Matt Damon’s crypto ads are no laughing matter

Taking social media thoughts seriously has been one of the costly lessons of the past year for discerning investors.

From GameStop’s epic short squeeze to the boom in cryptocurrencies, non-fungible tokens and ETFs, retailers poured money into trending market tips as they shared their ups and downs on Twitter, TikTok and Reddit. U.S. investors invested more than $ 1 trillion ($ 1.4 trillion) in stocks last year – more than the last two decades combined.

Hedge funds and investment banks have chosen not to get caught by the crowd and have come up with new tools to collect signals from the social media swarm. Highly paid analysts are now sending out natural language processing warnings that read like trading haikus: “Crypto, China, Stake, BTC, Eth, Dip, Hold, Ada, Long, Moon.”

The next test for the social media scraper will be how seriously ridicule should be taken. This week, the online peanut gallery turned against actor Matt Damons’ ad for the trading app, which was showing demonstrations of the new. was seen Spider Man Movie and American football games (presumably indicative of the target audience).

In the ad, Damon pays homage to history’s explorers, innovators, and astronauts before exhorting ordinary people to follow his example into the volatile world of crypto trading. “Cringe” and “yuck” were among the rave reviews when viewers wondered how Dogecoin – described as “pretend computer dog money” – could be compared to climbing Mount Everest.

The sniper’s reaction to the blatant crypto advertising could be an interesting signal for sentiment bots for two reasons. The first is that celebrity crypto-advertising, from introducing laser eye avatars to promoting apps, could lose its power in driving retail investor excitement. Judging from the criticism of Damon’s wealth, influencers seem prone to the same kind of populist backlash that they have tried to co-opt. Governments are also closely examining their reach.

The second reason is that the advertising lightning bolt of the crypto world, from stadium sponsorship to billboards, hasn’t brought any market gains either. Bitcoin’s price suffered its biggest monthly decline in December since a 35 percent loss in May, and Coinbase Global stocks are down 30 percent in two months on worse-than-expected quarterly results. The symbol of meme stock mania, Robinhood Markets Inc trading app recently hit an all-time low in stock prices.

The world is looking for signals as to whether funny memes will continue to mean serious money – and whether celebrities should care about laser eyes and not hug them.

An ETF that is explicitly designed to capture meme stocks, SPACs and “whatever is trending” with the name FOMO ETF has slumped 12.6 percent in six months. Idealistic moonshot bets are struggling in a post-Covid inflationary world, as the ARK fund of famous active manager Cathie Wood testifies.

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