Advertising spend for cryptocurrency was up 94% in 2022's first quarter ($115 million), compared with Q4 last year ($59 million), according to a MediaRadar report shared with Marketing Dive.
Nearly two-thirds (64%) of the Q1 spend occurred in February when crypto brands Coinbase, Crypto.com, eToro and FTX advertised during the Super Bowl. These four top spenders totaled $71 million during February alone, dropping to $18 million in March and $9 million in April. Other crypto spenders have remained relatively steady so far in 2022, spending $1 million or $2 million each month. Since the peak in February, total monthly spending on crypto ads dropped to $20 million in March and $10 million in April.
The report of the dramatic rise and fall of crypto’s advertising presence is reflective of the crypto market itself, which has undergone a crash in recent weeks. As crypto’s evaluation plummets, questions remain around if marketers will flee as well.
The crypto market was valued at $3.1 trillion in November 2021, but fell to $1.3 trillion in recent weeks. This massive downturn has also pushed marketing spend in this sector to plummet, especially after unprecedented highs seen during Super Bowl LVI. A drop-off in ad spend after the Super Bowl is understandable, as marketers spent big during tentpole event and subsequently pulled back investments after the game. Thirty-second spots during the game were said to cost about $6.5 million this year.
Still, many cryptocurrency sites majorly pulled back spending between February and March — far larger than the average of 3% seen in all other advertisers.
Four companies controlled the majority of spending in the crypto ad market in Q1. Coinbase’s advertising spend was down 98% between February and March. Despite such a large drop-off, the company adjusted its marketing budget again and was down 68% month-over-month in April. Crypto.com declined 71% in March compared to February. In April, Crypto.com fell another 68% month-over-month. EToro cut its advertising budget 70% after the Super Bowl. April saw a less dramatic dip, with spending falling another 41% in April. FTX saw a 68% decrease from February to March. However, FTX’s decline in spending from March to April was below average at 37%.
It's unclear whether marketers' investments in crypto advertising will notch upward when the market recovers. The past few weeks has shown that the buzzy space can be incredibly volatile, potentially cautioning marketers to be somewhat conservative when it comes to investing regularly outside of major viewing events like the Super Bowl. Ethereum, one of the world’s most popular cryptocurrencies, recently lost $800 billion in value. The price of NFTs has also crashed, leaving questions for companies like Kia and Pepsi that have made investments in the space.
(Source: MarketingDive Cryptocurrency ad spend plummets as market crashes | Marketing Dive)