February 14, 2022

The Best, Funniest, and Cringiest Crypto Ads from the Super Bowl

GM, this is the Milk Road. The email you can rely on to tell you what’s going on in crypto. 

P.S. Hi to all the new subscribers! Over 1,000 new subscribers join every day right now. If this keeps up, we won’t have to swindle women on Tinder to pay our email server bills 😂😂

In Today's Email:

  • 📺 The Crypto Super Bowl Ads – analyzed from every angle

  • 🐦 The Top tweets from the weekend

Crypto Super Bowl Ads

I just watched the Super Bowl. Good game, even though I was rooting for the Bengals to win.

The halftime show featured Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Eminem – or as I call it, the Limewire Halftime Show (you either get the reference, or you don’t).

There were 5 crypto commercials. At ~$6.5M for 30sec commercial, that’s $30M+ spent putting crypto on the big stage.

Here’s my quick ranking & analysis of each. From BEST to WORST.

Best: Coinbase 

Genius ad. 

It was just a black screen with a QR code bouncing off the walls like the old Windows 98 screen saver.

(If you’re over 28 years old, or watched this scene from The Office, you know exactly what I’m talking about).

This reaction video shows why this was hands down the best ad: 

It checked all the boxes: 

  • It stands out. Every other commercial was overproduced. So they underproduced. 

  • It gets you curious. What is the QR code for? OK, let me scan it and see

  • It gets you to their website. Unlike most TV ads, they actually got people to take action. They jumped to #2 in the app store right after the commercial aired. 

  • It’s worth talking about. Super Bowl commercials can go viral. People talk about them. This was worth talking about (and got the nod from AdWeek for best ad) 

The bad part? Their website crashed from all the traffic it got. Can’t wet the bed like that.

So…the ad was cool. But is it worth it? 

Here’s the back of the envelope math: 

  • 117M people watched

  • 20% scan the QR code (the chief product officer said the page got 20M visits in 1 minute)

  • 10% signup 

  • 20% of them link their bank account 

  • = ~500k new customers 

What’s 500k customers worth to Coinbase? Does that cover the $14M spent on the ad? 

According to their last quarterly report, the average customer generates $90 in revenue per year for them. Let’s say these Super Bowl customers are half as valuable (lower intent). 

$45 revenue per user x 500,000 new users = $22.5M 

That would make the ad ROI positive!

Of course as I say, more fiction is written in excel than in books.

So don’t trust these numbers.

I hope Coinbase releases the actual #s. It would be smart because it would get a second boost of traffic on hacker news, reddit, and twitter.

Funniest Ad

FTX featuring Larry David. 

Why? Because Larry David was in it, and I can’t rank anything Larry David does lower than 2nd place. After all, 2nd place is pretty…pretty…pretty good.

Best Story 

Crypto.com’s ad featuring LeBron

Cool idea having Lebron talk to young Lebron. But got overshadowed by the two above.

Cringiest Ad 

eToro – what were you thinking? Generic stock actors offering to take you “to the moon” with crypto investing? 

Gave off major “hello fellow kids” vibes.

I posted all the crypto ads on our Milk Road twitter handle – you can watch them in full there

Best Tweets From The Weekend

1. This tweet ripping CPI

If you don’t know what CPI is – it’s the number the government uses to describe how much inflation is going on (prices for stuff going up)/

We just hit a high of 7.5% CPI (the govt traditionally targets ~2%) 

And wait, is 7.5% accurate? 

See – CPI is a flawed metric. It uses a specific basket of goods to measure price changes. 

But look at this table. If your lifestyle includes things like gas prices, hotel prices, rent, coffee etc.. then inflation is hitting you way higher than 7.5%

At this pace, my wife’s venti oat milk latte at Starbucks is going to cost $39 in a few years.

2. This twitter thread by helmut chrome about an upcoming bear market being “inevitable”

If you’re too lazy to click, here’s the quick summary:

  • The main use case for crypto is still speculation 

  • In a gold rush, the best business is selling shovels to people running into the rush

  • Who sells shovels? Coinbase, Opensea, FTX, etc.. They win during gold rushes

  • People use the wrong metrics to judge success (eg. short term price, transactions, TVL)

  • Those metrics are “wrong” because they are just based on hype, or inflated because the project gives out rewards and incentives early on that are not sustainable

  • Bitcoin’s use case as a “store of value” might be the exception

  • Long term, they are optimistic about crypto. Short term, bearish on the true sustainable usage.

3. This guy has $125m+ worth of Ether, and described an elaborate scheme someone tried to use to scam him out of his money. Fun read to see how they tried to steal from him.

We should do a whole Milk Road (get the pun?) edition just on “best practices” for crypto security. 

– Shaan “Football’s cool, but ETH at $10K is cooler” Puri + Ben "Evan Mcpherson is my spirit animal" Levy

P.S. – we have some new content coming this week, I think you're gonna like it

P.P.S. Congrats to El Tintero for winning a seat in the Power Writing Course, be on the lookout for an email from us!

What'd you think of today's email?

We're all Vitalik today…