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The Crypto Bowl: How Crypto Exchange Super Bowl Ads Affected Awareness and Brand Preference

As usual, there was almost as much hype about the ads in the Super Bowl this year as there was about the game itself.  And one of the advertising storylines this year centered around Cryptocurrency Exchange ads.  This represented a coming-out party for Crypto Exchanges on the year’s biggest advertising stage.

While the four Crypto Exchange ads were superseded by the number of ads in some of the more traditional Super Bowl ad categories (automobile companies led the way with 7 spots), they still managed to steal much of the pre and post-game discussion about the advertising.  However, to a large extent the verdict was less than positive.

At Yahoo! Sports, Liz Roscher provided commentary and grades on all the big game’s ads.  While garnering some positive comments from Roscher, the FTX spot featuring Larry David only managed a D grade.  However, that made it the winner of the Crypto Exchange category as the other three spots all received an F.

Over at USA Today, Super Bowl ad meter results were based on the ratings of nearly 150,000 panelists.  The final tally again showed FTX as the leader in the Crypto Exchange category, with the brand’s Larry David spot finishing a very respectable 17th out of a total of 66 rated ads.  Crypto.com rode LeBron James to a mediocre 49th place overall, while eToro only avoided last place due to even fewer viewers liking the somewhat head-scratching bouncing QR-code approach taken by CoinBase.

While ratings are fun, ultimately the true measure of the success of an advertisement comes from what the ad does to bolster the business results of the brand itself.  MSW’s TBSM tracker incorporated the Crypto Exchange category in January, which provided a baseline read on the brands in the category.  Then the survey was run again in the week after the Super Bowl, with an aided advertising awareness question added at the end of the survey.  What were the results?

The 71% of respondents who indicated they had watched the Super Bowl were asked if they remembered seeing any ads for Cryptocurrency Exchange brands during the Super Bowl and if so, they were asked to indicate which brands they saw an ad for out of a list of 13 major Crypto Exchange platforms.   The ghost awareness level (average misattribution to unadvertised brands) was 10%.  All the advertised brands were able to comfortably surpass this level with the exception of eToro at only 10.4%.

It is also interesting to note that while claimed advertising awareness levels for Coinbase, Crypto.com and eToro are all highest among respondents aged 18 to 34, FTX really popped among those aged 35 to 54.  In fact, FTX ad awareness of 23.9% among those aged 35 to 54 more than doubled the level among the younger age group.  Chalk that up to the Larry David effect!

Next, the survey results showed an overall lifting of brand awareness levels for the entire category in the week after the Super Bowl versus the January baseline.  But the advertised brands in particular saw a very strong lift in the level of aided brand awareness.

However, the key metric collected by the TBSM survey is brand preference.  This metric has been shown to be strongly related to actual market share and

it underpins most of MSW Research’s primary research methodologies since movement in Brand Preference is validated and proven to corelate to actual in-market business results.  So, while awareness can certainly indicate that the advertising was having an effect, the true winner is that brand that sees the strongest movement in share of Brand Preference.

While all the advertised brands saw at least some level of positive movement in Brand Preference, FTX again is the winner with a jump in Brand Preference of 2.6 percentage points.  Again, this gain was driven by respondents aged 35 to 54 among whom FTX realized a Brand Preference gain of 4.3 percentage points.

Beyond the effect on the individual brands, these high-profile advertisements can have an effect on the category itself, particularly given the nascent nature of the Crypto Exchange category.  One sign of this can be seen in claimed category participation.  The percent of respondents claiming to not be buyers or sellers of cryptocurrency dropped 6 percentage points to 37% in the post-Super Bowl read.

In addition, there is evidence that the advertising and associated hype had a positive effect on branding in the category.  The TBSM survey asks respondents to select the one characteristic (from a list of eight choices) that is most important in deciding on a method to buy or sell cryptocurrency.  The only item to gain, with an increase of 4 percentage points, was “From a Brand I Trust.”

Despite the snap reviews of the Super Bowl Crypto Exchange ads which were not favorable, to say the least, TBSM tracking data suggests the advertising has been effective at raising awareness and building brands in the category.  This is particularly the case for FTX.  And the use of Larry David as spokesperson – that could never be wrong!

please contact us for more information on the MSW TBSM survey and what it can reveal in your category.

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