The crypto industry’s marketing efforts are focused on young people, especially young men. Surveys have shown that about 40% of American males between the ages of 18 and 29 have invested in, traded in, or used some form of cryptocurrency. Last year, Crypto.com bought the naming rights to the home turf of the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers and Kings for a reported $700 million; The former Staples Center is now the Crypto.com Arena. The company has signed endorsement deals with the UFC professional league and glamorous French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain. Crypto.com is getting tough after the boys.
Damon offers a specific type of appeal to that demographic. His star power is based on brains and strength; he can recite heroic phrases while also giving the impression that he can slash an enemy, Jason Bourne style, armed with just a Bic pen. In the commercial, his words are sublime – all about history and bravery – but they sound like a macho taunt: If you’re a real man, you will buy cryptocurrency.
The gloom of that field made people startle. In recent weeks, watching sports on television – where Crypto.com broadcasts continuously, along with ads for other crypto platforms and an onslaught of ads for other crypto platforms. sports gambling apps – I can’t shake the feeling that the culture has gone in a sinister direction: that we have punished an economy in which tech startups compete, into daytime, to attract vulnerable people with get-rich-quick schemes. However, the most disturbing thing about advertising is that it doesn’t work. Traditionally, an ad makes a positive case for its product, a vision of perfection that would come if you wore that pair of jeans or drove that truck. This ad does not disturb. It shows a glimpse of a young couple locking eyes in a nightclub – an allusion, I guess, that crypto has sex appeal. But the ad is impeccably constructed of the final shot of Mars, where Matt Damon’s astronaut is molded in a hit movie and where Elon Musk, the world’s second-richest man and the a cryptocurrency enthusiast, says he plans to build a colony to last until the end of civilization on Earth.
We are living in difficult times. Young people in particular may feel that they are crossing the line, economically and existentially. The message of this ad for them seems to be that the social bond has been broken, that the old ideals of security and the good life will no longer stick. What remains are moon shots, big payouts, high-stakes games. You can bet on long shot parlay or bet on Dogecoin. Maybe one day you’ll ride on Elon Musk’s shuttle bus to the Red Planet. The ad makes the promise of “property,” but what it’s really selling is danger, a dark sense of uncertainty, and despair – because, after all, what else do we have? You can call it truth in advertising.
Image source: According to Wargo / Getty Images; get the screen from YouTube.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/02/magazine/matt-damon-crypto.html Why is Matt Damon diving into crypto?