Web3 Watch: Crypto commercials are back

Plus, Solana Saga phones resell for thousands of dollars and the Avalanche Foundation will purchase memecoins

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Media Whale Stock/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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Nearly two years after Matt Damon declared that “fortune favors the brave” during Super Bowl LVI, commercials are once again fashionable in crypto.

After FTX’s demise led to a PR nightmare for the celebrities and venues associated with its advertising, crypto commercials took on a decidedly more muted tone for a long while. But that seems to be changing, now that Bitwise, Hashdex, and VanEck are all jockeying for better positioning in the bitcoin ETF “Cointucky Derby.” Each have released mobile-focused ad videos in the past two weeks. 

Bitwise employed a spin on beer brand Dos Equis’ well-known “The Most Interesting Man in the World” ad campaign in its commercial, bringing in actor Jonathan Goldsmith to say, “You know what’s interesting these days? Bitcoin.”

VanEck’s spot, apparently a teaser for a longer ad, took a different approach. The nineteen second clip employs a series of bitcoin-related visual references, likely to appeal to a more niche audience than the Dos Equis homage. 

Read more: Here’s all of the Easter eggs in VanEck’s bitcoin teaser

Outside of ETF land, Coinbase drew plaudits from crypto-natives for an early December ad that played on discontent with the traditional financial system. But as potential approval for bitcoin spot ETFs seems imminent, the current energy around commercial-making appears locked in on ETFs.

And with the Super Bowl less than two months away, perhaps crypto will make its return to advertising’s biggest stage. 

Solana Saga sellers dangle BONK airdrop

Dozens of Solana Saga mobile phones resold for thousands of dollars apiece this week, most of which prominently displayed unclaimed airdrops of 30 million BONK. 

These assets, worth around $450 at current prices, are one of several airdrops driving continued hype around the phone, which sold out in the US in mid-December. The resulting excitement has effectively amounted to a grassroots marketing strategy, with purchasers on X saying profit from the airdrops was enough to pay for the cost of the phone, which retailed at $599.

The phone’s value is debated. The Saga comes with Solana’s mobile software development stack. Solana founder Anatoly Yakovenko has said the airdrops are part of an effort to “crack the App Store duopoly” and kickstart the development of “crypto incentivized apps.”

But popular tech YouTuber Marques Brownlee recently dubbed the Saga the worst phone of the year. 

“There is actually no price [at which] I would recommend anyone buys this phone,” Brownlee said. 

One interesting stat:

  • Bitcoin digital art sales volume is now more than double what was seen on Ethereum over the past 30 days, according to data from CryptoSlam. 

Also of note:

  • The Avalanche Foundation said it would start purchasing Avalanche-based memecoins through its Culture Catalyst program. 
  • Platforms allowing collectors to sell worthless NFTs for tax-loss harvesting are seeing an end-of-year bump.

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