“Just a sec. I gotta make sure I win this digital auction for a super expensive, priceless piece of digital art that I’m hanging in my virtual beach house,” Adam DeVine says at the start of a new crypto ad. “Done! Got it,” he declares before launching into a perplexing pitch for crypto exchange Bitget.
It’s certainly not the first time a celebrity has partnered with a crypto exchange: who can forget Matt Damon’s “favors the bold” slogan for Crypto.com or FTX’s Super Bowl ad featuring Larry David? These ads made the former actor the subject of ridicule on “South Park” and landed the latter star in a pretty, pretty, pretty bad lawsuit.
At the end of 2022, CoinDesk named Matt Damon one of its most influential, but he got the nod for all the wrong reasons, noting “the Bourne trilogy actor’s Crypto.com ad is a proxy for all the cringe-inducing celebrity crypto shills you wish you could unsee.”
But here we are again, with Bitget tapping “Workaholics” and “House Party” creator Adam DeVine to capture the interest of younger investors “especially millennials and Gen Z,” the company noted in a press release announcing the comedian as the face of its #SetForChange campaign.
“Working with comedians, such as Adam, will allow us to lower the knowledge barrier, making crypto and Web3 more fun and accessible to attract more youth, who will ultimately be the key builder to bring our society forward, to a more crypto-friendly future.” Gracy Chen, the managing director of Bitget, said in the press release.
It’s not the first or biggest celebrity partnership the crypto exchange has announced, as it signed soccer superstar Lionel Messi as a spokesperson in October 2022 and tapped him to lead its #MakeItCount campaign in November 2022.
Messi had already dabbled in other crypto projects however, including launching NFTs as part of the “Messiverse” and accepting crypto as part of his signing deal with Paris St. Germain Football Club in 2021.
Since the launch of the single #MakeItCount video, Messi has been noticeably absent from other videos by Bitget, such as one where Chen leads a team to sing happy birthday to the athlete as a single candle burns in a cookie cake, though the athlete is not there to enjoy a slice.
In any case, times were different in October 2022, before the stunning collapse of FTX and ongoing crypto winter.
DeVine, while known to the younger generation Bitget hopes to target, is not known for dabbling in crypto. In fact a 2019 Getty Image of the actor calls out that specifically it is “not available for commercial purposes in NFTs (non-fungible tokens), cryptocurrency and advertising of NFTs or cryptocurrency.” To be fair, that may be Getty’s rule, not DeVine’s.
Choice of spokesperson aside, another strange thing about the ad is that it leans heavily on mentions of Web3 staples like NFTs, but also has DeVine reel off a number of things that people are doing everyday without blockchain or crypto like sending memes or streaming music. At one point he declares, “If you wanna stream a movie on TV while shopping on your tablet while exploring Decentraland on your phone, congratulations! You’re one of us.”
One of us who doesn’t know that metaverse platform Decentraland doesn’t work on mobile? Apparently.
In any case, Bitget has no such capability for sending memes or streaming content, and in fact doesn’t even have an NFT marketplace as part of its offerings. The crypto exchange does offer both spot trading and futures contracts and claims to be the biggest copy-trading exchange in the world, none of which are mentioned in the ad.
Bitget has been bucking industry trends during the crypto winter by announcing plans to expand hiring, starting a $100 million fund for Asia-focused Web3 projects and recently opened a Dubai office as part of its expansion plans.
But while DeVine spews cliches like “we are living in the now more than ever before, where the impossible becomes possible and anything we want is literally only a few taps of our fingertips away,” there is one key thing that isn’t possible for the American actor, or me either.
The strangest thing of all may be choosing an actor best known in America. No matter how much I tap my fingertips, Bitget isn’t available in the U.S.
See Also: Bitget Exchange Faces Lawsuit by Advisor of ReelStar Token Project After the Listing Goes Sour
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