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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Celebrity Crypto Ads Took Over The 2022 Super Bowl

Photo: John P. Johnson/ HBO/WarnerMedia

Cryptocurrency. What is it? Personally, I have no idea, but apparently Larry David and LeBron James do. At least, I sure hope so, because they both tried to sell us crypto during the Super Bowl LVI.

David was first, appearing in an ad for FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange that I assume does something involving blockchains and the internet. The ad featured David as a sort of time traveling naysayer, dismissing genius ideas like the wheel and electricity before finally rejecting crypto. The tagline? “Don’t Be Like Larry.” The ad was complete with a crypto giveaway, and left everyone at home entirely confused. I’m sorry, but Larry David starring in a crypto commercial definitely feels like a sign of the apocalypse. It’s the kind of thing I would expect in an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, not our actual reality.

Twitter will be debating the ad for days to come, but one thing we can all agree on is that there is no way David knows what cryptocurrency is. And while I would normally completely endorse crypto-ignorance, if you’re going to sell something to millions of people, you might want to know what it is.

Then, there was James, who appeared in an ad for Crypto.com opposite his 2003 self. Aside from the questionable use of Young Luke Skywalker technology, the ad is pretty straightforward, comparing James’ NBA career to… an assumed crypto fortune?

This ad is also accompanied by a full social media assault, including a digital rendering of James’ 2003 bedroom. Now, unlike David, James probably has a good idea of what cryptocurrency is. Or, at the very least, his people do, right? … RIGHT?

James and David were the biggest names in crypto ads this year (sorry, Matt Damon’s crypto ad didn’t make the cut), but those weren’t the only crypto ads to play during the Big Game. NBA star Kyle Lowry appeared in an ad for bitbuy, and there were also a few non-celebrity ads like the one for Coinbase, which featured a QR code bouncing around the screen like a screensaver. And, other brands advertising during the Super Bowl reportedly featured some “easter egg” NFT and crypto tie-ins.

Between this flood of crypto ads and Paris Hilton giving out NFTs on The Tonight Show, it’s beginning to look like no celebrity is safe from the crypto spon-con. The only question is, who’s next?

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