Storyboard18 | After gala cricket season, cryptocurrency platforms take advertisement dollars to GEC, news, and gaming

With the cricket season at an end, when they spent generously on advertising, crypto players are now looking at newer properties for spending their ad dollars. Experts don’t foresee any drop in spending in the coming months by cryptocurrency companies

Updated: Nov 23, 2021 06:59:12 PM UTC
The ad blitzkrieg by the crypto platforms comes at a time when the government has recently raised concerns over the content of crypto advertising in the country. Image: WazirX/ YouTube

Cryptocurrency brands in India are targeting impact properties for advertising both on TV and digital media. The gala cricket season may have ended, but crypto players have a new media-buying strategy in place; even the government’s new tenets on crypto advertisements aren’t forcing them to lie low.

“Considering big-ticket events like the Indian Premier League and ICC World Cup are done with, businesses now have the opportunity to either explore ancillary advertising opportunities in the cricketing world or opportunities outside of cricket; more specifically in the television and digital spaces,” says Yatin Balyan and managing partner and national head of investment at Omnicom Media Group India.

According to Balyan, noteworthy impact properties like Hindi general entertainment channels (GEC) on television are an ideal platform for advertisers to explore when looking for a wider reach.

But for those looking to invest their advertising budgets on a more performance-based medium, one could also expect a possible shift in strategy from the top of the funnel to lower down the conversion funnel, skewing investments in favour of digital media, he suggested.

Jai Lala, CEO of Publicis Groupe’s Zenith suggests properties like Bigg Boss and Kaun Banega Crorepati are perfect for crypto players.

“The advertisers in the space are using their campaigns for both lead generation and awareness creation and they are looking for high impact properties to maximise their access. While GEC and news, both on TV and digital, are attractive options for them, players are also looking at gaming platforms because of similar user profiles,” explained Lala.

Building investor awareness
Elaborating on the audience profile and advertising plans, Ashish Singhal, founder and CEO at CoinSwitch, said: “Crypto asset investing is emerging as a popular investment option among digital natives, and increasing investor awareness is a business imperative. We are using a robust marketing mix strategy for investor education and protection. A typical crypto asset investor in India is less than 28 years old, mostly from non-metro cities, and more often than not, exploring asset investment options for the first time.”

Singhal says while the sports season provided an opportunity to educate users about asset class investing on topics including how to invest, research, and assess the health of any crypto asset through various mediums, investor education is a key strategy to build a crypto ecosystem that users and regulators can trust.

“While sports seasons help us inform and educate a large number of digital natives, we will keep the momentum going through relevant digital and print platforms that help us educate and engage with crypto enthusiasts," he said.

Experts suggest that the sector spent nothing short of Rs 60-80 crore on advertising across the IPL and World Cup matches. According to a media buyer's estimate, ad spending by crypto players will continue at a much larger scale in the last three months of the financial year as well.

Leveraging partnerships
Crypto exchange platform WazirX, for instance, said that it is leveraging partnerships with media outlets for investor education.

“With our marketing initiatives, our goal has always been to focus on responsible marketing and spreading education among the masses about crypto. We want to make awareness and understanding of crypto mainstream in India,” a WazirX spokesperson said in an emailed response to queries from Storyboard18.

The ad blitzkrieg by the crypto platforms comes at a time when the government has recently raised concerns over the content of crypto advertising in the country.

Crypto communication
Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting on cryptocurrency with senior officials. Although there are no clear guidelines or policies issued by the government on regulation of crypto platforms or their advertising, there has been a clear push in making crypto-related communication more transparent.

This move is critical as ad industry watchdog Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has also not devised any crypto advertising related guidelines despite the massive scale of media spending in the sector.

However, there has been a focus on self-regulation by multiple crypto exchange platforms operating in the country.

Nischal Shetty, founder and CEO at WazirX India, put out a tweet saying: “India is finally on the right path towards crypto regulations. Industry consultation is crucial and it’s great to see that the crypto industry has been invited for discussions. With the right regulations, India can be a top player in crypto.”

Singhal, who is also the co-chair of Blockchain and Crypto Assets Council (BACC), added: “All top crypto exchanges are working together as part of BACC, a part of the industry body IAMAI to plan their brand strategies in adherence to the Code of Conduct in a responsible manner.” IAMAI is short for the Internet and Mobile Association of India.

The thoughts and opinions shared here are of the author.

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