New Bitwise ad reflects expected bitcoin ETF marketing blitz

The crypto fund group’s campaign precedes the SEC’s spot bitcoin ETF decision expected by Jan. 10, setting up “the beginning of a marketing war”

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Bitwise CEO Hunter Horsley | DAS 2022 for Blockworks

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A bitcoin ETF hopeful has upped its marketing game a few weeks before the US Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to rule on spot bitcoin ETFs.  

An ad posted to X Monday morning by crypto asset manager Bitwise reflects the types of efforts industry watchers have said are likely to be commonplace once such funds launch.   

“You know what’s interesting these days?” says actor Jonathan Goldsmith, known for playing the most interesting man in the world in Dos Equis beer ads. “Bitcoin.”

He adds: “Look for Bitwise, my friends.”

An extended version of the ad, posted later, shows Bitwise Chief Investment Officer Matt Hougan delivering the same line before Goldsmith is brought in to do so instead. 

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Bitwise, a fund group that offers 18 crypto investment products, is one of more than a dozen fund groups vying to launch a spot bitcoin ETF in the US. The firm launched two crypto futures-based funds in October.  

Read more: Lucky 13? Where spot bitcoin ETF proposals stand ahead of judgment day

Industry watchers have said the potential upcoming approval of spot bitcoin ETFs — and possibly many at one time — is likely to spur heavy marketing efforts as firms fight for assets. 

Big players looking to launch such funds include BlackRock, Fidelity and Invesco — the latter of which has previously run television spots for its QQQ ETF around March Madness, for example. Fund group VanEck ran “Enter the Ether” spots on its X account amid the launch of the first ether futures ETFs, and regularly publishes crypto-related research. 

Now, Bitwise’s so-called “Bitcoin is Interesting” campaign will be pushed across television, digital and social media channels, the company said in a Monday news release — with the spot appearing on CNBC, Bloomberg and Fox Business Network.

“Just the beginning of [a] marketing war…and spot bitcoin ETFs haven’t even launched yet,” Nate Geraci, president of The ETF Store, said about the Bitwise ad in an X post. “The marketing competition will be something to behold.”

Victoria Kulbanska Anderson, head of growth marketing at Bitwise, said in a statement the firm “saw an opportunity to tap into the excitement building around crypto in a fun and evocative way.”

Such anticipation has come as segment observers look to Jan. 10 — the date by which the SEC is set to rule on a proposed spot bitcoin ETF by Ark Invest and 21Shares. The regulator could choose to approve or deny other planned offerings at that time. 

“We don’t think the SEC will approve just one; they will probably approve a group of them,” Ark Invest CEO Cathie Wood said during an October interview. “And that means it will become a marketing battle.”

There could be a lot of assets to fight over. 

Bitwise’s Hougan said during a webinar in August that a US spot bitcoin ETF could attract $55 billion in net flows in its first five years on the market.

Read more: An approved spot bitcoin ETF could be ‘one of the largest launches in history’

“It could be [two times] that; it could be one-tenth that,” Hougan added at the time. “But our view of ETF history and of the dynamics of the market says that’s something that’s in the ballpark of occurring.”


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