Crypto platforms ramp up ad spends this festive season

Target a broader consumer base using TV, digital, and print media.

Mumbai: As the market pins its hope on the festive season for a hike in sales, the crypto exchange platforms too aren’t lagging behind in wooing users to invest in the digital asset class. In an evident change from last year when the platforms were cautious and muted in their approach, they are all set to make the most of the opportunity this year, with an increase in ad-spend across all media.

Apart from the digital, crypto brands are also opting for mass mediums such as TV and print as they plan an advertising salvo. The fledgling industry is trying to mark a dent in the market with promotions and marketing activities involving audio-visual podcasts and even full front-page displays in leading dailies.

One such platform, which has been investing heavily in print is CoinSwitch Kuber, which claims to have onboarded as many as 10 million users already. The brand has come out with full front-page ads in leading newspapers in the last few days. “Print is always a viable medium. While digital media enables us to target a certain set of audiences, print has the accessibility to the most basic audience group which finds credibility in the print news,” said CoinSwitch Kuber chief business officer Sharan Nair.

The brand is also constantly connecting and engaging with local newspapers, media, and prominent ‘finfluencers’ (finance-influencers) on social media platforms to reach its target set.

"Traditional media can make audiences search and engage with them on the website, while digital media through apps can be used to continue re-targeting the interested segment," said Havas Media India managing partner – South Saurabh Jain, highlighting that crypto platforms need to focus on “building the top of the funnel first” to attract new retail investors since the penetration of this category is currently low. Jain recommends a 65 per cent spend on traditional media and 35 per cent on digital display plus programmatic spends in this phase, as the threshold costs associated with traditional media remains high.

A recent study by Havas Media Group India also highlighted how print remains one of the most trusted mediums to influence brand perceptions on critical factors like quality, price, and trust, despite the short-term interrupted circulations and de-growth of newspapers during the initial wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Especially for new-age categories like crypto exchanges who are in their next phase of growth in India, it becomes even more crucial to target beyond the early adopters of this digital world by associating with traditional mediums like television and print,” added Jain. “Building trust will be key as a lot of uncertainty and risk has been associated with cryptos in the past. So, print will definitely be a viable medium to build credibility and trust.”

CoinSwitch Kuber is also planning to reach the audiences via emerging OTT platforms. It has already been working with Amazon Prime Video, and SonyLIV, and has partnered with Disney+ Hotstar for the current edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which resumed on Sunday. “Considering the huge traction we witnessed after the last IPL campaign, we are looking to promote crypto assets through upcoming sports events as it perfectly captures our target group, which is - upwardly, young and tech savvy-mobile Indians,” added the CoinSwitch Kuber chief business officer.

On the other hand, crypto trading platform Mudrex is completely targeting digital. The focus of the brand’s marketing campaigns for the coming months is primarily through influencers and creators on different platforms across the social spectrum.

“We believe the demographics of the investors and traders in the crypto market are such that the digital medium is best able to reach the target audience,” said CEO and co-founder Edul Patel. “At Mudrex, we usually associate with influencers who have a deep interest in cryptocurrencies and believe in the idea of smart investing and trading in the crypto market.”

Cryptocurrencies have gained traction over the past few months, and the subsequent interest from the investor sentiment, leading to rising trading volumes despite the regulatory uncertainty. As the brands try to cash in on this crypto gold rush ahead of festivals, there is also a need, however, to create more awareness and to share knowledge on the finer aspects of the virtual currency. And that is what CoinDCX is aiming at, through ‘DCX learn’ during the festive season.

“We have always tried to find fresh ways to entice and educate new investors through our marketing efforts. One of our main objectives is to raise awareness about the cryptocurrency business and urge Indians to consider it as a viable investment option,” said CoinDCX head of brand and communication Ramalingam Subramanian.

The brand has recently come out with a campaign #BitcoinLiyaKya, which was in line with its direction of raising investor awareness and CoinDCX plans to build on that. “We are offering coupon codes of Rs 100 worth of bitcoins to everyone who signs on the exchange for the first time to raise curiosity among prospective new users. This encourages them to learn more about crypto, and interests them to enter the space,” explained Subramaniam adding that the brand is also looking to form new brand alliances to enable the users.

According to the crypto platforms, the interest in dealing in the new asset class is definitely increasing among Indians.

To put it in perspective, India today ranks second in terms of crypto adoption worldwide, ahead of countries such as the US, UK, and China, according to the 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index by blockchain data platform Chainalysis. This is chiefly led by crypto adoption in the smaller towns of India. Currently, active crypto users in the country are around 15 million with the number of blockchain startups going up to over 300 in the current year.

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