But amid a crash that rocked traders and plunged the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the meltdown has exposed the risk of hyped investments and the dangers of easily believing a convincing sales pitch.
“When a celebrity puts their name on a brand in a market where there are literally hundreds of choices, it helps consumers adapt and puts their trust in the product,” Jason Damata, the founder and CEO of Fabric Media, a strategy and marketing firm, told NBC News.
Now those of wealth and status like Damon, who peddled the digital currency to the masses, are feeling the heat. If social media is any indication, the star of “Jason Bourne” and “The Martian” has been an easy target, with many pointing to his flashy commercial for Crypto.com that first aired in late October and has racked up nearly 18 years since. million views on YouTube.
As he walks through a futuristic hall, Damon points to “mere mortals” — “just like you and me,” he adds — who have “embracing.”[ed] the moment and commit[ed]to the daring escapade of their choice, whether they’re climbing a mountain or flying into space.
“Fortune favors the brave,” he concludes as he gazes at the galaxy.
The partnership between Damon and Crypto.com marked the “first global marketing push” for the platform, Bloomberg reported last October, allocating more than $100 million to the campaign. That same ad that first aired in the fall also aired during the Super Bowl, later derisively dubbed the “Crypto Bowl,” due to the number of famous actors and athletes pushing crypto exchange companies in various commercials.
“I’ve never done an endorsement like this,” Damon said in an interview with Bloomberg. “We hope this is the start of a great long-term partnership.”
Cryptocurrencies were on fire last year after a long period in which they were largely seen as an “afterthought, speculative product” and appeared to be gaining more legitimacy, the Wall Street Journal reported. Amid the surging interest, Bloomberg reported, Singapore-based Crypto.com tried to generate even more revenue after it “made its user base about ten times bigger” from the previous year.
Well he never specified good or bad fortune
— Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) January 4, 2022
Damon, an investor with the platform, told Bloomberg that he is conservative about what he chooses to put his money in and that he usually “cycles along or dies with the economy” while concentrating on his day job and starring in movies. .
His forecast seemed to be on the right track, with the Journal reporting that in November both bitcoin and ethereum, “two of the most popular cryptocurrencies, hit all-time highs.” But amid deteriorating economic prospects and the rapid flight of traders, those values fell 58 percent and 60 percent respectively from their previous levels on Friday.
Now — with more than $1 trillion in digital money wiped out since November, the Journal reported — all eyes are on Damon and other celebrities promoting crypto investing, with many directing their anger on him specifically online.
“If you had bought $1000 when Matt Damon’s ‘Fortune Favors the Brave!’ crypto ad premiered, you would have $476,” Jon Schwarz, a writer for The Intercept, tweeted when the apparent crash at the start of the week became apparent.
This bitcoin EFT has fallen even further for the rest of the day. If you had bought $1000 right now when Matt Damon’s “Fortune Favors the Brave!” crypto ad premiered, you would have $476. https://t.co/h9U9T4ERoe
— Jon Black (@black) May 9, 2022
If you had bought Bitcoin when this commercial by Matt Damon came out (“fortune favors the brave”) you would have already lost more than half your money https://t.co/x96KCTu5K1
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) May 10, 2022
Many lamented the fate of those who followed Damon’s ad and lost a significant portion of their money — and perhaps savings — as a result.
“Look what has happened to people who have now followed Matt Damon’s investment advice. That’s why – and this should be obvious even to little kids – you should never take investment advice from celebrities.” one person tweeted† “If someone is trying to sell you something that is too good to be true, it is.”
Matt Damon isn’t sweating from that Super Bowl ad urging you to invest in crypto — after all, Matt was paid in good old-fashioned US dollars.
— Max Burns (@themaxburns) May 12, 2022
The next interview with Matt Damon should really ask him how much money it cost him to get people into a now collapsing scam system. https://t.co/1zYjnL9j7D
– very much) May 12, 2022
It took less than a year for NFTs and the internet’s future metaverse to move into the latest failed trend. Billions and billions of dollars go *poof*. Just three months ago, Matt Damon was in a Super Bowl commercial that promised crypto would lead to wealth pic.twitter.com/ZbN2Yfkwz4
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) May 12, 2022
Others also brought Brady into the mix — with a person wondering how the former patriots legend was able to largely dodge the blame being placed on Damon – and others speculated as to why two men with a significant amount of wealth chose to sell crypto in the first place.
“I wonder how much Tom Brady, Matt Damon and Larry David were paid to shill for crypto. And, does any of those guys really need more money?” John Reinana reporter for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, tweeted.
Thinking about the obscene amounts of money celebs like Matt Damon made during the pandemic – one of the largest upward transfers of wealth in decades – and how they still chose to sell crypto
— Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) May 11, 2022
I wonder how much Tom Brady, Matt Damon and Larry David were paid to shill for crypto. And does any of those guys really need more money?
— John Reinan (@StribGuy) May 13, 2022
Matt Damon gets dragged here for the https://t.co/LQphZ2jIU6 ads, but Tom Brady’s laser eyes are largely ignored on this infernal site
— Ryan Gorman (@GormoExJourno) May 12, 2022
Others, meanwhile, took the opportunity to joke about Damon’s troubled enterprise.
Many referred to the films he appeared in, including ‘We Bought a Zoo’ and the ‘Ocean’s’ series.
“I’ll just buy another zoo and then I’ll stop taking my financial advice from Matt Damon,” said Dave Itzkoff, culture reporter for The New York Times. tweeted†
EN: I have bad news. I took some financial advice from Matt Damon and spent our money on an unstable company.
MY WIFE: Oh no. You haven’t wasted money on crypto, have you?
ME (hides the deed from the zoo I bought): Uh, yeah.
—Mike Beauvais (@MikeBeauvais) May 13, 2022
Matt Damon was in Oceans 11, 12, 13. You crypto guys just fell victim to his latest heist
— Thor Benson (@thor_benson) May 12, 2022
who is going to play Matt Damon in the movie about Bitcoin collapse?
— CHOAM Nomsky (@samthielman) May 12, 2022
Matt Damon’s ad told you this took courage. It didn’t say there wouldn’t be difficult moments.
— Centrist Madness (@CentristMadness) May 12, 2022
Matt Damon’s crypto shill ad should have been called Bourne yesterday
— Damon Agnos (@damonagnos) May 11, 2022
just buy another zoo and then I’ll stop taking my financial advice from Matt Damon
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) May 12, 2022