A Two-Year Cryptocurrency Advertising Binge Culminates at the Super Bowl, and Other News

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A Two-Year Cryptocurrency Advertising Binge Culminates at the Super Bowl

Crypto Bowl: The Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals this past Sunday at the Super Bowl and, as always, the commercials are as hot of a topic as the game itself. This year, it was all about the Crypto ads. Even with the price of a 30-second spot topping records at around $7 million, crypto marketplaces were eager to get in front of a mainstream audience—the largest of the year. However, the Super Bowl ad blitz was merely the culmination of a years-long trend of crypto-related national television ads to the tune of $112.9 million, according to data provided by John Cassillo, a TVREV analyst. 

FOMO: A common theme emerged from the preponderance of commercials: Don’t miss the money train. LeBron James advised his younger self to embrace the future for, Larry David likened digital currency to the invention of the wheel and light bulb for FTX, eToro pitched it as a new tool for social investing, and Coinbase’s bouncing QR code accessed a $3 million giveaway and momentarily crashed its site after it received 20 million hits within a minute. Even Budweiser got in on the act, promoting Bud Light Next with NFT drops.  

Past is Prologue: Observers are noting the echoes of another technology gold rush that reached a fever pitch at the Super Bowl in 2000 when 17 dot-com startups bought ads. We know what happened next. The bubble burst, the stock market crashed, and most of those web1 companies—RIP—don’t exist today. 

Quotable: “At Coinbase, we have a goal of introducing a billion people to the cryptoeconomy,” Coinbase CMO Kate Rouch said in a statement. “Crypto is about access for everyone, not old models of winner takes all, stoking fear or ‘FOMO’. We believe the best way to learn about crypto is to actually try it. That’s why we’re launching our biggest giveaway ever, whereby all new customers will start their crypto journey with some Bitcoin in their account to get started. In other words: less talk, more Bitcoin.”

Super Bowl LVI halftime show. Photography by Matt Rourke/AP Photo

The sets of Super Bowl LVI’s halftime show celebrated the architecture of Compton. 

The Super Bowl halftime show featured big-name L.A. rap stars like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, and 50 Cent, whose set paid tribute to their native California. Older Millennials lit up social media with nostalgic praise and a barrage of 50 Cent memes, but another aspect of the show that drew attention is the set design. With nods to Compton landmarks such as Tam’s Burgers No. 21 the Eve After Dark dance club, the five structures envisioned by star set designer Es Devlin were inspired by the neighborhood’s homes. The Twittersphere couldn’t help but take a crack at L.A.’s housing crisis: “In 15 minutes, more housing was built than in five years in the city of San Francisco,” tweeted one user

Kendrick Lamar’s Super Bowl LVI halftime show look paid tribute to Virgil Abloh.

All eyes were on the Super Bowl LVI halftime performance, which threw it back to hip hop classics with performances by 50 Cent, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Eminem, and Mary J. Blige. Kendrick Lamar joined the pack wearing a custom head-to-toe Louis Vuitton look from the final collection designed by the label’s late menswear creative director Virgil Abloh, who passed away in November. The rapper donned a black wool double-breasted suit complete with Abloh’s signature power shoulders, matching tailored trousers split at the ankles, black leather gloves, and diamond jewelry from Tiffany & Co. 

Shoddy wi-fi may be to blame for disappointing sales at Mexico City’s Zona Maco.

Zona Maco, Latin America’s largest art fair that recently wrapped up its 18th edition on Feb. 13, welcomed 200 galleries from the Americas, Europe, and Asia. It wasn’t quite a return to form, with a global collector base largely absent and exhibitors reporting meager sales. Many complained about the convention center Centro Citibanamex’s shoddy wifi, which disrupted smooth communication during the sales process. Fairgoers have no wi-fi option; exhibitors must instead purchase a code for use during the fair, with prices increasing per user. 

Bing Ting by Studio Sam Buckley

Studio Sam Buckley converts Victorian butcher shop into multicolored Chinese cafe.

Located in the English town of Kingston Upon Hull, Bing Ting is a creatively conceived pancake house and street food spot swathed in bold patterns and technicolor hues. Studio Sam Buckley transformed the former butcher shop housed in a listed building with vibrant furniture, retro-inspired lighting, and a tri-colored counter while maintaining the original Victorian details.  

The crypto platform Cent suspends most NFT sales over rampant fakes and plagiarism.

Cent, the platform where former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey sold an NFT of his first Tweet for $2.9 million, has suspended most NFT sales due to rampant fakes and plagiarism. “There’s a spectrum of activity that’s happening that basically shouldn’t be happening—like, legally,” CEO and co-founder Cameron Hejazi told Reuters, highlighting problems of people selling unauthorized copies of NFTs and people making NFTs of content that doesn’t belong to them. “We would ban offending accounts but it was like we were playing a game of whack-a-mole. Every time we would ban one, another one would come up, or three more would come up.” Cent isn’t the only crypto marketplace afflicted by counterfeits: OpenSea, valued at $13.3 billion, recently reported that more than 80 percent of the NFTs minted for free on its platform for fake collections, plagiarized works, or spam.

Emilie Heath x The Batman

Today’s attractive distractions:

In a new interview, Anna Sorokin shares how her life has changed post-Rikers.

A sandworm sculpture that looks straight out of Dune rears its head at Stanford.

Scientists have built a school of robotic fish powered by human heart cells.

Independent beauty brand Emilie Heathe launches an official “The Batman” line.

All Stories