The commercials during Sunday’s Super Bowl between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals were jam-packed with more celebrities than you can shake a seashell at. But viewers were less than amused to see Larry David and LeBron James in ads shilling for crypto companies, which were likewise out in full force for the big game.
In the spot for FTX, a Bahamian cryptocurrency exchange, David riffed on his curmudgeonly reputation by playing an eternal pessimist, giving an unmitigated thumb’s down to some of humanity’s most remarkable achievements, including the invention of the wheel, indoor plumbing, democracy, electricity, and so on. So when David, in turn, passes over “a safe and easy way to get into crypto,” it’s intended to be hardly shocking.
James, on the other hand, gave people the willies by mentoring a younger, CGI version of himself, who he marvels with tales of wireless headphones and smartphones. Somewhat more subtle than David’s spot, James’ commercial doesn’t actually mention the digital form of currency but instead directs viewers to the Crypto website at the end.
But amidst all the rage with investors making millions off of crypto, the growing, yet unregulated industry is problematic in a number of ways — not least of which, many experts expecting that the bubble will soon burst. And while investors will undoubtedly bounce back just fine, a lot of regular people stand to lose a lot of money if and when that happens. Not to mention, that crypto has an astoundingly poor carbon footprint.
In other words, even two figures as widely beloved as Larry David and LeBron James couldn’t sell viewers on crypto, many of whom took to Twitter to express their distaste.
“Nice to see any CO2 emissions reduced by all these electric car ads will be offset by all the crypto ads,” tweeted The Intercept reporter Ken Klippenstein, referring to the environmental impact of cryptocurrency.
Others couldn’t get over their disappointment with David. One user described the commercial as the “single most devastating thing to ever happen” to him, while another called it “elder abuse.”
Patrick Monahan called David’s participation an answer to the question of whether it’s possible to have too much money.
But when it came to James, viewers seemed to have less of a problem with his participation in the crypto commercial so much as that the younger, CGI version of himself was terrifying.
Well, if the cryptocurrency industry does implode on itself sometime soon, at the very least, perhaps we’ll be spared from an onslaught of crypto ads during the 2023 Super Bowl. But as sure as a fool and their money are soon parted, that might just be chalked up to wishful thinking.