Coinbase, enjoyed a tremendous level of success. Additionally, some of the more traditional brands, including Budweiser, Pepsi, and Kia, were able to successfully incorporate non-fungible tokens (NFT) into their content, as well.

So, what do these ads mean for the future of the digital asset community? Here are a few of our most pressing thoughts:

People Are Genuinely Interested in Digital Assets

It’s one thing to actually spend the millions of dollars needed to land a Super Bowl commercial—it’s another to actually generate results. And it seems that, as a whole, viewers were particularly interested in cryptocurrencies and brands using NFTs. According to marketing analyst Devin Carroll, “The advertisers that generated the second and third most Super Bowl-related tweets on Sunday were cryptocurrency exchange platforms FTX and Coinbase, who both ran promotions giving away cryptocurrencies while Pepsi, Kia, and Budweiser had success on social media with NFT-related content.”

This means that viewers were doing more than just passively having the commercials play in the background. They were actually taking to social media to discuss crypto and NFTs. And, as Google Analytics data suggests, people were also actively looking on the world’s leading search engine for more information.

Digital Assets are Being Pushed Further into the Mainstream

In the early years of the digital asset era (think Bitcoin, circa 2010), these assets were often viewed by the public as obscure or something that was reserved for only those who were incredibly tech-savvy—keep in mind, this is the same general public that considered the internet to be “a fad” in the 1990s. But this recent Super Bowl ad push helps illustrate how digital assets are continuing a strong push from the periphery of the investment community into a mainstream asset class.

According to Nielsen, the Super Bowl was viewed by about 101 million Americans. That means that more than 100 million Americans were exposed to crypto and NFT as concepts—for some, this was their first moment of exposure, for others, it helped reinforce their pre-existing understanding of these assets. The combination of widespread exposure, high levels of search engine activity, and the high volume of advertisements are all indicators that digital assets are being treated as a more mainstream asset class.

The Public is Looking for New Alternatives

In addition to noticing a large number of ads from companies in the digital asset space, it is also important to note who wasn’t included in this year’s national Super Bowl ads. Specifically, there was almost no representation of the “traditional” financial institutions that have advertised during the Super Bowl in years past. Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and other megabanks all passed on participating in this year’s Super Bowl ads.

What does this mean for the average American consumer? As we have seen, people are losing their enthusiasm (or, should we say, patience) for traditional banking options. With most big bank savings accounts paying near 0 percent interest—and with inflation hovering above 7 percent per year—people are looking for better ways to store and potentially increase their wealth. Had somebody put $1,000 in a savings account in 2017, they’d have about $1,050 today. If they had put the same in Bitcoin, for example, they’d currently have about $44,000. While Bitcoin is just one of many digital assets available, it’s clear that the public is starting to seriously consider alternatives.

FOMO is a Driving Motivator

Prior to 2020, the limited ads we have seen for crypto, NFTs, and other digital assets have mostly centered on how these assets are “the future” of the economy. And while there are plenty of indicators that this sentiment is still broadly true, many advertisements have notably shifted in tone and are now focusing on the present.

One of the most notable commercials from the Super Bowl (as measured by social and search engine engagement) was a commercial featuring Larry David—co-creator of Seinfeld and star of Curb Your Enthusiasm—for the cryptocurrency exchange FTX. David, who is widely known for his deadpan, critical, and generally “grumpy” approach to comedy, is shown in a montage where he consistently rejects previously successful inventions, including the lightbulb, and even the wheel. At the end of the commercial, David rejects the idea of crypto, suggesting to the audience that someone thinking crypto is “a fad” is as foolish as someone thinking the wheel was “a fad” in the stone age.

 

This measurably successful commercial shows how digital asset messaging has experienced a significant evolution over the past few years. Leading crypto and NFT providers are no longer promising that their assets will someday be valuable—instead, they are focusing on how this value is presently building. And if you wait too long, you might end up missing out.

Conclusion

The Super Bowl, in many ways, is a microcosm of American culture. And, based on this year’s Super Bowl commercials, it is clear that the culture is moving in a specific direction. Digital assets are in a position to thrive—now is the time for individuals, businesses, and just about everyone else to begin making moves.

What Does it Mean to be Blockchain Agnostic? And Why Does it Matter?

So, you’ve decided it’s time for your enterprise to join the exciting digital asset community.

In doing so, you’ll be able to generate significant levels of revenue, reinforce your brand, and move closer to achieving your long-term goals.

However, even once you have made the decision to enter the digital asset space, there are many different decisions that you will need to make. For example, if you are planning on launching a project that involves the use of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), you are going to need to choose a blockchain to work with—and with each passing day, more and more blockchains are offering themselves to the broader public.

How do you know which blockchain to choose? And if, for whatever reason, you needed to make a change in the future, will your enterprise be in a position where you can actually do so?

Below, we will talk about the importance of being “blockchain agnostic” within the broader digital asset community.

 

What is the Blockchain? How Does it Work?

The blockchain, broadly speaking, is a digital database that is shared across multiple nodes within a decentralized network. The blockchain is an accessible ledger that can be used to securely store a variety of types of information, including the ownership and distribution of digital assets. Most blockchains can be categorized as either public (there is no centralized authority) or private (the blockchain is controlled by a single source or group)—and some blockchains are hybrids that are somewhere in between.

Ultimately, the blockchain is what makes it possible for people to know who owns what within the digital asset world. Do you currently own any cryptocurrency? How many kinds of cryptocurrency do you own and how much of each are currently within your possession? Through the use of the blockchain, these questions can be easily answered, without dispute.

The blockchain can be used for both fungible (interchangeable) currencies, like Bitcoin, or non-fungible digital assets, categorized as NFTs. Blockchain technology actually dates back as far as 1991, but it was not until the emergence of Bitcoin (2009) that this technology was fully put to use.

Currently, Ethereum is the most popular blockchain in circulation (NOTE: Bitcoin is not a blockchain itself, though it does utilize blockchain technology). However, there are many different blockchains available to choose from, and you should explore your options before making any final decisions.

What Does it Mean to be Blockchain Agnostic?

There are countless reasons an enterprise might choose to use one blockchain over another: the need to decrease operating costs, increase accessibility, reduce energy consumption, or offer customized solutions might all affect your final decision.

This is especially important as the attributes of both public and private blockchains change over time. Blockchains with low transaction fees today can become prohibitive in the future as fees rise. Blockchains with high uptime today, may suffer from availability and reliability issues in the future.

For a project to be blockchain agnostic means that it is not structurally or otherwise tied to any particular blockchain (such as Ethereum). In other words, the project is ‘block-chain neutral’ and can potentially migrate from one blockchain to another, as needed.

Brands should be concerned with the blockchain they choose to execute an NFT project, the risk of using the “wrong” blockchain could bleed into reputational risk that could negatively affect the brand.

What Are the Benefits of Being Blockchain Agnostic?

Sasco Digital Assets is a blockchain agnostic firm that is committed to helping its clients develop sustainable, dynamic digital asset strategies. Rather than being tied to a single blockchain—something that has become common within the digital asset world—Sasco’s solutions make it possible for firms to find a blockchain that works for them and make changes as needed.

The future of digital assets is constantly evolving—and the next stage of this evolution, Web3, is developing even faster than anticipated. But what we do know will be important in the future is flexibility. By working with a blockchain agnostic partner and remaining flexible enough to pursue new opportunities, your enterprise can take full advantage of these new opportunities for growth.