By John Glenday | Reporter

March 28, 2022 | 4 min read

Crypto.com looked to gain social currency by displaying a more altruistic bent in light of the war in Ukraine with an ad spot during the Oscars on Sunday. However, this work echoed a popular scam running on Facebook just a week earlier where the perpetrators solicited fake donations for the conflict while posing as the platform.

The cryptocurrency trading platform's campaign was reminiscent of those run by cynical Facebook scammers. They created a fake Crypto.com/NFT website to solicit ‘donations’ from social media users, which did nothing more than line the profits of criminals. Appearing last week, the page piggybacked on the company name to gain credibility, with an associated Facebook ad generating 1,000 likes before being removed.

At the time Crypto.com confirmed to the fact-checking website Snopes that the campaign was not affiliated to it in any way and that the wallet address specified was not one of its own. Regardless of the unfortunate association, the brand pushed forward for some positive PR by leveraging the crisis in Ukraine.

Billed as a counterreaction to a spate of bad-taste promotional activities for cryptocurrencies, exemplified by a 24-karat gold block in New York’s Central Park to promote Castello Coin, the appeal seeks to demonstrate that digital currencies can be a source for good and not just greed.

The latest marketing news and insights straight to your inbox.

Get the best of The Drum by choosing from a series of great email briefings, whether that’s daily news, weekly recaps or deep dives into media or creativity.

Sign up

‘The Essentials: Humanitarian Aid for Ukraine’ highlights the range of necessities required to support the work of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent to provide medicines, food and shelter to those displaced by the Russian invasion. Crypto.com says it will match all donations to Crypto.com/donate to help alleviate the humanitarian disaster, all via a QR code.

Some have questioned why a cryptocurrency should be involving itself in this way, however, pointing out that exchange rates will erode the value of any donations, fueling suspicions that the initiative is nothing more than a cynical PR stunt.

Additionally, Crypto.com has signed a partnership with this year’s Fifa World Cup in Qatar as the cryptocurrency phenomenon harnesses its newfound riches to appeal to sports fans, as exemplified by the crypto-mania that swept the Super Bowl LVI.

Digital Transformation Brand

More from Digital Transformation

View all